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  kiddie Lit for quasi-adults | 
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Peek into my bedroom and you’ll find two books sitting next to the bed right now. The first is Anna Karenina, a book that I’ve attempted to plow through and abandoned without finishing at least three or four times since I first bought it back in high school. The second? A big, heavy special edition of The Complete Chronicles of Narnia.

Yes, I’m twenty-six years old, and I still read kids’ books. You know, books with big print, short words and plenty of pictures. And actually, my boyfriend and I both read them – together and out loud.

It all began with Fox in Socks, the yellow hardback Dr. Seuss Beginner Book that Ash presented to me on our first Christmas together. He’d loved it as a kid, and was horrified to learn that I’d never read it before. That night, we cuddled under a quilt with our backs propped up by a mountain of pillows, and laughed till our stomachs hurt as we struggled to spit out the book’s tongue-twistingly silly rhymes. We babbled about battling beetles and big pig bands and Luke Luck’s like of lakes. It was superb dumb fun.

So when Valentine’s Day rolled around, I headed to the bookstore, walking straight past fiction, poetry, history, biography, philosophy, and slinking into the kiddie section. Furtively, I glanced around, breathing a small sigh of relief to find that there was no one, in that primary-colored room of stroller-pushing, tyke-wielding Mom and Dads, who might possibly recognize me. I, as an intellectual college-student type, was supposed to be reading Proust or Camus or heck, even my mind-bogglingly dull organic chemistry textbook, not contemplating the merits of The Cat in the Hat vs. The Giving Tree vs. Jumanji.

Many Christmases, Valentine’s Days and birthdays later, our kiddie lit collection now takes up a big portion of the living room shelf space, sitting next to my oversize art books and below his poetry books. Friends are always pulling our kids’ books off the shelves when they come over to visit, sitting cross-legged on the floor or curling up on a futon, giggling out loud as they re-discover stories that they’d long-since forgotten about. And on quiet nights in, when the TV offerings stink and Ash and I are too lazy even to venture out to the video store, we’ll grab a picture book, then tuck ourselves under the covers. We’ll take turns reading aloud, him taking the right page, me the left, or alternating chapter to chapter instead. We’ll laugh a lot, reminisce about our childhoods, play games of "what if" inspired by the stories we’ve just read.

there's more this way!

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