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Pickle Me This

July 23, 2010

To get to Faulkner, start with Nancy Drew

“Parents didn’t have to read the New York Review of Books or James Joyce, and they didn’t have to make their kids read Treasure Island or Greek Myths. Parents simply had to read for themselves, and to make sure there were kids’ books in the house. Children had only to see that reading was something adults did for pleasure and, following this example, would begin to read on their own.

…What were her most important books? Nancy Drew mysteries, Gone With the Wind, and a hulking anthology, Twenty Five Tales of the Weird and Supernatural. Not Faulkner, not Proust, but Nancy Drew; the first rungs on the ladder are often the most daring. To get to Faulkner, start with Nancy Drew. Or books about horses. Books by Kurt Vonnegut, or Ayn Rand, or A Wrinkle in Time, or On the Road, or To Kill a Mockingbird, or Goosebumps. It’s entirely possible that some of tomorrow’s voracious readers will cite the Harry Potter novels as important, but just as many might cite a novel not found in every house on the planet.”–From The Yellow Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee

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