I spend all day everyday thinking about books, writing about books and looking bibliographic information up either in old fashioned books or on the internet. How then have I missed this little gem of information about one of my favourite books? Charlotte Sometimes was a book I got out of the school library when I was in my first year of secondary school (age 11/12). I loved it, renewed it for as long as I was allowed, and eventually had to give it back. Short of funds for actually buying books, that I thought was that.
I always remembered the book fondly but as I became an adult with a little more money, I was still permanently short of funds for books (having a wish list in the 100s) and so it remained un-bought. Then on holiday one year spotting a library with a booksale I pootled in and there it was. Hardback. All pages present. Much read, and no doubt much loved, but hanging on in there and just 50p.
Once it was home I kept it on a shelf for a little while anxious that a re-read might take the gloss of my happy memories of that old fashioned school library, all polished pale oak and quietness, and off my childhood love for the tale. Eventually though I gave in and I loved that book all over again - such a relief.
So, what little gem of information have I stumbled on? Well apparently the book was inspiration for a song from The Cure. I'm not a fan of The Cure but how had I failed to notice this over the years? I even remember reading the wikipedia entry on Penelope Farmer a few years ago, when I was doing my re-read of Charlotte Sometimes. Maybe the information wasn't there then? Perhaps the whole world knows and never thinks to mention it because it is a really well known thing? But it passed me by. Anyway in case it had passed you by too there are a couple of lovely entries on Penelope Farmer's blog about the whole saga of the song which you can read here and here - you can't beat a blog post tht ends with an aging author taking a bow at a rock concert.
And just as interestingly you can watch The Cure's video for the song:
I am also struck that libraries have played a big part in my association with this book, both the old-fashioned book-filled school kind, and the small town local authority kind. Looking at my pre-loved copy other children have obviously found this book by the same route. In a week that sees the start of the next parliament, can I make a tiny plea that among all the inevitable funding cuts that we find some way to defend libraries of all kinds. There is also a good post by Martin Edwards on elections and libraries here.
And if you haven't read Charlotte Sometimes please do!