Why Adults Should Read Kids’ Books, or A Love Letter to Where The Wild Things Are

I’m just going to say it: I’m in my thirties and I love children’s books. Whenever one of those book memes pops up about your favorite books or books that made a lasting impression or whatever, one book that is always on my list is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It was my favorite book from the instant wee little me discovered it in the library, and I will never stop loving it, or marveling at it. I think it’s perfect.

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Brilliance from an intro: Le Guin on words

I’m rereading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and unsurprisingly, finding it 100% (or more) relevant to the world we live in right now. (If you somehow haven’t read this book, you should fix that, really. It should be required reading for being a human.) I could pretty much quote the whole chapter of observations on the androgyny of the Gethenians and its implications upon their society, but what I’m interested in dropping here is actually something from Le Guin’s introduction. It’s beautiful and absolutely true of being a reader and a writer.

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the voices in my head are not all fictional

but the vast majority are. I don’t even know who they all are at this point, but I suppose I’ll meet them someday. That’s fine. In theory, the longer they rattle around in there, the better I’ll know them when it’s time to tell their stories. Until then, however, they sometimes amount to clutter. The impenetrable crowd (mosh pit, perhaps) at a loud rock show, when I need to find my friend — the short one, wearing all black.

Character building and development are among the most important things in a story for me. When I’m reading or even watching a movie or TV show, if the characters don’t seem like real, layered people, it takes me out of the story, and I usually don’t return. I don’t have to like them; in fact, the characters I gravitate toward are often detestable and hating them is part of the appeal. Most of the best characters, be they “good” or “bad” are people I would loathe and avoid in real life. Continue reading

When “Useful” Procrastination Isn’t

One of my greatest and arguably most detrimental skills is procrastination. Not to brag or anything, but I am truly gifted in this department. I’m so good that I’ll very often trick myself into useful procrastination, so it’s easier to justify. Don’t want to do that one thing? No worries, self, you should really be cleaning the kitchen anyway! Also, you haven’t vacuumed since yesterday, so that means there’s at least enough dog hair in the living room to construct a St. Bernard. You should definitely vacuum before you do that thing.

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