Three Three Four

Eyes wanting to fall asleep while reading a good book feels like a betrayal.

Ninety Seven

I rediscovered my Goodreads account today. It was dismal.

I was last active on it in 2013 which was also probably the time that I set up an account and decided to (ambitiously) add all the books I had ever read. I must have realised part way through that that is a shit tonne of books to add, and couldn’t be fucked doing anymore beyond age 6. Imagine if a child had a Goodreads account and the books that would be on those shelves – Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, etc, etc – this is what my account looked like.

So, I came home tonight after work and did an overhaul and added all the books I had read this year so as to make it seem more like I was the adult that I am. Then I connected my account to Facebook so I could add friends to my account but unbeknownst to me, that meant adding every man and his dog so now I’m connected with people I’m friends with on Facebook who I have nay spoken to in years… HELLO MARC FROM HIGH SCHOOL WHO I HAVEN’T SEEN IN 10 YEARS, WHATCHU READING THESE DAYS.

The internet is hard.

Ten

Double digits! Woohoo! I was telling my counsellor last week about how this blog was helping me sift through and process my feelings. I’m not sure why it feels different to writing for myself, because I still do that, on a daily basis. Maybe it’s the validation from strangers reading it that makes me feel less alone in my feelings? Anyway, you – reader – are making a difference in my life and I thank you for that.

Today I’ve been thinking about the words we consume. In my Children’s Literature paper, we spend a lot of time discussing what it is that makes children’s literature, literature for children. The books that sit in the children’s section of bookshops – why have they been put there? What are the characteristics of a story that make them for children and not adults? Why do we distinguish children’s literature from literature in general?

Something that keeps cropping up is the idea that children’s literature, in general, is more didactic than adult literature – there’s usually some lesson to be learned, a moral to be discovered. And we see this all the time – children’s literature is rife with stories of good and evil, of winners and losers.

So if children are supposed to learn something from these books they’re reading, what is it saying when the majority of happy endings involve a male and a female, that the females are usually helpless and need rescuing? What are the books teaching children if the majority of the ones we read still have white male protagonists?