Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: My First Fandom (a guest post by Cindy) (The Sunnydale Project Year 3)

Photo used with permission by Sarah Stumpf

One true thing is that you will never forget your first big fandom. Growing up as the weird kid in my school, I loved Beauty and the Beast and I adored L.J. Smith whose books started me on my love affair with reading. Nothing could and will never compare to my love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was obsessed to put it mildly. I had watched it off and on during the first season, but it was the second season that hooked me.

‘Becoming’ Part One and Part Two changed everything for me.

It was hard loving something so much, because I knew people who liked the show, but I knew no one who I could really talk to about it. I would have friends who would listen, but I knew no one really understood it. I had trouble finding my tribe. The internet was blooming and I would go on the Bronze, which was a popular message board for the show on the WB website.I was too young to really post and was scared of interacting. I would read as much fan fiction as I could find, which was a lot, but I will always remember feeling like I was annoying everyone around me about Buffy, but honestly I did not care. Buffy made me happy. I was going to talk about it no matter what.

That is what fandom is too me– strongly loving something so much that you just don’t care about what other people think about the object of your fandom or you. This is one reason why we have so many fandom related activities at my library. It gives the teens a place to express their love of something whether it is Hunger Games, Black Butler, or Dr.Who. I want teens to feel like they have found their place and their tribe. Buffy was and is my home.

About Our Guest Blogger:

Cindy Shutts is a Teen Services Librarian at White Oak Library District. She has guest blogged with us before sharing her Divergent library program and a display she put together for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can follow her on Twitter @cindysku

More About Fandoms:

Check out the Fanlore Wiki to learn more about Fandom

Huffington Post: A Complete Guide to the Tangled Web of Teen Fandom

Mtv: Decoding Millennials and Fandom

Style Caster: Teenage Fandom in the Age of Twitter (this takes a specific look at online bullying in the world of fandom)

Robin Brenner presents on Fandom and the Teen World (with resource links provided)

5 Reasons and Some Quotes Explain Why I Think Doctor Who Appeals to Book Lovers and Librarians

Source: Read more about this marketing at Book Riot

I’ve got a theory, it must be bunnies . . . No, wait, wrong show.  That’s from Buffy. 

Some shows have huge, devoted fandoms.  Shows like Buffy and Battlestar Gallactica and the show about everyone’s favorite doctor, Doctor Who.  Doctor Who is popular for many reasons, but I do have some theories as to why Doctor Who is so popular among book lovers and librarians – like me, a newly obsessed fan.

The Tardis is Like a Bookstore or a Library (or even a book)

You have probably seen the picture on the Internet, but the Tardis IS like a library (or a bookstore or yes, even a book).  When you walk into the Tardis, you know that you are going to explore new worlds, meet new people, and travel through both time and space.  You can do the same thing in a library.  When you walk through the library doors and explore the shelves you are transported to the past, to the future, to new worlds, to old worlds, and literally out of this world.  You will meet new people and hear their stories.  The library is full of ideas and thoughts and journeys.  Like the Tardis, the library is oh so much bigger on the inside then it appears on the outside.  The library (or a bookstore) is the one place where you have access to the entire universe and all the knowledge it holds.

Two Awesome Episodes Take Place in the Universe’s Most Amazing Library

In the two episode arc that begins with Silence in the Library, we journey to the universe’s largest library.  I love this episode.  Love it.  And not just because it takes place in a library.  The Vashta Nerada are terrifying, especially with the suggestion that they are what lurk in dark corners everywhere, even on Earth.  But oh my goodness, I want to work in that library.  Well, after they get rid of the Vashta Nerada.

There is actually another episode, Tooth and Claw, where the Doctor and co barricade themselves in a library to escape an alien werewolf thingy.  This is where a librarian’s favorite quote comes from . . .

 “You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” (from Tooth and Claw)

Spoilers Sweetie: River Song’s Journal

I know there are some people who don’t like River Song, I have read it on the Internet.  But in my very humble opinion – they are wrong.  I love River Song.  She has sass and spunk.  She also has the most amazing book ever.   You see, River keeps meeting the Doctor out of order, so she keeps a journal to figure out where and when they’ve met.  It’s like having a guidebook to your life.  Can you even imagine?  But she recognizes the importance of not knowing your life events ahead of time, so she is not one to divulge spoilers.  Thus, her tagline: “Spoilers, Sweetie”.  Such a great book and such a great, fun way to demonstrate the power of a book in life.

“Spoliers, Sweetie” (repeated often)

Authors, Authors Everywhere

Author Annie Cardi actually wrote a fabulous guest post (it will post on Friday) on this so I won’t get into too much detail here.  But in his travels through time and space the Doctor has met a variety of amazing authors.  He meets Agatha Christie.  He meets the bard himself, William Shakespeare.  He meets Charles Dickens.  It is fun to see the writers tinker with the lore of some of history’s most famous books and to suggest that The Doctor, or Donna Noble, or even Martha might have had something to do with the most important plot twists, lines, or characters.

William Shakespeare: How can a man so young have eyes so old?
The Doctor: I do a lot of reading. (from The Shakespeare Code)

“No, but isn’t that a bit weird? Agatha Christie didn’t walk around surrounded by murders, not really. I mean that’s like meeting Charles Dickens, and he’s surrounded by ghosts, at Christmas.” (from The Unicorn and the Wasp) 

Melody Malone, Private Investigator

Source: Doctor Who Tumblr.com

One of my favorite episode arcs involves a book starring one Melody Malone.  The book tells exactly what is going to happen in the episode, but if The Doctor and Amy read it, then time becomes fixed.  And they are definitely trying to change the events of the story.  I love the way The Angels Take Manhattan uses a noir detective story to frame the story of this episode.  I cringe every time the Doctor tears the last page out of the book, but I geek out over how they use the table of contents.  Yes, it’s true – I am a geek.

“I always rip out the last page of a book. Then it doesn’t have to end. I hate endings!” (from The Angels Take Manhattan)

Quotes, Quotes, and More Quotes

Most book lovers love a good quote.  If you spend anytime on the Internet you have seen them – beautiful pictures with book quotes.  Doctor Who is full of great quotes.  Here are five of my favorites (not mentioned above):

“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”
(from A Christmas Carol)
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
(from Vincent and the Doctor)

“The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”  
(from The Pandorica Opens)
“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” 
(from Love and Monsters)

“You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.” 
(from The Parting of the Ways)

This post is part of TWO marvelous blogging events!

Sci-Fi Month is brought to you by Rinn Reads. Check out the full schedule of Sci-Fi Month posts! There are reviews, discussions, giveaways, and more!

Doctor Who Week is a joint venture between  Maria’s Melange and Teen Librarian Toolbox. We have a full week of fun posts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.