DC1’s reading buddy is awesome

DC1 hadn’t been reading chapter books for a while, and when ze did read, ze would reread super easy stuff ze had read a zillion times before.  Big NateA to Z MysteriesSheldon Comics.  We didn’t say much about it because we don’t want to make reading a chore instead of a pleasure and we figured it would pass, but we did kind of miss hir reading fun new chapter books (and talking about them with us–Big Nate is great and all, but we already know he gets in trouble at school and doesn’t get along with Gina etc.)

Then DC1’s friend loaned hir Spy School (this is the friend whose mom throws the awesome parties).  DC1 loved it. And then the friend loaned it to another kid in the class.  So even though they’re all slowly reading A Wrinkle in Time in class, they’re getting through another book much faster outside of class.

So DC1 loaned hir friend The Familiars, which ze had enjoyed before going off chapter books.  DC1’s friend enjoyed it, so DC1 loaned hir book 2 in the series and realized that ze should probably actually read the fourth book in the series (after rereading the rest, of course).

So then DC1’s friend loaned hir The Mysterious Benedict Society and proudly proclaimed it to be a big thick chapter book. I showed DC1 our copy of the book, but DC1 stated that the loaned copy is better.  And, of course it is.  Then ze checked out the second Spy School book when signing up for the summer reading program.

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, except that friends recommending books to friends is totally awesome.  And I’m glad there’s kids who like books enough to recommend them to DC1.

Did you share books as a kid?  Or an adult?  What are you or your kids sharing these days?

28 Responses to “DC1’s reading buddy is awesome”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    I don’t remember sharing books as a child. Most of the books at home when I was that age were already shared with siblings, so I would probably not have been allowed to send them out of the house. I mostly read books from our class library when I was the age or your child. We had to go into a larger town to get library books in the summer.

    As an adult, I lent books and only had one returned to me in the same condition as when it left my possession. All other books I have lent to anyone have either never been returned even when I resorted to nagging or the book was mutilated so that it made me sad. Am I picky?

    One guy a few years ago took my books home even when I told him explicitly not to remove them from my house. He could read here all he liked. His mother sent stuff to me for a yard sale, junk. There were some of my books. He took a first edition, signed copy, into the car. I found it on the floor in the back seat, mutilated. He had not even taken off the dust cover. He also wrote in my books, claiming it was only a little mark. I write in books, but only in my books. Am I picky.

    Every copy I find of AND LADIES OF THE CLUB I buy to give away to anyone who will take it or to sell when my women’s studies prof friends have a yard sale. Young women are glad to get a copy for a half-dollar. Often, I find cheap copies of OUR BODIES, OURSELVES. I trade them for books I want or give them away or sell for little more than I paid for them. Those two books are only worth a quarter when I find them at yard sales!

    Friends I have now that would respect my books live so far away that lending or borrowing would be impossible.

    When I was ten, I read the Leatherstocking Tales that summer. Even if I had owned the books to lend them, I doubt anyone my age that I knew would have read them or that they could have read them. I used the dictionary lots that summer. From the time I went to school, I was reading above grade level, so I had read most things people my age were reading. In public school, I always read different things than other girls, so there was no such things as taking suggestions from each other. I thought girly books were silly, and other girls thought books I read were stupid and not entertaining. I read every book I could find on the Pacific Theater in WWII.

    As a young mother of a seven-year-boy who hated to read until someone lent me a copy of Jaws and then Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex and Were Afraid to Ask. He found those books wherever I hid them, so I had to return them, unread! He now is an English teacher in high school and did teach at a college level. So, I suppose my books piqued his attention as to what is in books.

  2. Leah Says:

    I don’t know how many books I shared as a kid. There was some sharing in the teen years, mostly during middle school. We all checked out similar stuff then — Ann Rinaldi was a fav (historical fiction), and several of my friends and I read most of the stuff Ray Bradbury has written. He was my favorite author in 7th/8th grade.

    As an adult, I find I talk about books a lot in my current workplace. We have a dining hall and 45 minute long lunches, so that really encourages the conversation. The librarian and I talk often, so he will occasionally put a good book aside for me to read, and then we discuss cursorily when I’m done. I would like to get into a book club, but it’s hard to find the balance of good books, good conversation, and people who actually read the darn book. Maybe in a few years, when my friends don’t all have super young children — we’re the last here to start a family, so most of our friends have 2 kids kindergarten age and younger.

