Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Meditation on the Future Reading Taste of My Child

Having spent the last several hours "weeding" my collection of young adult books and entering the majority into LibraryThing, I have had the opportunity to contemplate the purpose of this activity (beyond pure pleasure at touching and arranging my books). Of course, my greatest fear as a librarian and bibliophile is that the forthcoming child will not want to read. Reasons this could happen: sheer perversity, a learning disability, or lack of reading material corresponding to his interests. With this in mind, and given our space crunch, how do I decide at this point what to keep and what to put on the give-away shelf at work? Well, the good news is that I do work at a library, and a gazillion books are therefore available for me to bring home each day. But that actually doesn't stop me from wondering many currently unanswerable things: will he like the Harry Potter series? Anne of Green Gables? What about the Jim Kjelgaard books? Will he and I end up having anything in common in terms of reading taste? How can I shape his young mind to make this happen? Is that wrong? Why the heck do I have a copy of Land of Gray Gold: Lead Mining in Wisconsin (and why is it a children's book?) . . . Going through all these books makes me realize that a lot of them I have kept to share with someone. This is my golden opportunity! I am going to start reading them aloud as soon as humanly possible, so they can fulfill their higher purpose before they return to the shelf (or the book sale table). And hopefully we will also discover some new books together that will fill the holes I am currently creating in the collection.

More Random Thoughts:

I do hope our child will be a Bibliophibian.

My grandmother was excellent at inscribing books. It's actually really helpful. She also gave us a lot of books through the years. She went through each book in the Anne of Green Gables set and wrote our street address (now several moves out of date) on the inside front cover.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Will this become the war of the reading tastes?

Anyway, who knows what is a kid's book? Ann might put The Autobiography of Malcolm X in YA.