At this year’s Junior League Rummage Sale, N. got three trucks and a Barbie to add to those he already has (whom he has named Iris, Linda, Myrtle, and Violet – the new girl is Tulip. Maybe I’ll write about the Barbies in some future post as well.). Together we also picked out books, though I reserve the right to veto books featuring licensed characters for the same reasons discussed above, with the notable exception of Thomas The Train (another topic for a future post!) whose original stories snuck into our house a year or so ago thanks to an officious neighbor and turned out not to be quite as insidious as I expected. I like buying books at the rummage sale because the selection is so bizarre and unpredictable (though I do steer clear of any Terrifying Nixon-Era Children’s Books). As you can see, we came up with a truly eclectic group of books this time:
So far, N.’s favorites are Sunken Treasure, a fascinating book about expeditions to recover a seventeenth-century Spanish ship, and the book about France, which feeds his current interest in old buildings. I am pleased that N. loves what he calls “Information Books” (i.e. non-fiction) as much as story-books. I have no memory of having non-fiction read to me as a child (though this may be inaccurate) and in later elementary and junior high school I was proudly averse to non-fiction, which I claimed was boring, though I was a voracious fiction reader. My prejudice against non-fiction was just one of the many irrational, strong opinions I cultivated as a young person under the mistaken impression that being opinionated in this way marked me out as a distinctive thinker, as gifted. In contrast, N.'s appreciation for Information Books gives him food for truly deep thinking, and the word “boring” is barely in his vocabulary. Of course, he’s only four and a half, but I hope he continues to find the world so interesting as he grows older.