  3. delagar Says:

    The big series my kid read — and all her friends read — when she was younger was the Warrior series by Erin Hunter. I don’t recommend it, btw: major endorsement and reinforcement of patriarchy. The kid still rages about the anti-feminist messaging in these books from time to time.

    The main books she’s reading and everyone she knows is reading now are the John Green novels, esp. The Fault in our Stars, or TFIOS as they call it (pronounced Ti-Fi-Os).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Oh no! DC1 is currently reading the second book in the series and means to go the way through. (Because how can you not love cats when you have 5 of them at home?) I guess we’ll have to have a conversation about it.

      • Miser Mom Says:

        I think this is a *great* opportunity, actually. One of my vivid memories from my middle school years was my dad reading us a NY Times article about the Benbow/Stanley stuff. He explained what they claimed to discover (testosterone made boys better at math). Then he explained carefully why they were wrong (“your mom is smarter than I am”, said my dad the nuclear physicist, married to the solar astrophysicist.)

        I really love that he didn’t try to pretend that sexism wasn’t out there — he prepared me and my sisters for lives in science. Not only were we not surprised by the misogyny and ignorance we occasionally faced, but we also had the vocabulary and tools to counter it. I’m so grateful.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We’ve already had similar conversations about Captain Underpants.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Got any specific complaints so I don’t have to actually read the series? The internet is telling me that 1. female cats have much older toms and 2. it’s sexist against men because MRA … so not much help from the internet.

      • delagar Says:

        I have been trying SO HARD to get the kid to write down her lengthy rants on just what is wrong with the series: to do a guest post for my blog, more or less.

        A list off the top of my head: All the female cats exist to have babies, and this is what they are explicitly told they exist to do; medicine cats, if they are female, are not allowed to have kittens; (but male medicine cats it’s fine); female cats that are leaders, not allowed to have kittens; male cats, again, it’s fine; any female cat who has sex is punished by death or disaster; not so for male cats; female cats who have sex outside the tribe are punished; not so for male cats; much slut-shaming of female cats for even minor flirtation; male cats who commit horrible acts — one, for instance, murders a female cat he’s been stalking and attempts to burn her kittens alive — are excused these horrible acts and treated as (basically) misunderstood victims (sent to kitty Valhala); and again, not so for female cats.

        Your basic double standard, IOW, of patriarchy, but with cats instead of humans.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Wait, there’s sex in these?

        Will discuss patriarchy with dc1.

        Andre Norton also didn’t let her magic user women have sex without losing powers, which bugged the crap outta me.

      • delagar Says:

        The sex is off the page, but it’s clearly implied. IME, the kids have no trouble knowing the sex is happening! And no trouble understanding what the girl-cats are being punished for.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        DH discussed it with DC1 (who is between school and daycamp this week) yesterday. DC1 hadn’t noticed any of those things, but DH said it was important to be conscious of them and to know they’re wrong. DC1 agreed and made the connection with racism which they’ve spent time talking about in school.

        That also fits with the discussions we’ve been having about Pokemon and how women are not prizes to be won and assortative mating doesn’t work like that. No matter what the cartoon shows happens among the butterfree. Women should not feel obligated to mate with the butterfree that rescues them, and men should not feel like they have a right to keep bothering a butterfree who says no. Move on, there are plenty of butterfree in the sky and not all of them will be perfect matches.

  4. zenmoo Says:

    I don’t recall sharing books with friends as a kid at all. I read a lot though.

    Now, I mostly share novels with my mother. Before I put myself on a book purchasing diet, I’d pass books on to her. Now I’ve got her set up with the overdrive app on her iPad so I can then check out good books for her.

    In terms of recommendations, one of my friends and I use goodreads to track what we’ve read recently.

    Right now, I’m just about to start Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. I’m looking forward to it.

  5. OMDG Says:

    I don’t know that we shared books, per se, but I definitely looked at what my friends were reading and copied them if it seemed interesting. Where else does one get an idea of what’s any good!

