Isaac Bashevis Singer, when accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature, said:
“There are five hundred reasons why I began to write for children, but to save time, I’ll mention only ten of them.
- Children read books, not reviews. They don’t give a hoot for the critics.
- Chidren don’t read to find their identity.
- They don’t read to free themselves of guilt, to quench their thirst for rebellion, or to get rid of alienation.
- They have no use for psychology.
- They detest sociology.
- They don’t try to understand Kafka or Finnegan’s Wake.
- They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff.
- They love interesting stories, not commentary, guides or footnotes.
- When a book is boring, they yawn openly, without shame or fear of authority.
- They don’t expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know that is not in his power. Only the adults have such childish illusions.”
Hmmm. Some of these I very much agree with, but I did read for #s 2, 3, and 10, even as a kid–maybe more so as a kid.
I read for #2 but that was all. As a kid I didn’t read to free myself from anything but I took comfort in the idea that it wasn’t “just me.”
Very nice. Thank you for sharing that.
Though, one still must please the gatekeepers.
Yeah, darn gatekeepers. They get tougher and tougher to please, or perhaps the more we write, the more we want to rebel against the gatekeepers.
As a kid, I most identified with #8. All it took was a mysterious teaser in the Scholastic hand-out, and that book was mine. I love this Susan. Thanks.
Oh I LIVED for those bookclub handouts. So many books for so little money. I used my mother’s guilt to build a library of my own.
Oooo! I love this. Thank you!!
Oh, that’s good. This one is getting passed on!
Glad you liked it, Brent. I’ve had it posted in my office for years to help me remember the positives on those days (like today) when they start to fade a bit.