Monday, March 15, 2010

The reading life - children's books

Why is it so hard to find Madeleine L'Engle books in Singapore? Even Kino has failed me - I own all the ones they stock - not that they had much to begin with. It's strange but now that I'm grown and have an income, I find that the things I wanted when I was 11 or 15 are still the things I want today. I wanted a whole set of Beethoven's Symphonies conducted by Von Karajan when I was 14(got that last year), all of the Anne of Green Gables series (got that by the time I hit uni) and I still want the rest of Madeleine L'Engle's fiction books, DVDs of some old favourite movies etc.

On a related note, while wandering around Kino's children's books section trying to find the L'Engle books, I looked at the selection available and had to suppress a shudder. What are the children these days reading?

Vampire stories, brat stories, stories about rich manhattanites wearing designer togs, stories designed to turn your daughter into a kid who sleeps around with billionaire's sons - really, what filth!

I've written about discernment and wisdom in the consumption of intellectual fodder before but I seriously thought I wouldn't need to add: Isn't it even more crucial to be diligent in policing the sorts of books (and values and morals etc) that your 11 year old is gulping down?

Ugh. This bears thinking through. Might come back and write about this some other time. For now though, I leave you with a lovely CS Lewis quote - courtesy of Mr DT - who kindly emailed it to me.


When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. -- CS Lewis


FB Exchange:

A's Status update: The Vorpal blade went snicker snack
B: Fables?
A: No, Alice in Wonderland.
C: We have now proven that B is geekier than A and C put together.

B to C (in person): I refuse to admit that I'm geekier than you; you code for fun!!

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