Friends of Seattle Public Library Blog

The goings on of the Seattle Public Library.

In defense of reading March 13, 2008

iRead…therefore iAM (in defense of reading)

A fellow board member tossed over this link from Timothy Egan’s NYTimes Opinion Piece and I thought I would share it out.

excerpt

Every now and then, someone who is brilliant says something stupid — often the result of spending too much time riding a jet stream of high praise. Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple Inc., did such a thing last month when he all but declared the death of reading.

Asked about Kindle, the electronic book reader from Amazon.com, Jobs was dismissive. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is,” he told John Markoff of The Times, “the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.”

/excerpt

I echo the sentiment in the blog post that it’s unfortunate when someone so powerful, with the potential for such incredible impact on shaping trends, says something so unbelievably stupid. And also couldn’t state it more eloquently myself:

“People are eating fewer vegetables than they used to – or should – but that doesn’t mean carrots have no future. “

Brilliant. :-)

 

Latest Reads From The Friends….

Hello Earthlings,

Rain, rain, rain! Enough already. Below we share our booklist from this week’s Friends meeting -

camel.gif The Camel Bookmobile: A Novel by Masha HamiltonAbout a librarian going to the African bush…raises a lot of philosophical questions, very enjoyable read. Raises the issues of written versus oral traditions and brings to light a very real issue of how to bridge cultural divides.
worst.gif The worst hard time : the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl by Timothy Egan.BeautifulTerrible, very educational… a striking account of how the great, grassy plains turned to dust, and how the winds created storms as bad as a biblical plague. But it was all man-made, the plains weren’t conducive to farming. Throw in the economic disaster of the Depression, top it with eight years of drought and you have a decade where you wish you had just not gotten out of bed. Egan’s interviews with survivors produce tales of courage and suffering: Hazel Lucas, for instance, dared to give birth in the midst of the blight only to see her baby die of “dust pneumonia” when her lungs clogged with the airborne dirt. With characters who seem to have sprung from a novel by Sinclair Lewis or Steinbeck, and Egan’s powerful writing, this account will long remain in readers’ minds.
omni.gif The omnivore’s dilemma : a natural history of four meals by Michael PollanReally fascinating. I just finished the fast food part. I had no idea how ruled we all are by corn! Pollan coins the phrase and examines what he calls “our national eating disorder” (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) taking us up and down the food chain. “The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world.” Pollan takes four meals and traces their roots. With the exception of Stephen King, I’ve never been so freaked out about corn before…
index.gif Three cups of tea : one man’s mission to fight terrorism and build nations– one school at a time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver RelinOne kind act leads to another and develops into a school system in the Pakistan region when an American nurse’s unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world’s second tallest mountain. Gravely ill, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town’s first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.
hardy.gif Thomas Hardy : the guarded life by Ralph PiteLots of history, very enjoyable read. Hardy in society, his troubled marriage. In death, his wife turned into his greatest muse…. “The wounds inflicted by life never quite healed over in Hardy,” writes Tomalin, although she avows she cannot completely fathom the underlying cause of his acute sensitivity to humiliation.

Just click on the links in this post and it will take you to the SPL site to reserve your copies today!

marshmallows.jpg
 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.