Tuesday, January 22

Ever-expanding library

When I was a kid, the most exciting school days were when the Scholastic Book Order sheets (I still adore these) arrived. As soon as I got on the bus, I would pour over them, choosing many items, then going back and narrowing them down based on what money I had, and what money my mother could spare - we went halvsies a lot. Sometimes my mom would tell me Just one. It was like a death knell. I'd try to negotiate up to more (but its just one package of books, so it counts as one book!). Never worked. It's not that my mother didn't want me to have the books I craved (I'd already worked my way through the small school and town libraries), it's that we didn't have the money to spare. The books I did have, I learned to take very good care of. Some of my Junior High favorites I still keep in my "books I love" bookcase. (I'm afraid to go back and read them again, afraid of them not meeting up to the expectations of my memory.)

Now Monkee brings the book orders home - I hate that they have become so commercial, but the Dora and Princess crap is easy enough to avoid for now. I order chapter books, and classics I remember from when I worked as a children's librarian. I'll also look up a book online if I don't recognize it, before I order. Heck, they're under $5 a pop. Library fines would cost me more. And of course, I try to interest Monkee by sitting her down and looking at them together. Gotta start them young.

I'm between books right now - I had an overload from the library, and returned some I'd gotten through their hold system...but I finished "American Gods" early (LOVED it), and now I'm stuck w/no anticipated read waiting in the wings. I have to hit up my bookshelves for the "I know I'll read it someday" caste. I pulled A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower. I'm not one for romances, but her book Possession is one of my all time favorite reads. Her writing is beautimus and her characters are fully realistic - hopeful and flawed. I hope Babel is not a disappointment. Come to think of it, I'm going to order another of Neil Gaiman's books; see if he can equal "Gods." I love the library - it saves me so much money. But I wouldn't want to work there again. Ah, the libraries of mine past. A dreary tale for another night, full of *gasp* realism, dread, hope, loves, queens and tyrants. Really!

1 comment:

JeanGenie said...

Some of my favorite books ever came from those Scholastic orders. I think that's how I got introduced to Bridge to Terabithia, which still makes me cry. I recently reclaimed my childhood books from my mother's house, and I found so many old friends. Mortgage Partner laughs at me for starting a "children's library" at our house. But you can't start too early, and there's nothing better than introducing your kid to books.