Friday, February 19, 2016

Daily Thoughts 02/19/2016

Carafe and Book - Juan Gris
Carafe and Book, Juan Gris, 1920

Daily Thoughts 02/19/2016

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I have been reading some more of Better Living Through Criticism.  I am enjoying it.  I rather like the idea that there between criticizing for what is popular versus what has quality content.  This is not a dichotomy to me because I have to order both the best quality and the most popular items when I can.  In fact, the ideal book or item is both popular and high quality.  It won an award is on the bestseller list and is being talked about on the evening news.  People like it for both content and quality.

I also read some more of Stoned.  I am reading about Isabella, the Spanish Queen and how she first sold her jewels to pay for her wars with Granada and other holy wars.  There is also information on the story of the conquistadors, El Dorado, and the Valley of Manta where the Inca worshipped emeralds.

I had a chance to go out for a nice meal at the local Greek restaurant.  I also hung some of my pictures.  This was satisfying.  It gave me a chance to get a break from librarian things for a bit.

I watched another episode on Hoopla Digital of The Librarians called And The Horns of Dilemma about a maze under a corporate building with a minotaur.  It was entertaining.  There are two full length librarian movies starring Noah Wyle, The Librarian Curse of the Judas Spear and The Librarian Return to King Solomon's Mines on Hoopla.

I enjoyed reading Better Living Through Criticism How To Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A.O. Scott.  It helped me understand the art of being a critic.  It also reminded me how far I am from being a professional critic.  My use of criticism is not based on art or good writing, it is based on functional decisions on what I should buy for people.  This is definitely not the subject of this book.  Although, I do write book reviews sometimes, I do not write them from the perspective of art which is what this book spends a lot of time discussing.

I almost dread the idea of thinking about myself as being a critic.  It is the same kind of dread which I feel when someone says that you are definitely a poet or even a writer.  I do not make my living from writing, criticism, or poetry.  I make my living from selection which is a bit of a different kind of beast.  Selection of course is related to writing and criticism.  If you read enough, it is very likely to understand better the reading process, you will begin writing.  Then, to understand your own writing, you will start criticizing your writing and other peoples writing.  I think it is a natural process which occurs from constant reading.

I have been called an unpoet before, maybe I am uncritic or even an unwriter. Not that this makes sense.  The book Better Living Through Criticism makes you think a lot about how and why you judge things.  It is well worth reading.  Writers, librarians, poets, and others who are deeply involved with the written word should find this book both useful and thoughtful.

Web Bits

Last Man Standing: How to Kill Public Libraries

The Library War Service ALA's Book Campaigns in World War I

Punctuation In Novels

David Byrne's Lending Library

Inflatable Space

After Nearly Going Pop, Google's Project Loon Heads Into Carrier Testing This Year

Artificial Intelligence

First Click: Can Robots Learn to Behave By Reading Our Books

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