Books of Yesteryear

Maybe it's just spring, but our house has been invaded by the aura of cleaning. And not your, "Okay, kids, it's time for spring cleaning!" cleaning. No, this is my brother getting obsessed with his room, and this is me getting obsessed with mine. We've both made excellent progress.

I reawoke my BookMooch account that had been sadly neglected. Don't know about BookMooch? It's only one of the coolest websites out there - an online book exchange with a sophisticated currency and free books at your fingertips. Check it out!

I was going to write more. I had a whole post planned in my head, but I suppose that's what happens when you start writing without being ready. I'm waiting on my mother - we're going through my brother's book collection. A great part of his collection is actually my collection, and that's why I need to be involved. There was a time when I gave him the books that I'd grown out of, knowing that they would still be in the house. But now he's grown out of them, too, and we are having to finally get them out. Gone.

This is very, very sad. Yet we're still keeping a lot, in a tub that Mom is calling her "grandmother tub." (Which is scary.) She says these are the books that she will use when she is a grandmother. The best books have been kept: Love You Forever, Goodnight Moon, The Little Engine That Could, The Best Part About Easter, Children of the King, Petunia, and Katy No-Pocket. There's more, of course, a plethora of Dr. Seuss that makes me think we own practically the whole LeSeig collection.

Petunia disturbed me. The illustrations are far from gory, but the barnyard animals get blown up with firecrackers and end up in an assortment of bandages and casts. It always cut me to the quick, yet I continued to love it. Such is the demented appreciation of childhood. That's why Where the Wild Things Are is such a hit. (Can't stand that book. Disturbs me.)

Katy No-Pocket saddened me. I always loved Love You Forever, but not as much as Mom did. The Little Engine That Could inspired me first with its marvelous illustrations and then with its moral, even late into life. (As late into life as I am.) Admittedly, it took me years to discover all the allegories behind Children of the King, but it meant something.

Dr. Seuss meant something. I swear we have a grand collection, if not all, then a lot. Ten Apples Up on Top; Go, Dog, Go; Oh, the Places You'll Go; The Ear Book; The Foot Book; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now. Where was Marvin K. Mooney supposed to be going? Why didn't the connoisseur of all those fish die from mercury poisoning? I understand now about all the places I'll go - I never expected that fantasy land to be real.

Children's books have such a beautiful spot in my heart. It's not the writing or the emotions, it's the feelings I have. Every time my finger brush the cover, I can feel what it felt like to be two and three and four years old. It's like reawakening the best part of the past, opening these books of yesteryear.

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