Etheridge hangs up guitar, comes out as bibliophile

Melissa EtheridgeBY LESBIAN.COM

When Melissa Etheridge came out in 1993, it was huge news. Today, she comes out as a bibliophile, breaking the hearts of millions of fans who love the raspy-voiced crooner.

“I’m hanging up my guitar. Music doesn’t feel right anymore,” she said in a statement. “I went into a library the other day. There were so many books. I realized, I want to read them all.”

A late literary bloomer, the ground-breaking singer said that until recently she’d only read graphic novels when she had time to read at all.

“The graphic novel lends itself to the kind of time I had,” she said. “A few minutes here and there on the toilet, backstage or on the tour bus. I tried reading more on tour this year, but it’s not enough. I can read maybe a book a week. I want to read a book a day.”

By retiring from her busy music career, Etheridge, 52, has freed up 8-to-10 hours a day to read whatever she likes. Her tastes range from the classics to science fiction, from old IRS manuals (the 1992 manual was particularly illuminating, according to Etheridge) to teach-yourself Kung Fu books (“Anyone can fight like Bruce Lee. They make is so easy,” she said).

Currently, she’s reading “The Fountainhand” by Andrew Rayne. “It’s a satire of Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead.’ in which the ‘second-handers’ are forced into a life-or-death game to come up with an original thought,” she said. “It’s fascinating. I didn’t even understand satire this time last year. I just thought ‘The Colbert Report’ was weird. All this reading is blowing my mind.”

Ever the philanthropist, Etheridge plans to donate the proceeds of all future album sales to global literacy programs. “I believe everyone should read as much as possible,” she said. “If the world were reading IRS manuals, there would be no more war or strife.”

Happy April Fool’s Day!

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