A humble little blog about books, information, and other things that are good to know.

Posts tagged ‘books’

New Year, New Look, New Books

Lately I’ve been finding the layout of this blog a little too dark for my tastes, so I decided to start off the new year with an updated, brighter look. Hopefully this will make the blog a bit more readable and more lovable for my loyal fan base . . . such as it is.

Here are just a few of the books you can expect to hear about (and therefore hopefully I’ll get a chance to read) in the coming year:

  • Denying History by Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • Lost on the Darkside, an anthology edited by John Pelan
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (widely considered the English language’s first detective novel)
  • Simple Recipes by Madeleine Thien
  • My Spiritual Journey by the Dalai Lama
  • The Story of a Soul, the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

And some interesting topics I’m hoping to address in posts coming up soon:

  • What do you do with books of pseudo-history? Does the principle of free speech give them the right to be heard? To be accessible in libraries?
  • Buddhism, mindfulness, reading, and understanding
  • Libraries in the real world, and my experiences in them – including a very recent (frustrating) trip to a branch of the Toronto Public Library
  • More adventures with children like Cookie and Berry.
  • Hopefully – cross your fingers really hard that I can do this – some volunteer work at a local library or related charity.

Happy New Year, faithful readers! And happy reading in 2011.

Not Intended For Children

Glasses-wearing baby reading very serious novel

Image via the Vicky Mathan Blog.

I’ve been meaning to spend some time on this question for quite a while, ever since my good friend told me all about her daughter’s trip to the public library. It was a great experience: the little one (who I’ve christened with the blog-name Berry) got her very own library card and took home some picture books that she really enjoyed. But Mommy told me a story about how Berry kept trying to look at cookbooks, and that got me thinking: what happens when little readers (or not-yet-reading book lovers like Berry) get their hands on material that’s meant for grown-ups?

I encountered another example this morning while I was getting winter tires put on my car. A mom and her daughter were sitting in the waiting room; the child was maybe about six years old. Mom paged through an issue of People magazine, then set it aside, where her little girl picked it up and started flipping through. That’s when I noticed the cover story: TEEN SUICIDE TRAGEDIES.

Now that’s an even m0re serious example, and it highlighted the idea that, for me, there are two separate issues here:

  1. What happens when little children get into reading material that leaves them confronting ideas parents would rather protect them from encountering?
  2. Are there any reasons to keep children away from grown-up books that don’t contain anything controversial or disturbing, but they just aren’t designed for children?

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