Why I Read Children’s Books

05 Jan

If you have been following my blog for more than one week, you know that I am reading through the Top 100 Children’s Books, a list filled with great classics such as Charlotte’s Web and A Wrinkle in Time.  I was inspired by Betsy Bird’s compilation list, knowing what I would have to gain from reading great literature listed there.  I was also unashamedly inspired by the film Julie & Julia, in which a young NYC cubicle dweller, wanting to expand her horizons and improve her writing skills, sets out to cook through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I thought, “I can do this with books!” (It’s okay, Mom, you can give me the nerd glasses now.)  Alas, the birth of The Literary Wife.

Before I started this blog, I didn’t necessarily have a reason to read children’s books.  I am twenty-five years old, formerly worked as a customer service manager and do not have children or nieces/nephews.  Anyone in my life might wonder, “Why doesn’t she just read adult books?”  Well, my friends and readers, you are about to find out.

1. Books were my friends.

I used to read A LOT when I was younger.  Seriously, I owned books #1 through #82 of the Babysitter’s Club at one time.  Not kidding.  I was one of those kids that blasted through the Summer Reading Program, quadrupling the goal they set for readers my age.  All that reading meant that I didn’t have many physical friends.  Oh sure, I played with the neighbor kids and my one bestest friend in the whole world, but from what I remember, books were my closest friends.  And the books that I read at that time were children’s books.  That idea has remained throughout my life.

2.  My experience in libraries.

I worked at our local public library for 2 years in high school and had a blast working there.  I helped run the circulation desk and also assisted with storytimes and the reading program during the summer.  The majority of my interaction there was with children or teenagers, making my exploration and knowledge of the library a bit biased. When I visit my new local library (well, new to me), I automatically go for the children’s room and YA section, as that is where I am most comfortable.

3.  My lack of imagination

I am not a writer.  Well, not a writer of fiction, that is.  And I find myself so often fascinated by the worlds that children’s book authors create (think classics such as The Wind in the Willows, A Wrinkle in Time, Matilda).  Children need books such as these to get their brains working, to allow them to think and examine and explore the reality around them and the possibility for more.  Does that mean adult books don’t have imaginative ideas?  Certainly not.  I just find that children’s books have a little bit more.

That, in short, is why I read children’s book.  Why do you read what you read?


Posted by on January 5, 2011 in top 100 children's books


4 responses to “Why I Read Children’s Books

  1. Tiffany

    January 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Oh, the Babysitter’s Club! I miss Stacey, Claudia, Mallory…the whole gang 🙂 hehe. I loved those books growing up too! Definitely was a ‘book nerd’ like you (and still am)!

  2. thatcovergirl

    January 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I love adventure. I think this is the primary reason why I do love to read children’s books and YA. I like the sense of newness and experiencing things for the first time. I like looking at this world with sort of a childlike sheen over it, even though I’m in my late 20’s.

    When you’ve become an adult (or something like that), you think you’ve got the world all figured out (even though I know good and well that I haven’t). Sometimes I feel like people don’t care about discovering new things or even being curious anymore. When I read kidlit as a kid, I was always curious about things, and excited about new discoveries. I think kidlit captures this perfectly.

    High five to the BSC series! I was a part of a book club that mailed a few books out each month when I was in 4-6th grade. Loved it!

  3. Lindsi

    January 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I read books that can take me away from the moment. I love feeling like I am somewhere else and experiencing something new.

    • literarywife

      January 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      That is so true for me too! I never thought about that, the fact that maybe I want to return to my childhood in a sense.


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