Saturday, May 06, 2006

Thought for the day: do little boys raid their sisters bookshelves?

I read this today:

"While it was assumed from the beginning of gender-typed children's books that girls regularly raided their brothers' libraries, the universal opinion was that boys did not and would not read girls' books." (176) but Segel notes that Little Women turned up in several men's reading biographies although sometimes (as with Melynn Bragg) with mild feelings of shame (Segal, Elizabeth. "'as the Twig Is Bent...': Gender and Childhood Reading." In Gender and Reading: Essays on Readers, Texts, and Contexts., edited by Elizabeth A. and Patrocinio P. Schweickert Flynn, pp. 165-86. London and Baltimore, 198, p. 177)

For men only:

What books did you read between the ages of 10 and 16 which you knew when reading them were "girls' books"? Which did you like and why?


Blogger Jeremy said...

I had a pretty strong feeling that Anne McCaffery's Dragonsong was probably for girls, but I loved it anyway. I think the notion of having pet mini-dragons was what had me hooked despite any notions that the book was really "for girls."

5:14 PM  
Blogger Andrew Sherman said...

I remember reading Enid Blyton's Malory Towers books and loving them.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Louisa May Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Girl. I don't know why there was a copy in the house (there may have also been a copy of Under the Lilacs), since we didn't own her more popular books. The more common experience was of reading (or wanting to read) something from the adult section.

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a boy I did raid my (seven years older) sister's bookshelf. She had great stuff like the Mary Poppins books and The Good Master ( beguiling whitewash of Hungarian feudalism ante Belam). I have never regretted it.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only remember Enid Blyton's 'The Naughtiest Girl in the School' (I'm not sure about the name). I knew it was a girl's book, but it was there and I'd read everything else in the house. It was quite enjoyable.

8:10 AM  

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