Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Megalomania

My dear husband never lets me forget that I am a megalomaniac of sorts. It's true, I know. I love to learn new things. I love to START projects. Whenever I start a new hobby (they call me "the hobby slut" around these parts), I learn the ropes, I buy all the stuff, and I immediately have visions of becoming the best stained glass artist - esteemed woodworker - boundary-pushing gardener - fluent French speaker - rare, paid blogger - you get the idea.

And then the next learning opportunity comes along before I have quite brought all my dreams of grandeur to fruition.

My latest thing (I remind myself of Auntie Mame sometimes) is a self-improvement project, to become a better librarian. I am planning to read, systematically, all the Newbery and Caldecott winners and honorees, starting with 2004 and working my way backwards.

When I was a kid, I read non-stop. I would drag 30 picture books home in my little wagon or bike basket, and read them all in an afternoon. I hung out in the dusty little Leader library most days after school, browsing all the shelves, when all the other (normal) kids were playing barbies or something.

When I started university, though, I started reading for my classes and had no energy to read for fun. As a librarian for the last 9 years, I thought I didn't read much because I do it all day at work (= busman's holiday). Or that was my theory until lately.

Recently I was hanging out at lunch with Judith, the Children's Librarian who knows all there is to know about kid's lit. While we were chatting about children's books, I realized that I always loved reading children's books. Perhaps I stopped reading as an adult because I thought I had to read adult books and I didn't actually like them much?? Judith recommended Robin McKinley's Beauty as one of the best books she's ever read (and it's hard, don't you know, to get to the top of Judith's favourite books list). So I scurried out to the stacks and squirrelled (pardon the pun) it home with me. What an awesome book.

Beauty has given me the energy to start on my tour of Newberys and Caldecotts. Although now that I have stated my plans out loud, I will surely crash and burn after a tour through the first decade of award-winners.

And move on to some other megalomanic pursuit...

4 Comments:

Blogger liz said...

After the 100-page 5-point-font texts and reams of research journal articles, at night I usually read children's books before bed. (I still want to read at night, but my thinker is completely burned out.)

1:59 pm  
Blogger MicaelaA said...

I just discovered Robin McKinley this summer as well. My daughter pointed to "The Horn and the Crown" and said "That's a good book..." It is her Newbery Award winner and I was so pleased by her heroine, her spare but incredibly beautiful prose, and her imagination. I love fantasy, and have read much of the works of McCaffrey and Tolkien in the last few years - oh, and Orson Scott Card, and Patricia McKillip, both of whom share the clarity of prose (unlike Stephen Donaldson!).
So I'll be picking up whatever I can find in print of her stuff. Yay!

7:59 am  
Blogger MicaelaA said...

I just discovered Robin McKinley this summer as well. My daughter pointed to "The Horn and the Crown" and said "That's a good book..." It is her Newbery Award winner and I was so pleased by her heroine, her spare but incredibly beautiful prose, and her imagination. I love fantasy, and have read much of the works of McCaffrey and Tolkien in the last few years - oh, and Orson Scott Card, and Patricia McKillip, both of whom share the clarity of prose (unlike Stephen Donaldson!).
So I'll be picking up whatever I can find in print of her stuff. Yay!

8:03 am  
Blogger Alicia said...

hi gwen. i found your blog through scribbler's blog. i, too, am a comrade megalomaniac. i LOVE starting new projects, and because i have a competitive nature, i, too, see myself as the best of the best at these hobbies. of course, a new hobby pops into my head, and so i drop the one i am in the middle of. occasionally, i get one accomplished and it is a smash success with friends and family. Yay!

i am also an avid reader and have been since i was three, yes, three years old. i contemplated going into library sciences when i started college (it was actually the first year they were offering it at my university), but decided to stick with my English major with certification in Secondary Ed. unfortunately, i never got to finish my degree, so i'm a historical researcher for an environmental company. a what?!

so just wanted to say that i like your blog and will be hanging around to read more, if that's okay with you. feel free to browse mine as well whenever you get the opportunity.

8:41 am  

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