When I was a kid I brought home a paperback book that my parents didn't think I should read. Mind you, this was during an era when our neighborhood drugstore's book racks never sported anything but the most innocuous (by today's standards) sorts of pulp fiction, from detective stories to romance novels to true crime. So you can be assured that my selection was about as tame as, say, a Disney animated movie. But it had a lurid cover photo and a rather suggestive title, suggestive, at least, to my 12-year-old sensibilities. Also to my mom because when she spotted it on my nightstand she freaked. She asked my dad to speak to me about it and confiscate the book.
The author Neil Gaiman is a prominent backer of libraries and literacy, and he has a great idea for a new Halloween tradition. He thinks we should all give scary books as gifts on Halloween. He's calling it All Hallow's Read. As a fan of Gaiman's work, books in general, and scary things – I think this sounds like fun.
I love books. There's nothing like the experience of cracking open a brand new book and spending a lazy Saturday reading all day. My favorite places to spend an afternoon are the library or a bookstore. I am that person at the flea market digging through a bin of old books, looking to purchase a piece of history. I have books from my childhood and my mother's childhood that I enjoy sharing with my children. I hope to pass on my love of reading, and these books, to my grandchildren.
This week marks the USA's 30th annual Banned Books Week (sponsored by half a dozen American library, bookseller, journalist and publisher associations; and endorsed by about half a dozen more.) During Banned Books Week, bookstores and libraries across the USA celebrate (for want of a better word) the books that have been challenged or outright banned from libraries with in store displays, readings and so forth.
In a series of lectures, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk ruminated on what goes on in the mind of a person reading a novel. His thoughts are summarized by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. below.
Do these match your experiences? The point about finishing a (great) novel and feeling that it had been written just for me particularly struck home - it maybe irrational but it's so true!
The slow-mo implosion of Borders has created an enormous amount of commentary, but perhaps none as visceral as the poster spotted in a Borders in Santa Rosa, California.