Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bookish.

I am pretty sure I have figured out what is wrong with kids these days. Because, oh yes, there is something wrong.

It's all the damned fantasy books.  Harry Potter and Eragon. Lightening Thieves and bands of roving cats fighting bears and those damned annoying vampires who won't go away regardless of how much garlic I sprinkle around the perimeter of my neighborhood.

When I was a short person with a valid library card, (because Amazon hadn't been invented and Kindle meant...well, something other than what it means now...) there were three fantasy books in the whole world and they were called the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. We all read The Hobbit, who was really cute and lived in a mushroom or something and then we tried to read the other ones, but they were sort of boring and weird, and more importantly - really heavy, as in they weighed more than a Judy Blume book, so we took them back.


My generation's genre of choosing was the far more routed in reality: mystery. Nancy Drew. Hardy Boys. Harriet the Spy. Encyclopedia Brown. Miss Marple. Ellery Queen. Because the stuff in those books could really happen, we grew up inquisitive, looking for clues, curious, resourceful...  Modern kids just sit back waiting for their sparkly boyfriend to beat up werewolves for them, we knew that if we wanted to find the bad guy, we'd better jump in our Camaro and find him ourselves.

TV shows were mostly about detectives too, Rockford and Magnum PI and aforementioned Hardy Boys... and it all just seemed so freaking AWESOME that I was pretty sure I was going to grow up to be a detective. Which may be the reason I spend an inordinate amount of time googling people now.  It's not stalking - I'm INVESTIGATING. Just because I happen to know the whereabouts, occupation and home value of every person my friends and I have ever dated or worked with does not mean I have too much time on my hands - it probably means I'm well informed. 

A totally unrelated side note and piece of advice to you young kids out there - to make things easier on yourself, only date people with uncommon surnames. Wendall K. Jabloney is way easier to find than Mike Smith. Just sayin.

I guess as teenagers, we moved away from the detective mystery stuff - Jackie Collins and VC Andrews were so much more tantalizing. But at least they weren't fantasy. Because it's totally possible for your rich grandmother to lock you in the attic causing you to fall in love with your biological brother while she slowly poisons you with powdered donuts. It is. Look it up.

7 comments:

  1. YES! My childhood was also spent reading things like "Harriet The Spy". Man, I so wanted to be Harriet, you have no idea. I had a notebook and a backpack of my secret "spy" stuff and I thought I was possibly THE TITS. She always drank egg creams which I thought sounded gloriously decadent and exotic although I confused them with Creme Eggs a la Cadbury's, so that was a touch confusing for a while.

    And no way would I have been satisfied with sparkly, mincing vampires with messy hair and angst, I wanted to find smugglers and climb trees and have adventures, not wave my pale skinny limbs around in a damn FOREST waiting for a half-bat-half-human anaemic to save my ass.

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  2. I know! I know!

    All we had was lame, sorry--but LAME--Lord of the Rings.

    And,now...WTF? How do kids know what's real and what's not?

    I began reading with the original investigative duo "The Bobbsey Twins" and lived through every single Nancy Drew book.

    That's how you spend a summer, grounded in reality...

    Very cute post. Thank you.

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  3. Veggie - YES! I had the notebook, too! I also made ads for my detective agency and passed them out in 6th grade. NERD.

    Empress - I forgot Bobbsey Twins! I loved them. I had all my mom's old books, and still have them next to my bed. I tried to read them to my son when he was 5 and he was bored stiff. I wanted to be a Bobbsey Twin or know the Bobbsey Twins more than anything!

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  4. I just wish the books kids were reading now had proper grammar and punctuation. Have you tried to read "Twilight?" It's HORRIBLE!!!

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  5. When I was a teenager, my own mother introduced me to Jackie Collins and the like. WTF?

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  6. Hmm. I started reading my grandfather's science fiction collection when I was about ten. Maybe that's what's wrong with me.

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  7. Kat! Fantasy and SciFi aren't the same...(are they?) I loved SciFi as a kid - Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a fave...so I hereby declare that nothing is wrong with you. And -I'm still waiting to find out who shot Bob in front of his refrigerator...

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