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Thread: Adults who read children's books

  1. #46
    Whatever... TurquoiseSunset's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkhockenberry View Post
    I actually smiled a bit myself at your first description of your friend reading not because she was reading a children's book, but because she had the jacket off. I was really amused because I know more people who read children's books than ones who admit to reading them
    Some people (my dad for one) take them off because they don't want to damage them.

  2. #47
    Talks to the Animals IJustMadeThatUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurquoiseSunset View Post
    Some people (my dad for one) take them off because they don't want to damage them.
    I hate, HATE dust jackets. They're always so flappy, move around and generally disturb my reading. I take them off too.
    "Oh the clever
    Things I should say to you
    They got stuck somewhere
    Stuck between me and you"

  3. #48
    Whatever... TurquoiseSunset's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IJustMadeThatUp View Post
    I hate, HATE dust jackets. They're always so flappy, move around and generally disturb my reading. I take them off too.
    I know, me too. I'm not so much concerned about damaging them as with how annoying they can be!

  4. #49
    Registered User krisgil_aguila's Avatar
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    books are for everyone,
    it doesn't say that children books are only for children,...
    0___0

  5. #50
    Registered User Night_Lamp's Avatar
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    I am taking a children's literature class this year, and am really enjoying it.

    Some of the texts have so much deeper value and meaning than I ever expected them to, like Peter Pan; which has more adult themes and humour than I ever thought they would. These are books that parents could read to or with their children and enjoy themselves as well.

    Right now I'm reading Ursula Le Guin's brilliant teen fantasy series Earthsea. Which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone.

  6. #51
    Seeker of Knowledge RosyRosalind's Avatar
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    Greetings, everyone!

    You know, I became really interested in this thread when I first read it, although I didn't immediately reply. What an interesting topic to discuss! Bravo to you all for excellent responses and ideas!

    I am currently a seventeen-year-old student in high school, and I can see some differences between "adult" and "children's" literature, but only small ones. There are a few books I've read that I never really considered to be "children's" books, even though I found them hidden in the children's section of the bookstore. For instance, the "Anne of Green Gables" series appealed to me in seventh grade and I picked it up expecting a pretty easy read (which is was), but it was still chock full of vocabulary and historical references I wouldn't expect a ten-year-old to understand. I enjoyed them very much and still don't mind reading them (or even the Harry Potter books) over and over again.

    I think, perhaps, the differences between "adult" and "children's" literature is not often the quality of the book itself, but the content. I've read a wide variety of books, and the main differences I found were that in "adult" literature, the plot mainly concerned adult characters and adult problems/concerns/content, and in "children's" literature, the main character was usually a child or teenager, dealing with problems from a different, younger, less experienced, naive perspective.

    Perhaps I'm wrong. That's simply a short description of the differences I've found between the two.

    To close a rather short and unrefined response (though I'm glad to see the forums have a very limited number of these), I'd like to add this idea in. Perhaps the quality of the book has less to do with what bookshelf it's put into, and more with the text inside of the book.
    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." As You Like It, William Shakespeare

  7. #52
    Registered User estelwen's Avatar
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    Adding my bit.

    Some children's books--"The Chronicles of Narnia" as a prime example--are just as worthy of critical attention as adult books. There can be great truth and beauty, great pain and grief--greatness in any shape in children's literature just as there can be in adult literature.

    How much children's literature have you read? Of course there is banal triviality; there is also weighty truth. There are many noteworthy passages, many delightful or horrifying tales.


    Remember: "The Wheel on the School", "At the Back of the North Wind", "Linnet", "The Perilous Gard", "The Lord of the Rings", "The Chronicles of Narnia", "Beauty", "The Riddle-Master of Hed", "Walk Two Moons", and so many others?

    My mother is an excellent writer for children, thus I have been exposed to not a few children's authors both through their words and in person. I see that those who choose to write for children do not do it because they can't function in adult fiction but because they truly desire to communicate to a valued section of humanity. Subject matter can be weighty and treatment of it varies, but I have found many children's books to be wonderful.

    Good thoughts and good recommendations!

  8. #53
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    To add another two-pence - children's books are mostly WRITTEN by adults so why shouldn't adults read them?

    But to be more serious about the subject I happen to read almost only children's books. Partly because adults's books bore me and partly for the maybe "more alarming" reason that I didn't experience most of the things the children in those books do and seek a way to participate in a normal childhood in retrospective, but that's biography.

    The difference between children's books and adult's I see not so much in the topics but in the intention of the author. The majority of the children's books I read very clearly want to teach their readers something. Now, I know adult's books only from reviews in the paper but it seems to me that many of them either just want to entertain or to describe something or even to provoke some certain reactions, anyway, the pedagogic element seems not so relevant in them.

    As for Fantasy it often escapes definition. I wouldn't call Ursula K. LeGuin's books children's books and The Lord of the Rings even less so. The Hobbit was meant as a children's book but not The Ring.

    I confess myself guilty of adoring Harry Potter, being heavily engaged with Tolkien' work, having read Earthsea more than three times and in different languages. One of my all-time favorites is Rosemary Sutcliff (great to learn about history, too) who is considered to have been mainly a writer for children. Another one I fully enjoy is Hilary McKay and it doesn't hurt a bit that many of these books are also read by my daughters and we exchange our thoughts a lot.

