I’m a little late for a Thanksgiving post, but here I am! I hope you all had a relaxing and peaceful day. My family and I did – and I am very thankful for that. And lately, I have been very thankful to be able to escape into the world of books. I’m thankful that my parents – neither graduated high school and my father never even learned to read – wanted so much more for my brother and me, so they took us to the library nearly every single week. Even with tight finances, they filled our bedrooms with books. My brother and I were always the kids with noses in books and we earned all of those delicious Book It! pizzas (hamburger, always hamburger).
In the third grade, I discovered Kristy’s Great Idea. Do you remember those scholastic catalogs? You could join the Baby-Sitters Club through that catalog and get a shipment of new books every once in a while. I did that until my Mom canceled it, but that didn’t stop me from getting them from the library, or begging my parents to buy me the latest one in Wal-Mart, or passing them back and forth with girls at school. I loved The Baby-Sitters Club.
My favorite books were always the Dawn books, and I went back and forth between being a Mary Anne and a Dawn. And then, of course, when their parents got married and they lived together, everything was perfect for me!
I write all of this as a lead up to what I really want to share today. While I’m thankful for the Baby-Sitters Club and how they solidified my love for reading, what I’m really thankful for right now is The Baby-Sitters Club Club. I learned about this podcast after the election – I hadn’t listened to bookish podcasts in a while because I’d been immersed in all of the election coverage. I just hit the point where I had to take an NHPR break and downloaded about a million What Should I Read Next? episodes that I’d missed. Luckily, they were having a weekly special about kid lit and reading for kids at heart. Anne Bogel, the host of the podcast and aka Modern Mrs. Darcy, was interviewing the hosts of The Baby-Sitters Club Club. I died laughing through the whole thing. It was exactly what I needed!
The premise of the podcast: two thirty-something men read the series chronologically – one each week. Then they record a podcast in which they discuss hidden themes and messages. Y’all – it’s hilarious. These guys really dissect these books in awesome ways. I wasn’t an English major so I feel like I missed out on all of these conversations with serious books, so this is almost like a primer for me on How To Talk About Literature, but in a really accessible and irreverent way. And it’s so nostalgic for me. I read all of these books so many times. I still have all of my copies; they are frayed at the edges and the spines are a wreck from over reading. I can picture the scenes that they’re talking about. I can remember reading them on steaming hot summer days while eating bowls of cereal. I remember going to Baby-Sitters Club meetings while laying on the hammock in our backyard. Sitting for the Pike kids while curled up and reading in my closet. Investigating Dawn’s haunted house during a thunderstorm at my own home.
Thank you Baby-Sitters Club Club for making my life just a little bit easier for me right now. And for reminding me about how I fell in love with reading in the first place.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! The December and January holidays are right around the corner now… let’s keep reading to get through all of the craziness!