Sunday, December 27, 2009

All things books

Would you like to know some books that are badly made? The later installments of Harry Potter.

No, I'm not talking about the writing. I'm talking about the binding.

Those of us who do book mending keep seeing these books come back to us. They're so wildly popular that they have been produced en mass, and in order to make as many copies as possible their quality was sacrificed.

Maybe I shouldn't complain. If they hadn't made the books that way, my family probably wouldn't have been able to get a copy of the latest book for each and every single member of my family -- mom, dad, Tall One, and myself. It's just that when my dad read his copy of the book for the second time (mom and Tall One prefer to listen to it, and I haven't reread it yet) it started falling apart in his hands. Likewise, the copies that the library has of the book keep falling apart.

As with any new wildly popular book, time passes and eventually everyone has read it. So eventually they stopped being checked out as much and we stopped seeing the books in mending as much. Regardless, I mended one Harry Potter book last week, and two more today.

Speaking of book mending, guess what I was doing while mending today? I was listening to an audio book on my iPod. I am quite happy. :) I've heard of Library2Go, which is a website where you can borrow audio books and put them on your computer, iPod, or whatever. (Note: I think it's only available to those living in Oregon.) I downloaded Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke.

The book is about a dragon who must find a new home for himself and the other dragons because humans want to flood the valley they live in and turn it into a reservoir. A young brownie accompanies him, and along the way they pick up a human boy, much to the annoyance of the brownie.

I've read this book before. But in listening to it again I realized something that hadn't occurred to me before: the book deals with racism, in a round about way. You have a dragon, a brownie, and a human thrown together. The brownie is unhappy about the human not because of anything that this indiviudal has done, but simply becuase he is a human. On the other hand, the dragon points out that the boy has helped them, that as such this human is a friend, and that it doesn't matter if the boy is a human, a brownie, or a rat.

While mending today I came across another book that I want to take a look at. I think that I'll just share a description of the book from Look Books:

"Confessions of a Closet Catholic is a heartwarming, humorous tale of a young girl struggling with her faith. Jussie is Jewish, but she doesn’t think that her religion is “cool”. She has confession with her teddy bear Father Ted, and goes to church with her friend’s family. When Jussie’s grandmother, Bubbe, has a stroke, she is torn in two. Will she continue as a “closet catholic”, or learn more about her own religion, which she barely understands?

Whether you are Christian, Jewish, or another religion, you will enjoy the message of this book. It’s a quick read-it only took me a bit over an hour- but you’ll want to re-read this book over and over again. Jussie’s connection with Bubbe is extremely real, and they feel like real people."


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very perceptive about one of the themes of Dragon Rider! Discerning underlying themes like that is what makes reading fun, I think!

Sarita said...

Debra: I love love love reading, and finding things like this. If I hadn't discovered music therapy, I would have double majored, and one of the majors would have been English.

Harriet: I'm sorry, I meant to publish your comment but I think I hit "delete" instead! As it happens I do have something school related that I've been pondering about and that you might want to write about on your blog: Is it appropriate for students and professors to friend each other on facebook? I'll also put this on your blog for in case you don't see it here.

kristine said...

i love re-reading old kid favourites. I like how the best written ones always have a deeper meaning that i might not have picked up as a child!

Sarita said...

Oh yes, definitely. :)