From Austin MacCormick’s 1931 survey of U.S. prison libraries:
The day may yet come, moreover, when the attitude of prison officials will be liberal enough to permit women librarians to enter the service of penal institutions. Women nurses are already being successfully used in a number of prisons and reformatories for men. It is true that the woman librarian would meet some obstacles; she could not, for example, browse around in the cell blocks, talking to individual readers at will. This places a serious limitation on her effectiveness. On the other hand, one can get more personality and training for the same amount of money in a woman librarian than in a man librarian. If prisoners were given more ready access to the library and to the office of the librarian, where they could sit down and talk over their reading interests and capabilities, a woman librarian could render service of a very high order (160).
Patti Smith, who won a 2010 National Book Award for Just Kids, had this to say in last night’s acceptance speech:
Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.
I have a nook, but I concur (I still do most of my reading the old-fashioned way)!
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
I started a Tumblr. I’m going to attempt to keep a collection of my favorite book quotes in one central location.
Hopefully, this will work better than my other time-tested methods: keeping pieces of paper in the book to mark the page; trying to recall which side of the page/which half of the book a section is in; attempting to dedicate the page number to memory, which only works about 2% of the time (I miraculously still remember the page of one of my fave passages in Anna Karenina, even though I finished the book last month).
Yes, my organization methods really are that questionable at times.
As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. I only have a few passages up right now–including the passage my Tumblr title came from–but I’m working on it.
“I was obsessed with the Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables. I decided I was Anne of Green Gables. There was something that spoke to me about her, and I wanted to have her beautiful red hair. So my mother said, “Let’s just go to the drugstore and get one of those cover-the-gray rinses!” My hair was very blond at the time, but it went carrot red. And I was over the moon. I went to school the next day and felt like myself. And then I went back [to that color] over and over again. What a cool mom, right?”
– Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks [ONTD via Jezebel]
John Waters, one of my favorite directors, once famously said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ‘em!” In his new memoir, Role Models, he imparts this bit of wisdom:
“You should never just read for ‘enjoyment.’ Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior; or better yet, your own. Pick ‘hard books.’ Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for God’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, ‘I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.’ Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of ‘literature’? That means fiction, too, stupid.”
Speaking of Role Models, I really really want to read that book. I have his autobiography, Shock Value, and it’s awesome.
Courtesy of my literary crush, Junot Diaz:
How come I am not surprised [about being the first Latino elected to serve on the Pulitzer board]?…I guess that I’m standing in for hundreds of other qualified writers, artists who should have been in that position before me. That’s always what I think about when people tell you, oh, you’re the first. Man, that’s not really the way it should have been.
That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him…he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.
I finally read that book late last year; I don’t remember having read it as a child. Anyway, I kind of have to agree with Ryan. That book is a total downer!