My Personal Library: If the subject is too large for adult fiction, write it for children

17 Apr

In this newest installment about the personal libraries of TSTC Publishing staff, marketing intern Emilly Martinez discusses children’s literature, young adult fiction and postmodern books.

“There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.”
― Philip Pullman


What types of books do you gravitate to in order to buy?

My reading addiction lies in children’s books. Yes, as a 21-year-old, this may seem strange, but the best stories are told to children. Imagination is pushed to new levels in children’s books, and no one ever stops to say something is physically impossible, because it simply doesn’t matter. Within children’s books, I tend to gravitate toward mythology of any origin and urban fantasy. Outside of children’s books, I seem to stick to classics and postmodern novels like Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I’m starting to move more into nonfiction though, with books related to PR and publishing, as well as general interest books.

How do you organize your collection?

Organization has become a bit tricky since I ran out of room on my bookshelf. As a rule, a book isn’t allowed a place on my shelf until it has been finished. Once they are read, my books are organized by most loved series and singles to slightly less liked books read for class.

What’s your oldest book?

The oldest book I have on my bookshelf is The Odyssey. I have had that book for almost 10 years, but it may not be my oldest book. I have a lot more books at my parents’ house that I would need to search through to make sure. Ten years may not seem very old, but I tend not to buy used books, so all of mine are starting from their print date.

What book have you read the most?

I have probably read Pride & Prejudice the most, if we aren’t counting the Dr. Seuss books I still have from my childhood.


What’s your most-loved book?

My most loved book is a new acquisition, given to me by a friend that knows me well enough to know that books are the best gifts. I was given the Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics edition of Jane Austen: Seven Novels. This book includes Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Lady Susan. I haven’t been able to bring myself to take off the protective plastic wrap, but I’m hoping it will happen soon.

What percentage of the books you own have you read?

I try not to buy more books until I have read the ones sitting on top of my bookshelf. So, at any given time I’d say I’ve read about 85 to 90 percent of the books I own.


What are your top 10 books in your collection?

My Top 10

In no particular order, my top 10 favorite books in my collection are:

  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: It is just such a romantic classic. I read this to get out of a bad mood, or just because I want to read a beautiful story.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This book is so haunting and lovely. It is another love story I cannot give up. People often say it’s slow or hard to read, but give it time, and you will love it.
  3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: OK, so this isn’t one book, it’s four, with two more coming. This series is urban fantasy for young readers. It follows a race of shadowhunters who kill demons. Is it childish? Yes, but it has so much imagination.
  4. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare: This series will have three books total; two are currently out. It is the same concept as the Mortal Instruments series, but set more than 100 years before the Mortal Instruments. The series is just as imaginative, but still separate from the other series.
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: This is a childhood classic. The stories and imagery never fail to make me smile. I will continue to reread these books and eventually read them to my children.
  6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: This book is so wonderfully depressing that I can’t help but love it.
  7. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: This is one of the first books I ever loved, and I will always love it.
  8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: When I finished this book last summer I couldn’t move. This young adult book gives a fictional first-person perspective on how bullying can lead to suicide. It is a hard read, but worth it.
  9. Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves: This book is the true story of a woman who cannot tame her wanderlust and commit to a country despite love interests and job security. I love this book because I think most people can relate to having strong wanderlust, especially those of us who have lived abroad for extended periods of time.
  10. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan: This is one of the most fun children’s Greek mythology series I’ve ever read. Everything is well developed and the storyline is full of twists.


One Response to “My Personal Library: If the subject is too large for adult fiction, write it for children”

  1. Judith Briles May 28, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Love Pride and Prejudice too! I like the strong will of Elizabeth Bennet and the secretly romantic side of Mr. Darcy. I even watched the film to capture the characters more.

    To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic. The social side of it even applies until now.

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