in defense of children’s books



Here’s a book I read recently (and quite enjoyed, thank you very much) …

Yes, it’s a children’s book; it was written in the mid-1950s, but I’ve only just discovered it.


And how could I possibly pass it up?


A realistic cat (who can, nonetheless, talk) and a resourceful 10-year-old girl as two of the main characters, plus magic?


Yes, please!


It’s everything my much younger self would’ve adored in a book. And it’s still delightful now.



Are you an adult who still reads books meant for children & young adults?


I’ll admit: I love well-written children’s and “YA” books. No matter the intended audience (or, let’s be honest, which demographic the publisher decides to market it toward), a good book is, after all, a good book.


As I’ve mentioned before, I firmly believe there’s a reader for every story, and a story for every reader.


And I believe that carries over to genres as well.


Have you ever met someone — online or in “real life” — who loudly proclaims that anything outside their own preferred genre(s) is garbage?


Pffft, I say. There is absolutely no shame in trying new things, nor in liking what you like.


Remember: everyone has their own unique tastes in books. 


Your bookish tastes are your own, even if they change over time.


I don’t believe in “reading challenges,” but promise me you won’t read something (or *not* read something) simply because someone else says you should — or shouldn’t.


It all boils down to this: be sure to explore, and stretch your reading wings now and then  — but, no matter what, read books that bring you joy.


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Welcome to the online home of The Novel Cat, where reading, relaxing, and snuggling with cats are a way of life. I’m Jennifer, and I help former and aspiring readers maximize life’s simple pleasures — like the joy of savoring a good book — by helping them create quiet spaces (both mental and physical) inspired by the habits of cats, who are masters at finding joy in life’s small details.

“The only important thing in a book is the meaning it has for you.”

W. Somerset Maugham

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”

Marcel Proust

“Standing there, staring at the long shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace.”

Helene Hanff

“What a happy woman I am, living in a garden, with books … birds, and flowers, and plenty of leisure to enjoy them!”

Elizabeth von Arnim

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”

Neil Gaiman

“The art of reading is … an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us; when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“When I … looked round at the familiar bookshelves, and could hear no sounds but sounds of peace, and knew that here I might read or dream or idle exactly as I chose with never a creature to disturb me, how grateful I felt to the kindly Fate that has brought me here and given me a heart to understand my own blessedness.”

Elizabeth von Arnim