Monday, October 27, 2008

Explain this one to me (kids choosing fluff books)

Second-grader Crayons is a good reader, she has been read to since babyhood, and she enjoys the challenging books I read to her and that she picks out for herself from our shelves. Recently she found our copy of Clyde Robert Bulla's opera stories--not the most suitable thing for a second grader, but she had most of them read before I realized what she had gotten into.

So explain this to me...

When we went to the big library yesterday and Crayons acquired her first Downtown Library Card, what she wanted to take out on it was a whole pile of bright pink Tiara Club series books and several others of that ilk. She was happy to have ME pick out some older books (see the previous post), but she wanted to borrow the kind of books we don't have at home.

Well, maybe that was the point, right?

At least library books are free.

(Some people might comment that I obviously should be setting limits on the kind of books she takes out of the library, or not take her to the library, or some other wisdom like that. Noted and appreciated. If that was all she was reading, I'd worry. However, like letting a child occasionally have candy floss at the do hope that they'll eat their fill and get it out of their system.)


Sebastian said...

We call these popcorn books at our house. And I'm honest enough to know that some of my own free time reading falls in this category. I'll take a frivolous novel or science fiction book on a trip instead of a good history.
Sometimes I make a limit of 1-2 popcorn books per visit.

Fairion said...

We call it mind candy. Everyone needs a break or a treat sometimes. You don't always want a challenge. Sometimes it is nice just to let yourself go with a bit of escapism.

Sebastian said...

I suppose that it is partly due to the fact that new brain candy type books do tend to have alluring cover art. Older meatier books often have old style art or plain covers (due to losing the dust jackets or rebinding).
My sister-in-law is a teacher and I watched her at a great library sale once. She shook her head sadly at stacks of great books. They were great stories but she knew that her students wouldn't even pick them up because they looked plain.

PisecoMom said...

Yep, my JediBoy loves fluff books sometimes too. And so do I! There are times when you like a little cotton floss for your brain or your belly.

As far as I'm concerned, he can check whatever he wants from the library, of course. Some weeks it's pure fluff, other weeks things I would have thought might be too challenging (like this week's pick, a single thick tome of Norwegian Myths). I also indulge him at garage sales, making a spot on our shelf for a bit of fluff and moving out the old as he brings home something new.

JediBoy cycles between wanting to do hard things because it's satisfying to do something hard and wanting to do easy things because it's satisfying to do a LOT of something - to read a whole pile of Tiara Club books or whatever else he chooses.

kat said...

We recently had to stop allowing our 10 year old to check out fluff books from the library. All he wanted to read was Star Wars and Hardy Boys (he has read all the HB 2-3 times, enough already) he was staying up late and then it was torture to get him out of bed in the morning, he wouldn't read anything else, and I was tired of play time turning into non-stop Star Wars reenactments.

Crimson Wife said...

I'm okay with borrowing 1 or 2 "beach reading" books so long as there's nothing objectionable about the content (i.e. no Junie B. Jones). I'll check out the occasional fluff novel myself for entertainment purposes. So long as the majority of books are quality literature, I don't see the harm.

Chili said...

I was an early, strong reader like your daughter (and my daughter is too). Basically, at that age, I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on, good, bad and indifferent. I still remember my disappointment the day I realized my good taste had overcome my ability to be entertained by trash. Let her enjoy it while she can--the good books you have at home and the ones you pick out for her will develop her tastes more than the fluff, and the day will come when fluff's allure will fail, poor girl! Then she'll have to search for the good stuff to get lost in a book.

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