Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I miss this, too

I think I shifted my academic focus to children's literature in part because it put me back in that state of abandonment that reading had once been for me, but that graduate school had killed. In this I share something with Andrew Martino, whose piece in the Chronicle of Higher Ed (subscription required) I mentioned some time ago. I also share something with Michelle Slatalla, then, who sees in her daughters that kind of reading that she, too, has now left behind: "they allow a novel to carry them so effortlessly from one place to another that for a time they truly don’t care about anything else," she writes, and I remember it. I've been there again recently, in books like the Twilight series (yes, even as I criticized them, they took me away--ok, except the last, which didn't), or Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (so much better than Twilight et al that I hesitate to mention them in the same sentence) or any number of fantastic YA books I've read lately. But right now I'm in the midst of a spate of professional reading, and while the books are truly engrossing, educational, well-written, and all that, I find myself infinitely interruptable--indeed, seeking interruption!--as I read my way through them. I'm eating my peas, not my dessert, and I'm just a tiny bit resentful, even though I do, really, quite like peas.

Back to it.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful way to describe the difference between reading for work and reading for sheer pleasure. Peas and dessert...perfect.