Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Smarts

 I tend to feel there is something sacred about the physical being of a book, but beyond this superficial response I realize that there are hundreds of thousands of books the world simply doesn't need. Neatorama shows some of the cleverest ways in which various creative folks have used books for purposes other than reading.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Harper Lee

While I no longer read favorite books over and over again as I did in my childhood, I have read To Kill a Mockingbird twice in the last two years and found it equally powerful both times. My view of Atticus Finch is perhaps forever overlaid with images of the weary, but still handsome Gregory Peck in the brilliant film version of the story, but I believe the literary Atticus to be among the most admirable and beautifully written characters in American fiction. Jessica Lange reads from what may be one of the most moving moments in To Kill a Mockingbird here.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center: "To Kill a Mockingbird consistently ranks near the top of the American Library Association's list of 100 most frequently banned books. Most complaints involve the use of language now considered racially offensive, including the N-word."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Celebrate National Library Week!

Stacked-NYC is delighted to be debuting during National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011. For more information, visit the American Library Association; for a list of ten great libraries to visit, see this article from USA Today.

In the beginning, there was a library....

It may be only a slight exaggeration to say if not for a library, I wouldn’t be here. Some decades ago, in a University of Chicago library, my mother’s good friend, June, introduced her to the dark-haired young man who would become my father.  Books, libraries, and bookstores have played an important part of my life ever since—including an early disappointment at age 5, when a Chicago public library denied me my first card because I couldn’t print my full name.  A second application was successful and a childhood rich with books followed, at home, in libraries, in bookstores in Chicago, in New York, and occasionally abroad.  I never found romance in the stacks myself—that came through another venue—but I did find the world and riches I had not dreamed of, amazing books and authors who cheer, comfort, challenge, stimulate and  move me.   Many of the books I love I sought out because someone recommended them or a teacher assigned them, but many others I came upon by chance in the stacks of a library or a wonderful bookstore.
Join me in my journey as I visit the vast network of libraries—public and private-- in the greater NYC area and as many independent bookstores as I can.  I look forward to sharing the treasure.