My Childhood Reads

Ban them! Ban them all!

I’ve been musing about the books I love. Last week, I showed my geeky, sci-fi, fantasy self. This week, I chose to reminisce about the books I read as a child.


I was THAT kid who wanted books for Christmas. My mother, a bibliophile, was happy to give them to me. She gave me The Five Little Peppers books, Elsie Dinsmore, Black Beauty, Little Women, Little Men, and many others.

While researching for this post, I found that Elsie Dinsmore and the other books in the series are no longer published. The books are politically incorrect now, and people seem to be unable to get past the idea that a book series originally published between 1867 and 1905 is written from the perspective of a person living in that era. The lady trashing the books and celebrating their demise, Karen Allen Campbell,  is a columnist for BreakPoint. I must say that I don’t remember all the racism, bigotry, and implied pedophilia she found. I would bet that she hates Gone With the Wind, too.

I’m not a person who advocates cleaning up American history. It is what it is, and we need to remember it. That doesn’t mean that I think it’s all wonderful. To the contrary, the mistreatment of Native Americans and slavery were the lowest points in our history. However, if we throw out everything that was written by people of those time periods, we won’t have a clear picture of what actually happened.

One reason I love Jane Austen’s books is that she gives us an accurate idea of what life was like during her time period. I suppose there are people who object to her books, too, on the basis of women being unequal with men. Let’s just burn everything we don’t like.

That’s so Fahrenheit 451.


5 thoughts on “My Childhood Reads

  1. Laura Hile

    We liked many of the same girlhood books, I see.

    I’ve always enjoyed old books. Says the girl who has just “wasted” a precious snow day, keeping the fireplace going while reading (from start to finish) not an old book, but Divergent. (I blame you, Robin! You mentioned it in your last post about sci fi.)

    It’s lovely to do nothing but read.

    I’ll share a favorite C.S. Lewis quote that fits perfectly with what you have said.

    Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it. … To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      To me, reading is never a waste of time as long as the book is worthy of it. Divergent definitely is worth a reading day. Thanks for the wonderful Lewis quote. Every time that man opened his mouth, wisdom poured out.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Susan Kaye

      All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it.

      This is why, even when we love an author like Austen, the best we get in fan fiction is an approximation of language, culture, or attitude. But what else is there to do but try?



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