Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading does."

Kathleen Kelly from the movie You've Got Mail has about twenty boatloads of one-liners, and that one about reading is one of her truest. I don't presume that Toby and Sue will grow to have enormous significance in my kids' lives, but these books are some of Calvin's favorites lately. I am grateful to have them, and to know that Calvin's great-grandma Patti read them and probably laughed at Sue's funny lopsided dress hems and the children's idea that their mother would rather have wild baby bunnies for her birthday than a bouquet of flowers.

I have tried to collect several of the really significant books from my early childhood and youth, such as Hop on Pop (a classic!), Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I don't yet have any Babysitters Club, but I've got about a truckload of Nancy Drew, and by the time my dad's done gathering them, I'm sure we'll have them all. This is not to say that my kids will be interested in reading any of these obviously superior books, however; I know of my mom's distinct appreciation for the "girl and her horse" genre, absolutely zero of which ever interested me. (That seems a shame to me now, because it is such a charming genre, but at the time they would have been age-appropriate for me I couldn't be persuaded to even go near them.)

I would really love to know the significant books in my predecessors' lives, the further distant the more so. What were yours?

1 comment:

  1. When I was a kid I liked Where the Wild Things Are, The Bird Who Thinks His Mom is a Steam Shovel (exact title forgotten), and Mickey and The Night Kitchen. When I was a young man I liked Treasure Island, Hardy Boys, The Outsiders, Shane, The Guy Stranded in the Desert and is Being Hunted by Another Guy (exact title also forgotten), and Where the Sidewalk Ends.