Monday, December 31, 2012
When I was in upper elementary school, 7th grade or so, I walked to the local bookmobile in St. Francis, WI every two weeks and loaded up with as many books as I could carry home. One time the bookmobile librarian did not approve of one of the books I had selected and said I needed a note from home to take it out. My aunt Frances wrote her a note that said if I had picked out a book that she did not think was appropriate, she would talk to me about it when she saw me reading it as I was an avid reader and carried my books with me where ever I went. I read English, French and American novels. Most were in the adult section. My aunt never questioned what I was reading. The only question she ever asked was how did I manage to carry so many books the 12 blocks or from the where the bookmobile parked and the house. Yes, there was plenty of sex in the books. I remained a virgin until I was in college and had my first child three years into my marriage. Books about sex were not the biggest threat to my well-being; it was the sex discrimination and cruelty to smart girls and women that were my biggest obstacles to surviving and thriving in the American culture of the 1970s and beyond. But survive and thrive I did. And I think I learned a strategy or two from those inappropriate adult novels.