Mind Candy

Mind Candy: a (usually sedentary) form of entertainment that is completely without social or intellectual merit, but is just good fun.

I generally think of mind candy in terms of books and films – usually books, because I’m a reader rather than a watcher. Mind candy are those books that just jog along nicely; you aren’t in any real doubt that the Goodies will win and the Baddies will get what’s coming to them. Nobody is going to die horribly (unless they deserve it) and you are not going to be put through the emotional wringer.

Mind candy is what you need after a hard day at work, when you’ve been doing so much thinking your brain hurts and the mere thought of tackling Great Literature makes you want to cry.

Mind candy is what you need when it’s time for bed but your brain is still buzzing and you just know that unless you do something about it, you’ll still be tossing and turning when it’s starting to get light…

Mind candy gets an unfairly bad press: light, bright and trite, they say. Waste of paper (or electrons, in the case of ebooks). The sort of book that ebook readers were made for, because nobody can tell whether you’re reading Anna Karenina or Mills & Boon.

Well, yes it is – but is that such a bad thing? Why do we have to be serious and intellectual all the time? Hasn’t anyone heard about work-life balance? Or All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy? A person needs mental rest and relaxation, and mind candy performs that function very well.

So well done to the writers of bodice-ripper romances and shoot-’em-up thrillers; you are the sanity-savers of society. The providers of uncomplicated but necessary fun.

Mind candy. You know it makes sense.

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