And as a librarian who works with digital content, the idea Google has of digitizing ALL the books that every existed, seems a little crazy and far-fetched even for the Great God Google.
So if you want to see some local digitizing efforts from one of our universities that really is spectacular, go to the McCasland Map Collections at Oklahoma State University. It is excellent, and the Great God Google doesn’t have anything to do with it.
I’ve definitely got a soft spot for local digital efforts. I think we know the best stuff, we’re respectful of copyright and we like to focus on local history and culture.
I’m not against the Google efforts, but nothing makes you crazier than finding one of the Google books and you get a smidgen of the entire book and need to find it at a library or through Interlibrary Loan anyway. So we’ll see if Google gives up or just finds a way to be the New Royal Library of Alexandria.
Here’s what’s on my nightstand:
• Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable by Bruce Hood (Beyond culture and the handing down of beliefs, Hood thinks there is something inherent in our nature that makes us believe the unbelievable.)
• The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (An adventure in an alternate world, where people really–I mean, *really*–value literature. What kind of drugs is this author taking?)
• The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham. (Latest installment of maybe the best comic/graphic novel series ever!)
(If you’ve been following this blog, you may be interested to know that Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is no longer on the nightstand!)
And what has been taking up Miss Kitty’s time?
• No Going Back by Lyndon Stacey (An ex-cop and his retired police dog solve a crime.)
• Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth (It’s about our relationship with food.)
• The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (A modern-day woman discovers she has a connection to the Salem Witch Trials.)
Plus, Kitty says she’s so fed up with this weather she’s getting ready to read a Christmas romance: Scrooge and the Single Girl by Oklahoma’s own Christine Rimmer.
OK, now it’s your turn. What have you been reading this hot, hot season?
Hmmm… with all these titles, I wonder how many categories I should tag? Let’s see…
I’ll bet Young Bill Young wishes I would quit procrastinating and get back to blogging. I’ve used working at Valentine’s Day for as long as I can. I even watched a segment on Sunday Morning this very morning about procrastination and it got me thinking about the error of my ways.
Why do I start so many books, get de-railed, start more, finish even fewer and the cycle continues… And I’m not talking about books that aren’t good, I’m talking books I really want to finish. Some I’m within pages of finishing (I realize this is a disease, and I’m the only one who can cure myself).
What titles are lingering on bedside tables, sofas, kitchen counters, book bags,etc….
Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell. His writing just keeps on getting better. If you like Oklahoma settings, cleverly constructed characters, and plot. Well, it’s got it all.
Then there’s the Sound of Honor by Jim Stovall I like the possibility of a blind detective. Very clever, and Stovall uses his own life experiences to bring believable detail to the story. Reminds me of the Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay, with his narcoleptic detective. And look I’ve gone to his website and now I have to read his new one, No Sleep till Wonderland.
I’ve also picked up Jeff VanderMeer’s City of Saints and Madmen in the meantime and I need to give it undivided attention or I’m not going to understand it. It’s not for bedside falling asleep reading, but I think it would be worth the effort if I’ll only give it some.
Two others that I’m so close to finishing it’s shameful are Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard and Donis Casey’s The Sky Took Him.
I intend to review both of those so that’s all I’m going to say about them right now.
I realize part of my problem is job related. I walk by the new book display (oops, Doppelgangster just fell into my hands on the way to an appointment).
I read book reviews for my job, I do Interlibrary Loan for my job, all furthering my book addiction. Stop the madness. I’m going to try finishing books before starting new ones. I’m going to try to be more disciplined. (I didn’t go to the Metropolitan Library System’s Book Sale this year and I’m having withdrawal already.) Next year watch out I’m going to be at the head of the line and push people away from the titles I want.
So wish me luck, I’m working on a better me. Need to stop and finish my book……
Young Bill Young, here. Kitty’s out of the office the next few days, so I will be happily blogging in her absence.
