What do you do with your massive collection of scary & inappropriate books when you've raised an avid reader?

Tonight my five year old daughter (who is already plowing through Encyclopedia Brown books in her spare time) comes up to me with my copy of Charlaine Harris's 'Dead in the Family' and says, "This book has Uncle Eric in it!" in her creepy-silly voice. Meaning she's read some portion of it (horrors!) and is amused that Eric Northman has the same first name as my brother.

Should I place these books under lock and key? What about my husband's books on embalming, cannibalism, and murder? And then everything on my bookshelf from Lynda Barry's 'Cruddy' to Charles Patterson's 'Eternal Treblinka' would be near-traumatizing for a kid to read.

Then again, I read 'Tommyknockers' when I was 7 and only had nightmares for.... a few years.

What do you do when your child's reading abilities exceed their emotional understanding for what they've read?

Has anyone had any 'Oh sh!t!" moments like this when they realized their kids could read (and comprehend relatively well) anything?

2 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    i make sure their shelves are full of enticing books at their level so they have no reason to come to mine (or an older sibling's). my son has picked up some books of his older sister's that i found not really appropriate for his emotional level even though his reading level was up to it. in some cases i said "not yet; read it when you're older" and in others i said "okay, but remember you can put it aside or talk about it if you find it upsetting."

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    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I would explain to her that they're grown-up books and she shouldn't read them yet because they'll give her nightmares but if she still tries to reach them I'd put them in a closet or someplace else. If she likes scary books then find some a little more appropriate for her age. Of course telling her she can't read something might make it all the more tempting and it could be a good idea to simply box them up and replace the empty shelves with her books and some new books, tell her you wanted her to have more space for her own and don't make a big deal about it.

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