lördag 11 oktober 2008
I've spent time tidying up and organizing my bookcase with children's books. I ran out of space at the end of the alphabet but managed to empty another bookcase, which means that I have a homeless pile of books, paper and odd stuff on the floor. There are so many memories associated with most of those books — I remember when I received or bought them, and where I sat when I read them — that it has been rather nostalgic.
Astrid Lindgren once said that she didn't believe in children reviewing books — they like most everything if they like to read. And I agree, I devoured most anything but mystery books. So that I disliked some of Enid Blyton's books had nothing to do with the quality — or the lack of quality.
It's an interesting mix of books as it contains the books my mother bought second hand as a child, some of them quite old when she bought them; printed in the late nineteen hundreds and with old spelling. Most of those books are forgotten today and in most cases it might be just as well. Some of the sob stories are pure twaddle.
But there are books that I never hear mentions any longer — and I wonder why. Margot Benary-Isbert's books fore example or Mary Patchett's books about her childhood with her dog Ajax in Australia. Some books might be better known in England and the States than here, as Elizabeth Enright's, Flora Thompson's and Margaret J. Baker's books. I'm curious about the latter but I haven't been able to find anything written about her. I got her book "Four Farthings and a Thimble" ("Fyra öre för ett hus") when I was eight years old and read it several times. Some years ago I found "Castaway Christmas" ("I våtaste laget"). The first printed in 1954 and the latter in 1967 — I'm sure there must be more books written in those 13 years.
Many of the books are read so many times that they fall apart when you take them out of their places. Betty MacDonald's two books of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle for example consists of lose leaves.
Oh, the timer goes off — it is time to rescue the bread.