Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Clearing out the Judy Blume

For some irrational reason this year, I amassed a small collection of my favorite reads in my kiddy/teenage years: Judy Blume books, in the hope of revisting them. For those not in the know (usually the male population): Blume is famous for her children fiction, well-known ones being Superfudge which was made into TV Series I can't recall the name of. Blume is also known for tackling difficult subjects: Menstruation? Yes, she wrote about it, and we had a great laugh in Are you there God? It's me Margaret. Death in the family? Oh yes. Racism? Hell yeah. All that, written in a child's perspective.

I bought a couple of them off an NTU undergrad from sg_bookexchange, and when I met her at an MRT Station for the goods exchange, she was quizzical on why the fuck a 24 year old was buying teenage/kiddy fiction for.

WTF indeed. What was I thinking? When books are specifically written for a certain demographic, they should just remain in the hands of that certain demographic. I picked up Deenie, read it in speed because the words are so easy now, and though the protagonist Deenie was masturbating in two to three paragraphs of the book, the parts where my 11-12 year old eyes probably would have missed, it was so, so bloody boring. And when I picked up Here's to You, Rachel Robinson, I didn't even bother to finish the book. Teenage angst? Pimples? Having a crush on your tutor? Best-Friends-Forever? Fuck all that, I'm an old hag now and those were painful days I don't really wish to revisit.

This is not discrediting Blume's writing at all. It is just that stupidity ruled me, thinking it was no different from revisiting songs that got me hooked only for its tunes in the past, and having new understanding to the lyrics (finally!) as a young adult. Like Green Day songs, which I sang along as a wannabe 14 year old: I only comprehend what the song lyrics "I don't have sex 'coz I can't get it up" only years later.

Was clearing my bookshelf a few hours ago when I decided to get rid of the Judy Blumes: why let them take up space? Now I don't really feel like dumping them in a trash can: they are good books after all.

So, if you are reading this, and you have a young daughter or a pre-teen tutee you wanna educate about some taboo subjects, you can have them books for free. Just mail me and we can arrange a handover at some convenient place. Or I could just earn a few cents from them at a 2nd-hand bookshop.

The only book authored by Blume that remains on my bookshelf is her famous adult fiction Wifey, a raunchy tale about a lonely, horny housewife. Now, THAT is THE demographic I belong to... *sniggles*

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