Congratulations to Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset, my favorite local independent bookstore. Today the store is celebrating its 25th anniversary! If you read this on Saturday, be sure to go by and say hello to bookstore’s new owners and enjoy their one day sale – 25% off of everything in the store! It’s not too early for holiday shopping….
Earlier this month, walking around the University of Dayton campus, I noticed this new sign. Erma Bombeck was a beloved humorist who wrote a long-running newspaper column about her home and family. Her columns were collected into best-selling books, and she became a popular and beloved commentator on American suburban life. Because she graduated from the University of Dayton (1949), there is now a Bombeck Center for Early Childhood Education on campus.
I have my sister to thank for sending me this rather depressing poster that she saw on Pinterest. Because most of my friends are readers, it’s a sobering reminder that most people aren’t buying or reading books. The chart also made me wonder what the world would be like if more people read books. More compassionate? More empathetic? Language is what allows us to communicate – it makes us human.
This picture was not posed. I looked across the library and this is exactly what I saw. Rather than telling them they should sit up before all of their blood rushed to their heads, I went to get my phone so I could take this picture. After that, I suggested they sit upright!
Mark your calendar now for April 23 – the third annual World Book Night, U.S. So many books will be given away on that day that perhaps it will improve the statistics on the chart above. The plan is for 500,000 books to be given to “primarily light readers or non-readers or poeple without the means to buy books.” For more information, here’s the link: http://www.worldbooknight.org
I’m ending this post with a poem by one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins. His new book, Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, was published this week. This is the first poem in the collection:
Looker, gazer, skimmer, skipper,
thumb-licking page turner, peruser,
you getting your print-fix for the day,
pencil-chewer, note taker, marginalianist
with your checks and X’s
first-timer or revister,
browser, speedster, English major,
flight-ready girl, melancholy boy,
invisible companion, thief, blind date, perfect stranger –
that is me rushing to the window
to see if it’s you passing under the shade trees
with a baby carriage or a dog on a leash,
me picking up the phone
to imagine your unimaginable number,
me standing by a map of the world
wondering where you are –
alone on a bench in a train station
or falling asleep, the book sliding to the floor.