Writ Large

For a couple years, my Baube was the best large print books library patron in Western Washington. Books took flight from locations all across King County and converged at Bellevue’s Lake Hills branch for retrieval by my father. Baube is Yiddish for grandmother, and Yiddish, as for other Jewish people of a certain age, is […]

Young Bookworms

My grandchildren live with their parents in the downstairs apartment of our house, which brings me the good fortune of being able to read with them every night. I cherish everything about our evening reading routine: choosing the books, sitting side-by side on the couch with a small head leaning against my shoulder, listening to […]

“It’s Laudable To Be Audible”: Enhancing the Reading Experience (Or Not)

“Have you ever heard a blindfolded octopus unwrap a cellophane-covered bathtub?” Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth 1. Musical Accompaniment Not long ago I went to a silent-reading event at the Colonial-era Loring-Greenough House in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Apart from the whisper of turning pages (I saw no e-readers), attendees sat and read their books […]

Georgia Children’s Book Award and The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

To be in a room with dozens of fourth through eighth graders who are about to compete in a state-wide reading quiz bowl is to experience a level of energy and suspense too high to measure. To witness whole teams of bright-eyed kids on the edge of their seats, buzzers in hand, eager to display […]

My Library/ Myself

You can learn a lot about me by furtive browsing of my bookshelves. And for a home as small as mine, I have a lot of them–four custom bookcases plus furniture with shelves. Like the shelf filled with books on India, a place of my dreams, a country I visited in 2007. This shelf holds […]

Banned Books Week

Think censorship ended with the Banned in Boston days of James Joyce’s Ulysses and D. H. Lawrence‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Think again. Censorship–or attempts to censor–are alive and well. Next week is Banned Books Week. Learn more about efforts to protect our freedom on this page (below) from the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week: Celebrating the […]

Decatur Book Festival 2014

What do Karen Joy Fowler, Ron Rash, US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Barbara Brown Taylor, Joyce Carol Oates, Thrity Umrigar,  Pat Conroy, and scores of others have in common? They  all participated in the Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival this past weekend. The festival claims to be the largest independent book festival in the country. That […]