How times have changed. When I was a teenager, despite access to the school and town libraries, I never had enough to read. I read anything I could find, from Mills and Boon to George Orwell. Often in the same week. For a while my dad subscribed to Readers' Digest and I looked forward to the arrival of the next dark red volume. I still remember Call of the Wild and The Citadel, but I'm sure there were many more. I never managed to get my hands on anything very subversive though. I 'borrowed' my mum's copy of Lace, but I never found the smutty bits and it was too bad to read from cover to cover. I thought that A wife's guide to pleasing her husband might be more informative, but apart from a useful reminder to remove one's apron and warm one's husband's slippers before he arrived home from work, there was little to interest an eighties teenager.
Nowadays there is a plethora of teen fiction to choose from. I've never banned my daughter from reading anything. I'd like to say this is out of liberal-mindedness, but in fact it's more due to apathy. She'd read most of Jacqueline Wilson's books 'for older readers' before I ever noticed that they weren't all about sleepovers. On principle, I couldn't ban anything I hadn't read myself and I just never got round to it. Now I come to think of it, there was one book that achieved 'banned' status in our house: Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses. Of course, being banned gave the book special appeal. When I finally read it, I thought it was an excellent book. But then all the glamour had gone, in my daughter's eyes.
Speaking of glamour, half term ended with a trip to see Katy Perry at the MEN. Never have I seen so many wigs, flashing headbands and mini skirts no wider than belts. And that was just the audience. Yes, I know I'm showing my age but it was truly a sight to behold. The show was spectacular too: fireworks, dancers, pink fluffy clouds and more dress changes than you could possibly imagine. Fabulous.