Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Thoughts 8/21/2010 (Winning Grants, Barnes and Noble, Bring On The Books For Everybody

Photograph of the "tower room" or "Owl's Nest" at The Wayside in Concord, Massachusetts. This room was added by author Nathaniel Hawthorne and is where he did his writing while living in the house. It was redecorated by Margaret Sidney when she became the home's owner. Date 1904

Daily Thoughts 8/21/2010

This morning I finished watching the Screencasts on the dvd that came with the book Winning Grants A How To Do It Manual For Librarians.  What this book talked about a lot was how to plan before looking for a grant.  The steps in creating a vision, planning, and getting support from outside organizations.  I think that I might have an idea based on corporate and community sponsorship more than grantwriting after reading this book.

After going to the supermarket, I stopped by Barnes and Noble.   There were a few titles that caught my attention, in the large print I thought the Danielle Steel book Family Ties would go well, the title Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen which is a mystery just got turned into a television miniseries,  the book Halo The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund will be popular because of the video game, also there is manga Bleach Official Bootleg Color Bleach which will popular.  For fashion, Nina Garcia's Look Book should be very popular.  The Four Fingers of Death by Rick Moody looks fantastic it is a literary comic novel about horror and science fiction.  It is something which I will definitely be reading.  Also there was posthumous mystery novel by Dick Francis and Felix Francis called Crossfire which caught my attention.

I have been reading more of Bring On The Books For Everybody.  It is very enjoyable.   Jim Collins is describing the concept of self-cultivation in literature.  The idea is that people should "Read only the very best books."  This will make them more cultivated.  This self-cultivation is for people who are not part of academia.  It allows them to attain a certain cachet.  I find it interesting.  There is a constant back and forth between popularity and quality and what we should get in a library.

I am a firm believer that many high quality books can become very popular if promoted and introduced correctly.  People want to improve themselves.   There is a genuine cultural value in reading that extends beyond the academic.  In fact, if you have a computer or even a cell phone and an internet connection, the classics and most of the canonical books should be available to you, not just the western cannon, but also many quality titles from all over the world in places like Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive.  Most of the western academic literary cannon is already freely available for anyone to interpret any way they like.

This includes doing horrendous unique things like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or having amateurs recite the classics at Librivox, or adding video content to classic works like the $1.99 Sherlock Holmes Experience which combines text and video on Vook

Some of the commentary is truly entertaining.  For example, Virginia Woolf owned Hogarth Press so she was much freer in her ability to write what she wanted than many other authors.  I also like the description of the book becoming a much more social object.  People talk much more about books recently than they did before. I am on P. 66 and do not think I will hurry through reading this book.  There are so many things that are entertaining to me in this work.  I even like the photographs of Barnes and Nobles and Borders.

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