Monday, April 19, 2010

book worm

the other day we ventured in to a local used book store, one we hadn't been in in years. it is a paperback only shop, shelves and shelves packed full of all types of books. a mini-heaven in my mind. it's the type of shop where you can bring in your paperbacks and get store credit. the owner is obviously a passionate book lover. she is friendly. she has two large dogs who hang out in her shop. she's quick to suggest books, not just for me but for the kids. it is a place that will become part of our routine i'm sure. it is welcoming.

we were there looking for a v.c. andrews book. remember her? did you read the flowers in the attic books way back when? well, the girl has started reading them. we got her a volume last week that had the first two of the series in one book. she breezed through those and longed for the next in the series. our local library didn't have it and the paperback store didn't either. we eventually found it at another close library and she's already finished that one and on to the next.

while visiting the paperback store i found a stephen king treasure---the colorado kid, a hard case crime novella published in 2005. i pride myself on knowing all of his works even if i've only just recently read some of his more recent books. this is something i'd NEVER seen. i haven't read it yet, as i was in the middle of another book when i bought it, but i expect it's quite a departure from anything he's ever done. as i was talking to the shop owner about my excitement over this find, she told me about joe hill, another great author.....who is king's son! omg. i knew he had kids, a girl and boy i thought (well, they're adults now). and i knew his wife tabitha has written a few books. but, apparently, king's son is QUITE the author on his own, an award-winning author and he writes under a pen-name so as not to ride on daddy's coat tails. how incredibly cool is that? so i picked up one of his books at the library, 20th century ghost stories. no where on the book does it mention that his dad is stephen king. not on the dust jacket (there's actually little if any personal info about him on the book), not in the forward. i respect that and it made me want to read his work even more. so, this is a book of short stories. i've read several and they're good. they're stephen king good. i'm trying not to compare the two, but of course i can't help it.

i don't know about you, but short stories often frustrate me. i get so engrossed in the tale and then bam, it's finished. how do you feel about short stories? it's not that they aren't well written, quite the contrary. i'm really into the story and then it's over. i've felt that way when reading king's short stories too.

so, back to v.c. andrews. when i read the series there were only four books, now there are five and ms andrews is quite the prolific author. holy crap i can't even count the number of titles she's published. i will probably go back and reread that series, only because the girl keeps talking about it and i read it...oh, i don't know about 25 years ago? and don't remember the details. i was probably around the same age as the girl, 13, when i read them.

our kids read and watch things other kids their age probably aren't allowed to. i like to think it is because we are so open minded, and in part it is. i read anything and everything when i was younger---remember endless love? i read that book long before i ever saw the movie and it was quite erotic. whenever i think about people censoring what kids read i remember my grandma telling me how she had to get a note from her mom so the town librarian would let her check out pearl s. buck's the good earth when she was in middle or high school. when my kids read or watch things they ask questions, always asking questions. sometimes i might not always enjoy having to answer some of those questions or i might cringe a little inside that they now know the things they know, but at least we're talking about it.


cheatymoon said...

I read The World According to Garp when it came out - I was in 8th grade. My mom was not the censoring type, but our town librarian (who was my best friend's mom - at the time) was scandalized about what I checked out.

Stephen King is from these parts and his son was just interviewed on our local tv show.

I am trying to read more. I used to read so much, but blogging, grad school and menopause sort of got in the way.

Gal Friday said...

Used book stores MUST always have an animal(or two) on the premises--it's the law, you know!!

I have been hearing about Joe Hill for some time now(but have yet to read anything by him) and how good he is.

You have the right attitude about letting your kids reading books that others might think too "old" for them. At least they are reading, and I used to read books like that(although never did read the V.C. Andrews books)when I was your daughter's age.

Not Your Aunt B said...

I remember VC Andrews! Ha!
Short stories frustrate me as does some regular stories that leave me wondering what happened after the end...
And you should let them read what they like to read. It's not any worse than what's on tv or in music lyrics!

broad minded said...

As someone who got a degree for writing short stories, I have honestly never been that fond of them. I guess sometimes it is the length thing, if it is a good story, I want it to go on. But often I feel like more recent short story writers are just trying to be trendy or make a point so they use some random device or do something deliberately obscure just so people reading will think they are deep. It just strikes me as pretentious.

Surely said...

I loved VC Andrews. This gave me the idea to give them to my niece for her birthday.

I think her daughter wrote under her name for awhile too.

I agree with Bea, the media offers much worse than a little something something in a book.

drollgirl said...

vc andrews! ha! that is one of the books of mine that my mom burned. LITERALLY.

and stephen king's son writes?! that is fab. it must be a hell of a burden (in many ways) to be the son of such a famous author. i am glad he is doing well, and on his own terms.

p.s. i went to a used book sale at the library in my home town when i visited my parents over easter (horrible sentence, but i am too tired to re-write). there were MANY vc andrews copies available at $1 each. i should have bought some! i would have had to hide them from my parents all over again!

Just B said...

After reading your last 2 posts, I think your daughter (and son) are very lucky! You let them have an open mind and discover things under your watchful, not judgemental, eye. You may feel like you don't know what you're doing, but I think you are doing right by them. That's my two cents...

Astarte said...

If I remember right, all of the VC Andrews books are the same - abused girl, mean older woman, eventual sex with relatives. I remember reading them when I was in middle or high school, and liking them, but I don't think I would like them now. It's like soap operas - I loved them when I was younger, but now they're so transparent and seem so poorly written. I remember them being really sexual - were they really, or did they just seem that way because I was so young?

Kristin.... said...

I don't think I've ever read VC Andrews. I was too busy ready Agatha Christie!

I love books. I worked in my college library and my law school library. I would work at a bookstore if I could (but you know, those pesky kids who need me) except that I'd never make any money!