  9. #54
    Registered User Night_Lamp's Avatar
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    Kemathenga:

    I'm VERY glad to see someone else mention Rosemary Sutcliff! She's one of my favorites as well, even though I read little fantasy or speculative fiction. I started a thread about her a few months back which unfortunately died quickly. I wish more people would read her fantastic novels.

  10. #55
    Registered User Sebas. Melmoth's Avatar
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    Big Dr. Seuss fan: On Beyond Zebra is mind-blowing!

    http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Zebra-C...0510711&sr=1-1

  11. #56
    Beyond the world aliengirl's Avatar
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    A few days ago one of my friends asked me what could she give to a child (about 10 years old) as a birthday gift. Well, naturally I suggested 'Story Books'. When we were looking at different books for kids I talked about how I still enjoy reading them. She looked at me with her mouth wide open, her eyes quite round with amazement, as if she can't believe that an adult can go back to books meant for kids. She told me I should not read them NOW. I disagreed but I was thinking all the time that am I the only grown up who likes to read and enjoy children's literature. Thanks to this thread I have found so many people just like me. And yes, a few of my favorites are:-

    Alice in Wonderland
    The Wizard of Oz
    Black Beauty
    Works of Mark Twain especially The Prince and The Pauper
    Works of Roald Dahl

    Quote Originally Posted by IJustMadeThatUp View Post
    Now, I read children's books. I reread them, and I read one's I've never picked up before. The simplicity is refreshing, the usually happy topics/endings make a nice change, I love to get caught up in fantasy worlds and if somebody bought me a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree, I would kiss them! There is quality writing in there.

    Actually, my best friend got me The Roald Dahl Treasury as a birthday present two years ago, I thought it was fantastic. Maybe I'm an uneducated big kid? Your comment seems kind of snobby and frankly silly.

    Did you ever consider she may have been reading it for work, class, or a myriad of other reasons? Not, that there is anything wrong with reading Harry Potter.

    Kids books are fun! I will continue to read them, manga, and watch cartoons until the day I die.

    LONG LIVE BIG KIDS!
    I really liked this and yes,

    LONG LIVE BIG KIDS
    I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~ William Blake

    Captivity is consciousness,
    So's liberty. ~ Emily Dickinson

  12. #57
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Personally, I still consider myself a big kid...all grown up and in graduate school. But I'm a sucker for animal stories. I had three copies of Black Beauty when I was growing up. Anything with dogs or horses was a must for me: National Velvet, My Friend Flicka, the Black Stallion series, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, 101 Dalmations, Call of the Wild. I loved them all and I still revisit them when time allows. I'm attracted to them partially because of nostalgia, and partially because they are so entertaining and so escapist. But children's lit is more full of tragedy than most people give them credit for: just think of Where the Red Fern Grows or Old Yeller or Road to Terabithia; there's some very moving writing in these works.
    Ecce quam bonum et jocundum, habitares libros in unum!
    ~Robert Greene, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

  13. #58
    Registered User brave new tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    The other day I stopped by a coffee shop and while I was waiting in line I recognized an old classmate of mine sitting alone by a window reading a book. We know each other pretty well, so I figured I'd go up to her and say hello. Long story short, I noticed her reading a hardcover book with no jacket on it and asked what the book was. She told me it was a Harry Potter book. Now I have never been accused of being a literary snob or a condescending person, but I honestly had to hold back my laughter after she revealed to me what it was she was reading. This is just one example.

    I know a few people my age and older who were excited about the Chronicles of Narnia movies because they recently read the books. It's one thing to like these books if you're sharing them with your children or younger siblings in order to bond with them and get them interested in reading, but it's another thing entirely to read them for yourself when it's clearly targeted at kids. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were essentially children's books; however, an adult could get away with reading them due to the content as well as the quality of the writing. I can't say the same for this relatively new wave of children's books.

    Why are so many grown adults reading children's books with the same focus and attention they would give grown up literature? Is the reason similar to that of adults who like watching cartoons once in a while or a Disney movie? Nostalgia? Or is it something far more alarming? Or is it simply just one of the signs of the apocalypse?
    Really? How old are you? Ever Since Robert Cormier wrote The Chocolate War there has been this category called Young Adult Literature. I like to read young adult literature as well as any canonized classic literature because it has great content. Look past the prose into the heart of the author and the message he or she is conveying and you'd be surprised what you can discover.
    One thing I hate is the attitude that the book must be difficult to read in order for it to hold any valuable literary insight. I learned so much more from I Am the Cheese than I ever did from something like Slaughterhouse Five. I know apples to oranges but still, this makes me want to ask you, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"

  14. #59
    I'm 21 years old. I can unhesitantly say my two favorite books are The Hobbit and The Call of the Wild, essentially labeled "children's books". No shame, no care.
    Perhaps there is nothing but peace and stillness

  15. #60
    Beyond the world aliengirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brave new tony View Post
    One thing I hate is the attitude that the book must be difficult to read in order for it to hold any valuable literary insight.
    Agreed. I bet most of the people only pretend that they read only serious classic stuff.
    I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. ~ William Blake

    Captivity is consciousness,
    So's liberty. ~ Emily Dickinson

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