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I visited the hometown library yesterday.  Walking through the YA section still makes me feel like I've been punched in the gut - literally half the collection is gone; every shelf that used to be packed with covers now only fills halfway across.  The shelves are barren and empty, and I don't know why.  Maybe they do this every so often, strip it down so that they don't have to worry about shelf space for a good long while as they buy new books, but it fricking HURTS.

Thus, when standing by the sale cart, I am filled with an overwhelming urge to just sweep all the titles off the cart and bring them home.  I've resisted, forcing myself to rescue only those titles that are truly beloved, but it's hard when I've read probably 3/4 of what's on the cart.  I may not have loved them, but I READ them; they're nice; they're readable!  Plus there are a couple of 50's hardcovers, cute high school romances, that someone somewhere would probably die to get their hands on for a quarter apiece.  And I'm sure there are people out there who would love the chance to stock up on a collection of Sweet Valley High or Lurlene McDaniel books for next to nothing.  It sucks just walking by all that.  I mean, I'm pretty sure the library will just leave the books there until they sell, and won't chuck them in a Dumpster after X number of months or anything, but...

Still.  I paced myself, and I only came home with three books this time: my own copy of Go Ask Alice because it's always going to be The definitive drug novel for me, plus this was the same edition I originally read in 8th grade for class; Flying Changes (not the same book I read last summer) because it's by Lynn Hall and she's one of my favorite horse-story authors; and Canyon Winter because it's Walt Morey and he is one of my favorite animal/wilderness-story authors.

And then, ignoring those books along with the fat shipment of dog books I managed to nab on eBay and had sent the house, I went home and continued on a mad reading binge of books rented from the library.

1. The Fox and the Hound is, in a nutshell, every ounce as fantastic as I thought it would be (although it took a lot of creative brainpower to imagine a Disney film out of that...it's actually kind of funny seeing how they pieced various parts together out of order/context to create said film).  I also noticed that it was the winner of the Dutton Animal Book Award, which is an award I think I knew about before, but which suddenly sends me into paroxysms of glee at the idea that such a marvelous concept exists.  Am now on a mission to read every book that's ever won this award.

Except that Google doesn't seem inclined to give me a helpful list, the way it does with various other annual book awards, or even very many hits at all, which is upsetting.  Plus I feel almost certain that this award was discontinued a long time ago, probably due to lack of candidates, which makes me sad.  (If you could tell me otherwise, I would be very happy)

2. Skinny annoyed me a lot.  Stop promising me books about anorexia and then filling them full of other crap, mostly family-issue related, instead!

3. Blue Glass made me cry more times than I'd like to admit.  The agonizingly slow path to divorce, mother clinging to her husband as they grow apart, the grandfather with Alzheimer's...it's all told from the perspective of a girl, growing from age 10 to 18 over the course of the book, but you can feel it from the perspective of the adults as well.

4. So I was poking around the cart of waiting-to-be-reshelved books, but they were carts over by the adult fiction, and so I browsing mostly out of boredom, as nothing looked good until I saw Not Like You.  For a thrilling few minutes, I actually thought I'd managed to be interested by an adult book.  I was so proud of myself!   (in all fairness, it had a generic cover, and talked about a mother-daughter relationship and then the girl getting interested in a 24-year-old guy, so...)

And then I realized that no, there was a YA tag on the side, and that particular cart was only 2/3 full of general fiction, the bottom shelf reserved for unshelved teen books.  Alas.  My reading preferences remain unwilling to switch over into Boring Grown-Up Land.  (good book, though.  I figured her dog-walking business was a throwaway line, and then dogs ended up being featured prominently all the way through)

In a semi-related note, I think part of my unwillingness to switch over is the fear of losing touch with current YA titles.  Right now, even when I complain about a lot of them, because they're all I read I can speak authoritatively about a lot of the bestselling and/or award-winning titles over the past decade, whereas adult books half the time I haven't even heard the titles.  I like being able to nod in approval that Touching Spirit Bear is now being taught in classrooms, or squawk with outrage about all the awards Looking for Alaska has won.

So many people act like the YA genre isn't worthy of being mentioned by anyone over the age of 16, that sometimes I wonder if my fierce need to defend it is more a symptom of my usual stick-up-for-the-underdog persuasions.  But no, I really do legitimately love it - I still have this tiny little dream, almost more a memory of a dream, of wanting to write such a novel someday - and hate how I feel like I have to say it apologetically when people ask what kind of stuff I read.  Why DO I feel like that?  Catcher in the Rye is a YA novel too. 

Whatever.  I really shouldn't argue with the fact that my reading pleasures, while equally enjoyable, inexplicably come at a lower price.  :P 
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
aries11
Aug. 19th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
I'm going to the library tomorrow. I hope I find some good stuff! I might check out the sales cart, too. I looked the last time I was there, but they didn't have anything that really sparked my interests.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 20th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping! Maybe they'll have added more.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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