Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Children and Children's Books

Today while at work (I am a student worker at a college library) I had the job of going through the junior fiction collection and weeding out all of the books that hadn't been checked out at all in the last three years.  This gave me a lot of food for thought and several points came up in my mind.

First off, I was shocked at how many great and oftentimes classic children's books had not been checked out even ONCE in the last three years.  For example: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, and The Wind in the Willows.  There were several more that I can't recall right now but you get my point.  The list is astounding.  This led my to my second thought.

I confirmed for myself my already formed opinion that children in America do not read very much at all anymore and when they do read they don't read the classics but instead whatever is the latest and greatest (but normally not the best).  I suppose that generalization doesn't apply to homeschool kids such as I but I think it is pretty fair.  I was disturbed at some books that staid on the shelves that all I had to do was read their backs to know they weren't nearly in the same class as those great and oftentimes classic books that I was removing.

My last thought was that I am very glad my parents were heavily involved in my education and my father gave me great books to read as a kid, helping me to develop my tastes for good books.  My home library consists of several thousand books (I do not joke) and I can confidently say that I have read at least a thousand of them, if not two thousand.  That is how much my father had me read as a kid and then, as I grew up, how much I made myself read.  Reading was and is an important part of my family's education and life and I am glad it is like that.

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.


  1. Hmm....perhaps these books received less attention, because they can be found in most private libraries--considered a staple in any child's growing up years. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, and The Wind in the Willows would tend to be gifts for any reader's birthday, Christmas, etc. Also, books tend to be judged by their covers. Which is why volumes are often updated and reprinted, for their new audience. Book genres tend to change for age groups. When I was young, the hip book to read was Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. My taste ran more to Raggedy Anne--and they definitely did not get checked out much. Now, kids like darker fiction: Lemony Snickett, The Hidden, Hunger Games and the list goes on. As long as the books go to a good home, don't feel too bad. After all, both Uncle Duane and your dad grew up with Mad Scientist Club. I just recently saw it on the library shelf--after 30 years!!!

  2. Good point. I thought that could be the case.
    I was also surprised at how much "dark" fiction there was.
    And it wasn't just Uncle Duane and my dad that grew up with Mad Scientist Club. :)

  3. I agree, it's such a shame kids nowadays don't read these classic books (unless they are forced to for school). I'm so blessed having been raised in a home where reading was never a chore!


  4. My parents actually had to pry us away from our books to get the rest of our school done. :)


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