Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seven Pleasures: A Kid in the Library

After I wrote the other day about the Dallas library, Willard Spiegelman graciously took the trouble to write me with an update about events since he wrote the D Magazine article in April. Long story short, since then there have been major cuts in the city library budget, resulting in reductions in hours, staff, purchasing, and all other areas of library operations. Lamentable but typical of what's happening all over the country.

The good news, however, is that Spiegelman also has a new book out. It's called Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness. The way in which it fits into this blog's subject matter is in its first chapter on reading, which includes recollections of his childhood trips to the Free Library of Philadelphia. 

I have not been able to read it yet, but here's a review--with links to other reviews and an excerpt from the beginning--from the Dallas Morning News. Here's another from Boston.com, and the book's amazon page, where it's under $16. 

I obviously haven't read it yet, but I am a fan of a good personal essay, and an obvious advocate for taking kids to libraries. It would be nice for each of us, especially as we deal with little ones of our own, to take a moment to recollect how the low-tech libraries of our childhoods affected us and try to recreate that--incorporating all the new technologies and wonderful children's books of recent years--for children today. 

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