  6. becca Says:

    Oh, so much book happiness.
    I got hand me down books from cousins, and my Mom could never bear to let beloved books go to the ether like clothes to Goodwill, but we gave a lot of the ones I was done with to her co-worker’s kids, which isn’t synchronized book sharing but still kind of leads to strange points of common book experience.
    My homeschooling groups ran an American Girl book/activity group and more a “you should read at least an occasional cannon book/”Literature!”” book club when we were more high school aged. Both were more social than book focused, but good experiences.
    I’m pretty sure I read the Redwall books as shared books, and I know Harry Potter was that way (the first really long one my ex-boyfriend read to me. Over the phone, because it was a long distance relationship. Oh the bills…). And I remember reading some that I shared with my Mom as I grew into fantasy (also, she read the Tamora Pierce ones with me). Occasionally my best friend’s Mom would make sure we read a particularly good one (I remember “Am I Blue?” there, though there were some comedic choices too. My best friend’s Mom is an awesome librarian lady).
    Most of my boyfriends I shared fantasy books with. Thus my having read Weiss and Hickman.
    Really, what’s weird is how little book reading and sharing I do these days. Alas.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I borrowed The Seven Gate Cycle from a nice boy named Jacob who had all of them in hardback. He was crushing after a friend of ours though, not me. Which is just as well. (Many nice boys she wasn’t interested in crushed on her and yet she ended up marrying a douche. There’s no explaining taste.)

      I can’t really imagine reading books with sex scenes in them with my mom…

  7. Sandyl FirstgenAmerican Says:

    So, I have a big nate story. My son devoured the wimpy kid books and was chomping on the bit to read more, so I went to one of those book “if you like this, you might like that sites” and Big Nate came up. My son didn’t want anything to do with the book until other kids started reading it during the free time sessions at school.

    So, the million dollar question is…how do I expose him to more books I think he’ll like without repelling him with the, ick, “my mom picked this book” factor? Or since he’s a good reader, I should just let him find his own way?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      All excellent questions that are probably kid specific!

      We have lots and lots of books available at home, and we go to the library. So the books are there for the taking.

      Me suggesting that DC1 read something else hasn’t gone over anywhere near as well as DC1’s friend loaning books. (I had no idea DC1 was ready for The Mysterious Benedict Society, but hir friend knew…) But now that DC1 is back to new chapter books, thanks to hir friend, ze is picking them out on hir own.

      We also get this benefit with the library summer reading program since there’s an informal rule that rereading doesn’t count. So that helps hir try out new (to hir) stuff.

      On the other hand, my mom and I both picked out books for me each week at the library and for the most part she had good taste. (I never did like Treasure Island, but for the most part her book choices were pretty good.)

  8. Steph Says:

    I wish I’d had a friend like that when I was a kid! I read all the time, but I reread the same books/series over and over and over again: Magic Tree House, Boxcar Children, Harry Potter, among a few others. When I got to high school (I changed to a more challenging school and found friends), friends lent me books, but I also started hearing about all these great books I’d apparently missed!

    I did trust teacher recommendations (though those mostly stopped after 4th grade, sadly) so if DC1 likes hir teacher or librarian, maybe they can make some non-parental suggestions.

  9. Debbie M Says:

    I don’t recall sharing books as a kid. Mom took us to the library regularly, and she would read the books we got for ourselves so we could talk about them. She rarely recommended her books for me.

    As an adult, I don’t technically share books often except with my boyfriend/roommate. (Just read his copy of Louis L’Amour’s _Chancy_, which he just found again. Re-reading it reminded him that that’s where he learned to carry a rifle the odd way he carries one.)

    I used to lend books, but I learned that if the person didn’t specifically request the book, it was unlikely to come back. I do have extra lending copies of some of my favorite books.

    But I do like to read recommended books almost exclusively. I don’t have time to read everything–I don’t even have time to read all the cool-sounding books that are recommended to me–but my odds are better when I do that. (I did pick some nearly random library books recently that were near books I was looking for, and they aren’t as good.)

    Coincidentally, _The Mysterious Benedict Society_ is one of the books I read recently, recommended to me by my sister (who has a five-year-old daughter). I love the first one and will buy it. (Since I buy only a few books a year, that’s high praise.) Also, I’ve read all the books I can get my hands on in the series on which the TV Show “Longmire” is based because a friend said they might be even better (though different). Yes–you get the “I” point of view, and it turns out Longmire has a sense of humor.

  10. Alyssa Says:

    Son definitely is more into thing if a friend recommends it. Ah, peer “pressure”. I love to share books with my friends!

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