Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Cruel Parenting!

Between the ages of nine and fourteen, I was reading up to three or four books per week. This was mainly because my parents finally broke down and bought a television, and the rule was that I had to read a full book for every half hour that I watched it. The second rule was that I had to mute all the commercials so I would not be brainwashed into wanting products that I didn’t need.

When I started reading nothing but Sweet Valley High and The Baby-sitters Club, my parents decided that sugary teenage books didn’t count and that I had to read a literary “classic” for every half hour of television. My mom created elaborate (and oddly draconian) charts for my brother and me to keep track of all this. All I know is that suddenly I was plowing through Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte as fast as I could—just so I could watch a measly hour of Saturday morning cartoons.”

~Jerramy Fine
from her memoir
Someday My Prince will Come