Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reading is Good

photo by the San Jose Library

Few people would disagree with the title of this post. But have you ever stopped to think about why you think reading is good?

Reading is far from the passive endeavor it appears to be. Reading of all kinds--long, short, print, online, fiction, non-fiction--develops the imagination, critical thinking, and memory.

The National Endowment for the Arts conducted a study with surprising results about the lives of readers vs. non-readers. Dana Gioia, head of the endowment, explains in a video here.

Do your civic duty and read, and encourage others to do the same!

For what other reasons do you think reading is good?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Reading for Young People

photo © Chibi for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

Can you stand more on summer reading? (I just started The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, by the way.) "ShelfTalker," a blog I read regularly, is by 2 women who run independent children's bookstores. One of them wrote about the dismal state of student's summer reading lists. Most of the lists she saw were classic titles by dead white men. So she asked her readers what books they would include on a summer reading list for young people. Click here for the result. Even if you are more young at heart than young, you might like to try some of these.

As for classics, yes, there's a reason they are classics. Two classics that I loved as a young person were Heidi and Black Beauty--both by dead white women. What classics did you love as a young person?

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Summer Reading

Most newspapers have drastically reduced their book sections, so I was pleased to see our local paper feature summer reading recommendations. These are especially interesting because the books are recommended by local professionals in a variety of fields, not just librarians, book sellers, or reviewers. Many of them were titles I didn't know. Click here for the list and find some potential new favorites.

What are you reading this summer?