Happy 13th birthday, Blob! I can't believe you've been my very own sweet darling book blog since 2004! What do you mean "Whatever"? And what's with the eye roll?
Here's some economy-sized Clearasil. No, you can't drive the car. Not even to a bookstore or a library. Okay, I'm really, really mean.
Look, I found a picture of myself when I was 13! No, dinosaurs did not roam the earth. Yes, there were books. Not scrolls or hieroglyphics on a cave wall somewhere.
Well, yes, I was a bookworm when I was 13. No, I didn't read "a bunch of stupid shit". Maybe some, but hey. At least I was reading. Let's hop in the time machine and I'll show you 13 glimpses of my bookworm self at 13, would you like that? Spare me the theatrical sighs. Corny? Really? Whatever:
1. When I was 13, I enjoyed the horror genre, which led me to a book called Carrie by a new author named Stephen King.
2. My mom liked nurse romance novels, so I bonded with her by reading a lot of Arlene Hale.
3. Science class was boring, so I read books behind my science textbook. Every day, I would bring a book and every day, Mrs. Briley would catch me reading and confiscate it. She never gave them back, either. I got smart...smarter and started bringing school library books. She must have had at least 50-100 books in her desk by the end of the year.
4. I liked books about gypsies and Roma culture. I thought a caravan might happen by and ask me to join their carefree life. No science or math classes. I wanted to be ready.
5. I read The Outsiders for the first time. Two-Bit was my favorite character and I pronounced Socs as Socks rather than so-shez. I also felt a sense of urgency. S.E. Hinton wrote the novel at 16, and I only had 3 more years to write something timeless...maybe something about gypsies?
6. A girl in my class convinced me to read the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. She said they were the best books EVER. They were very good, but not in the same league as the Little House series. I'm still grateful to this girl, even though we fell out a little bit later.
7. I enjoyed Reader's Digest Condensed Books, but the illustrations always disappointed.
8. A cute boy in my class told me that I would like a novel about horses. I wanted him to LIKE ME like me so I read it. I forget the title. I didn't like the book. I don't remember the boy's name.
9. My brother got the bright idea to throw my mass-market paperback copy of Gone with the Wind from our third-story apartment window. I screamed. My parents laughed for a long time. When they finally recovered, they ordered my brother to go downstairs and fetch the damn thing.
10. My library card number at the post library was 778.
11. I checked out Lady Chatterley's Lover because I had heard it was a dirty book. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Back to the library it went. Then I found a racy novel in my parents' room written at about fourth-grade level. I was very Ewwwwwww! for days.
12. Here's a book that kept me entranced and entertained for hours on end. I came away with the idea that no film made after 1945 was worth seeing:
13. 778 was invited to volunteer in the post library's summer reading program. I started off shelving books in the children's section, then was asked to shelve in the adult section. After admitting that I didn't understand how to do the nonfiction, the assistant librarian kindly and quickly explained the Dewey Decimal System. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, I felt as if my brain grew three sizes that day.