I got a call from my husband, who was wandering around the library, and had come upon The Diary of Anne Frank. He called to tell me it was awesome.

"Well yeah," I said. I omitted the duh.

"I just never read it," he explained. "You know, girl book." And of course, I do know. I shudder to think of all the books I've missed because they were for boys. Like all of science fiction.

But here's the thing: Diana won't read it. Because she has the (for now, at least) deeply held conviction that she hates realistic fiction. As in, all of it. As in, especially historical things with valiant girls (or at least, so it seems to me). And I know that you just have to wait these things out. She's a smart kid, she'll find her way to a broader world of literature. At least, I think she will. And if she never likes them, well, that's her business, right? But something about her absolute aversion to it just gets to me. And makes me want to lock her into a room with just the books I think she ought to try, and nothing else, for a week or something.

But don't worry. I won't. I think.

5 thoughts on “Aversions

  1. But if you leave them on the coffee table and “forget” to schedule a trip to the library for a week or so? No one will blame you.


  2. My cousin, at about that age, refused – flat out – to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” even though she was stuck here for a school vacation week and had finished all the books she brought with her. Refused. She’d already read “True Grit” and “My Side of the Mountain” and whatever else I had hanging around at the time, but no. We ended up buying some fictional-but-not biographical thing about Marie Antoinette, told in the first person. And when I said something about “but you already know how it ends! they cut off her head!” she didn’t believe me. (apparently she didn’t already know…..)


  3. I had the same exact aversion. Voracious reader but all fiction all the time. I think I was 22 when I truly read my first non-fiction book (And The Band Played On) and I have been an equal parts fiction and non-fiction reader ever since.
    Also, library school made me read “boy” books and sci-fi. And OH MY how I love some of it. If you haven’t, read Ender’s Game and be blown away (get past violent bit in the beginning and keep going).


  4. I can understand; I spent most of my life convinced that I hated nonfiction–because all it was, was pages and pages of diagrams or dates or drawings of airplanes, right? No, that’s just what the kid in front of my in all my classes (always arranged alphabetically, for years) read. He was a totally stereotypical boy reader, and I saw what he read and wanted no part of it. I still don’t like things that read like textbooks, but memoirs, histories, those kinds of things, I love.
    And Briar, I just accidentally discovered another series by Orson Scott Card, and someone who saw me reading it told me that I absolutely had to read “Ender’s Game” too. I’ve got it requested and can’t wait; I think it’s going to be amazing, if it’s as well written as his other stuff!


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