by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Books”

Lessons I Have Learned From Reading Various Teen Romances

Posted 24 October 2009 in by Catriona

1. If you don’t want to pressure your girlfriend to sleep with you, but you also know you’re (cliche alert!) “not willing to wait forever,” you probably shouldn’t be dating a fourteen-year-old girl when you’re in college.

Seriously.

Keep the May-December romances for when you’ve reached a commensurate degree of sexual and social maturity, okay? It’s just common sense.

2. If your immortal boyfriend says he’s loved you through all your various life cycles even though you’ve never managed to consummate your relationship, and he’s therefore willing to wait forever for you to be ready, you have about half a book before he

  • tries to take your pants off.
  • becomes really irritated with you and starts disappearing for long stretches of time
  • drinks your best friend’s blood
  • flirts with the school bully
  • wipes your memory
  • all of the above.

3. The important lesson to take from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is that Meg Murry definitely had boobs. Because, after all, she already had glasses and braces, right? So no benevolent deity would also make her flat-chested, okay? That would just be mean.

4. If you say you’re a feminist, there’s nothing to stop you also fantasising about literally being your boyfriend’s property, including wanting to wear a bracelet engraved with “Property of [Boyfriend’s Name]” and justifying this by saying that it’s just like the fact that your cat’s collar has your name on it.

5. As a corollary to the above, the statement “I’m a feminist, right?” is so powerful that you only need to say it once every two or maybe three books to completely negate any unpleasant after-effects of statements such as the above.

6. That cute boy you just met? Chances are he’s either

  • your brother
  • immortally bound to his actual sister, so he has to marry her eventually. Even though she’s his sister.

7. If you’re fifteen and you haven’t started your menstrual cycle or, in fact, ever seen your own blood, even after injuries, you really should think about that. Sure, we don’t expect you to realise you’re a fairy, but you know you’re not a competitive gymnast. And you didn’t know anything was odd? Seriously?

8. Wherever there’s one cute boy, there’s always another one. It’s just a fact of life. Sure, one of them’s probably a vampire or a fairy or something, but you’ll just have to deal with that, because love triangles are inevitable.

Apparently.

9. Interspecies dating is no more complicated for teenage girls than it would be for a tiger who happened to meet a rather attractive lion. Trust me on this. Just don’t wonder whether your children will be sterile, because that’s not something that’s usually covered by the literature.

10. Boys like girls who have some kind of quirk. So if you’re not a fairy, or able to see fairies, or a vampire, or the spitting image of a vampire’s long-lost love, or, at a pinch, a Catholic schoolgirl, you’re just going to have to get a tattoo.

Books In Their Natural Environment, Part Two

Posted 20 October 2009 in by Catriona

The Books of the Circulating Library

Posted 4 October 2009 in by Catriona

I’ve mentioned before my struggles with Delicious Library 2, and my belief that, while it’s a wonderful invention, adding my back catalogue to it might actually kill me.

(Okay, I may not have phrased it quite that way, but I was thinking it.)

So this brings me to the new link I’ve added to my blogroll over there to your right: a slightly inaccurate link, since it’s not a blog, at all. It’s my library, which I’ve uploaded to space on the Internet.

Partly, I’m looking for a way to catalogue my books offline (though, having cleverly downloaded the app. before Amazon removed the rights to their catalogue for mobile apps, for reasons best known only to themselves, I do also have a copy of the catalogue on my iPhone).

Partly, though, it’s because this is, after all, the Circulating Library. I talk about my books here. I even fetishise my books here (and, honestly, everywhere else).

And linking to this catalogue means you can take a wander along my shelves, if you so wish.

The application does set the books out on shelves, so it feels as much like browsing a library as you can get on the Internet.

The application generates a primary shelf, which includes (in alphabetical order by author) every book you enter, and then allows you to create sub-shelves by author, genre, or any other category that helps you make sense of the chaos. When you’re dealing with a large number of books, the sub-shelves help keep the system saner than it often is in real life: they contain everything that’s on the primary shelf, but in small, easily digestible packets.

I chose only to publish my sub-shelves. I store some items on multiple shelves, so, for example, vampire boarding-school stories turn up under “Children’s Fantasy and Science Fiction” and “Girls’ School Stories,” just so I can always be sure of finding them. And some categories are under-represented, so far—like “Art”—because I haven’t made my way around to the bookcase on which they’re stored yet.

These 1800 books are not a complete record of all the books I own: it’s a library catalogue in progress.

Feel free to browse.

Books In Their Natural Environment

Posted 3 October 2009 in by Catriona

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