Friday, November 12, 2010

Hip-Deep in Books and Oblivious to Everything

Doodlebug brought a book home from the library once about Anansi the Spider. Anansi is a character from a western African folk tale. For whatever reason he loved the book! It really struck a chord with him. It was all bright colors and a simple yet fun story. And there was a spider named "Cushion' which really struck him funny. So, we've gotten that book from the library several times.

Well, I realized that the author, Gerald McDermott has written many stories of a similar vein - old folk-tales retold. Among them are Zomo the Rabbit (A Trickster Tale from West Africa) and Jabuti the Toroise (A Trickster Tale from the Amazon). So I stopped by the library to pick them up. And wow! Let me tell you! Get me in the library and it's hard to drag me out. I spent an entire hour in one row of books. (I'll have to tell about the time I spent almost an entire hour on one shelf. The shelf with the books about the old west no less. How strange and unusual! I didn't even know I was interested in that stuff. And if you asked me, I'm not particularly, but for some reason, it was interesting that day - from Montana homesteaders to the Kansas dust bowl to Tombstone Arizona to Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee I was hip-deep in books and oblivious to everything.)

But back on topic. I spent an entire hour in the "Juvenile Non-Fiction" section in the aisle with the fairy tales and tall tales, trickster tales and folk tales. (Why this is considered non-fiction I don't know.) Wow, there's a lot of stuff in that aisle. From the original Grimms fairy tales to modern retellings, African folk tales, American mid-west tall tales, Korean sky tales (wha?), princesses, coyotes, spiders, castles, kingdoms, grails, kites, rice paddies. Scottish and Jewish and Korean and American Indian, Carribean, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, you name it. Stories from everywhere, every time about everything. All beautifully told and illustrated. Wow! I managed to read 4 or 5 there (these are children's books afterall) and borrowed about 10. Some for me, some for the kids.

For Doodlebug (and me too) I found a set of books by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens, about Anansi the Spider. They are very cute! I really like them. I hope Doodlebug does too. I read Anansi and the Talking Melon right there in the aisle and it is a great story! Very cute and wonderfully illustrated.

But, overall, that's pretty good - me coming out with only 10 books. That's good for me. When I go to the library I almost always come home with about twice as many as I can possibly read in the amount of time I have. Even considering that I have 3 weeks and can renew 3 times for a total of 9 weeks! I still get too many and end up returning about half of them unread. I guess my eyes are bigger than my reading time, or something like that.

Maybe when I'm old and crotchety I'll spend every day at the library reading my way through every book. I have so many books at home I want to re-read (my entire Ray Bradbury collection for one) but who has the time when there are so many books I haven't read yet? Not to mention who has time when there is crafting and scrapbooking and drawing and painting and writing and playing and exercising and baking and dulcimer-ing, etc, etc, etc to be done.


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