Crap books and good books (was Re: Best Books of 2004)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Jan 20 11:48:09 EST 2005


On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 09:13:23 -0500 (EST), deborah wrote:

>And this lovely discussion was going swimmingly, covering not just
>conventional graphic novels and comics but the high-brow as well
>(_Blankets_, _Maus_, _Persepolis_, _In the Shadow of No Towers_, etc)
>when someone just *had* to offer a disclaimer:
>
>"Of course, none of it's real literature."
>
>*facepalm*
>
>-deborah, wanting to smack that person with a copy of Maus

I'd provide the copy for you and push that person back up for the rebound
strike.  Good heavens.  What exactly do they think "real" literature is?

On a happier note, we're talking about buying graphic novels for Aerin's
(private school) library.  My partner in crime has a twelve-year-old
daughter who LOVES manga, so she's sympathetic to the cause.  It's
problematic because the age range is from 6 to 14, but not impossible.  It
would help if we had a budget, of course....

And you wouldn't believe how many books I've cleaned out of the stacks--not
inappropriate books, just multiple copies of the same title.  Aside from the
classroom sets, which were intentionally purchased that way, there are some
books with five or six copies that just all got donated and no one ever kept
track of how many they had.  As soon as I get permission I'm going to flog
them off for 50 cents apiece.

That reminds me (I'm so procrastinating now) of a funny thing that happened
a month or so ago.  I was clearing out books and had thrown away four or
five paperbacks that were too worn to be saved.  We don't have a trash can
in the library, so I throw everything away in the big one just outside the
doors.  About half an hour later, one of the teachers came in with a handful
of books--specifically, the books I had just thrown away.  Some of the
students had seen them and became upset that anyone would just throw away
books!  I had to sneak out and put them in the dumpster after school.

We have two DWJ books so far--_Dark Lord of Derkholm_ and, um, why can't I
remember the other?  Also _Sabriel_ and _Lirael_ (not _Abhorsen_) and
_Slaves of the Mastery_ (I hope _The Wind Singer_ is just checked out).
They haven't concentrated much on YA fiction, and that section is actually
"books for older readers" rather than strictly YA.  Still, there's hope for
them.

Melissa Proffitt

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