Thursday, February 23, 2006

Not a good sign

It's just not a good sign if I start reading a book and then check to see when it was last checked out, in hopes that it was more than 6 years ago (when we got a year stamp again-- the 1990s were a muddle of only months and days) so I can get rid of the book.

I did this with nearly every Margaret Mahy book I had.

Two, Changeover: A Supernatural Romance (1984) and Aliens in the Family (1985) circulate fairly frequently, when students are assigned genres. Those were okay. The Catalog of the Universe (1986) was SO bad that I pulled it, even though it has a really high Accelerated Reader level. The Haunting (1982) and Memory (1988) hadn't been checked out in a long time, so I'll put them aside. While I was working my way through one of them, my daughter grabbed it out of my hands to look at it, asked who the author was, and handed it back to me with a look of disgust on her face. She'd read one last year and hated it.

I don't know why some books don't appeal to me, but I know that if they don't, it's hard to hand them to children with enthusiasm. Since my library is small (14,000 volumes) and we are comfortably at capacity, it is necessary to weed books when I get new ones. It's hard for me to weed, since the popular books are usually falling apart, and the books I want to get rid of sometimes are in such good shape. But I have to remind myself-- books look great if no one is reading them!

Topic for another time: Why are illustrations by Richard Cuffari often the kiss of death for books? Of all the books I have pulled off the shelves, an inordinate number have cover illustrations by this artist. I like his work, really I do.

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