It’s Banned Books Week, so you know what to do. Find a title that someone doesn’t want you to read, and read it! Need help finding a book? Take a look at the American Library Association’s list of the ten most frequently challenged books of 2008. The link will also give you access to past years’ lists. And here’s a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books during the 1990s. That will give you lots and lots of great titles (some of them bona fide American classics) to choose from.
Of course Banned Books Week is a promotion to celebrate the diversity of literature and opinions in our great country, and the right of individuals to have access to those ideas. So who would we be if we didn’t present both sides of the issue? Many books are challenged by well-meaning concerned parents, so we googled “censorship of children’s materials” and came up with this results page. Lots of differing opinion here, including a Wall Street Journal editorial and a posting on Beliefnet.com.
Books are challenged all across the U.S. and this map details some of the recent attempts. This map will certainly make Okies feel a lot better, since it often seems our state is ground zero for intellectural freedom challenges.
Finally, the writer in this column from the Detroit Free Press agrees that Banned Books Week is a Good Time to Read One. So come on! You know you’ve just been dying to crack that copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover for the longest time!
Athe Oklahoma Center for the Book Award dinner, one of the speaker’s said it was a great day when the 230+ there were joining the Center to “promote the past, current, and future works of Oklahoma authors; promote the literary heritage of the state; and encourage reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.”
There was an emphasis on reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages. I wonder how many of us have abandoned “reading for pleasure”. I remember sitting up late into the night reading my book, occasionally with a mom saying you better go to sleep or you won’t want to get up in the morning, but not really caring. And once at work a colleague told me she read fantasy novels because it was just like eating candy. (And a lot less fattening.) But like everyone I find myself thinking about work, home issues, staring at nonsensical television and watching way too much news by people intent on hearing their own voices. And way too little time reading for pleasure.
So it was very interesting to find this on Esquire website, that Peter Martin has this to say about the pleasures of reading.
“But then, a couple weeks ago, I decided to pick up Peter Godwin’s When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, which a friend had recommended. It wasn’t something out of the canon that I hoped would come up in conversation with my boss, or at a party filled with beautiful Ivy League women or even girls from Wellesley. Just a book, by a guy I’d never heard of, on a topic I didn’t think I cared about. As I read it, something felt different. Instead of obligation, I was compelled by interest. And it was glorious. Liberating. Like I’d been eating at Long John Silver’s for the last ten years and only just now realized that that’s not what people meant when they talked about seafood. I finished that book and chose another. When it didn’t captivate me within thirty pages, I moved on to another (Mark Helprin’s three-year-old Winter’s Tale). I found myself rushing to get out of work so I could read on the subway ride home. When an express train pulled up, I’d wait for the local. Now that I’m a reader (who’s currently reading the forthcoming Apologize, Apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly), I’m not bothered when my plane’s stuck on the tarmac or a friend shows up late at the bar. I have a book. My book. I can wait.
And here’s a slightly different take on reading for pleasure in this review of Victor Nell’s Lost in a Book: The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure by Jenny Davidson at Light Reading blog.
And when I put pleasure reading in Google I find lots of College/High School students complaining about required reading assignments, which have negated any attempt to have time for pleasurable reading. Maybe teachers should allow one “free” book each semester. It could be its own valuable lesson.
I need to start reading again for the pure pleasure of it. Several books await, with my name on them. Who hasn’t lost themself in the printed word, oblivious to laundry, children, spouses, work and sleep? Why not give ourselves the present of selfless moments of reading pleasure.
So in the words of Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe’s confidant, “Go to Hell I’m Reading.”
For the first time in more than 25 years, American adults are reading more literature, according to a survey by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEA survey has been conducted five times since 1982, and in 2008 there were 16.6 million more adult readers of literature. Nice to see big figures that have nothing to do with our economy.
This means slightly more than half of all American adults read literature (113 million) or books (119 million). I guess that could be the glass half empty or half full depending on your perspective. The largest increases are reported among young adults ages 18-24, and Hispanic Americans.
Photo on Flickr erix’s photostream.
I’m sharing this information with a colleague who was haranguing me the other day about people not reading especially teens. Hah!