The Borrowers

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's possible that I may have bought a few books today. . . or eight. I can't believe that I started the year foolishly thinking that this project would be the perfect chance for me to get all the way through my to-read stacks. And now I think I might actually have more books in the to-read stacks than when I started. I'm going to organize them tomorrow so I won't be as overwhelmed by them as I was today, and when I do I'm going to count to see how many books are in there. I started the year with 198 books and I have a feeling that I have well over 200 now. Who wants to play a rousing game of "Guess how many books are in Angie's to-read stacks" in the comments section?

Today's book, "The Borrowers is a children's fantasy novel about tiny people who "borrow" things from normal humans and keep their existence unknown. The central characters are the Clock family: father Pod, mother Homily and their spirited thirteen year-old daughter, Arrietty."

Today's book is the third one I've attempted to read. I started out reading a book that had a really interesting cover, but it ended up being a book about death and that just didn't feel summery. I wanted to read something light and fun. So I made a second attempt and the book was so boring it made me feel like I was stuck in a high school social studies class. To give you an idea, here are the first two sentences (to get the full effect while you're reading it, imagine the voice of that guy who seems to narrate all high school film strips), "As long as humans have been around, we've had to move in order to survive. Early hunter-gatherer cultures had to follow the food source, leaving an area when it had become over picked or over hunted, allowing the plants and animals to regenerate." Despite the boredom I pressed on, determined to give the book a chance, but after several pages I finally realized that the only interesting thing that was going to come out of that book was the medical form I found inside that belonged to someone from Michigan. So I gave up on that book. Then I called up my sister and we had an Emergency Blogging Consultation (that's not really what we called it, but I'm definitely going to call it that the next time we have a blogging-related conversation), and she talked me into reading The Borrowers. I always hesitate a little before reading a children's book because it feels a bit like cheating. But my sister, who has appointed herself the voice of the reading public, assured me that it would be perfect for today's entry.

I'm told that I used to love The Borrowers as a child but I have no memory of that, just like I have no memory of that time when I was four and I cut my sister's hair. But it seems that there is pictorial evidence of both events, so I'm willing to admit that maybe those things might have actually happened. Since I have no memory of the book I figured reading it today would be like reading it for the first time. Plus it would give me a chance to find out if my taste in books has changed at all since childhood or if I had just as bad of taste in books then as I did in movies (Little Shop of Horrors, Annie, that terrible Molly Ringwald movie For Keeps - it was horrifying). As it turns out, I still like The Borrowers. I didn't remember anything about the book - even when I was on page 100, none of it came back to me - but I did remember all of the feelings I had when I read it for the first time. I remember how I used to love the book because it reminded me of another childhood favorite, the Sesame Street Twiddlebug books. I remember being in my tiny bedroom, sitting on my ridiculously 80s waterbed, looking down at that hideous dark pink carpet which in the 80s was referred to as Dusty Rose (even the name sounds ugly), while reading this book and feeling totally captivated by it. It's so strange to not be able to remember anything about the book but remember so vividly exactly how I felt when I read it.

I also remember that reading this book was what officially kicked off my several-year-long "I need a dollhouse" whining sessions. I wonder what would happen if I showed this book to my parents - would they start to shudder as their eyes twitch and they start to think I never had a moments peace because of that damn book? Oh who am I kidding, my Dad doesn't even remember what year I was born in. I remember thinking they were meanest parents ever because they wouldn't get me a dollhouse. In my defense dear readers, I hadn't seen the movie Mommie Dearest yet or read the book, and so I had no idea how good I had it. I think my parents should have put a swift end to my whining by sitting me down, making me watch that movie, and saying, "Quit whining kid. Your life could be a lot worse, at least we don't beat you with hangers." Actually now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure my Mother did say that to me once, but without the hanger part.

And now that I've mentioned Mommie Dearest I kind of want to read the book - which I believe is in my to-read stacks somewhere - although who can really be sure what's in there at this point. I definitely need to organize those books.

P.S. - Thank you Annie Jones for the computer advice. As you can see, by the lack of bullet points in today's entry, your advice worked.