Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Love Books - Paper and eBooks

Will the children of today be the eBook readers of tomorrow?

Emphatically, yes. Will we, as their parents and grandparents, speak the same literary language they do? I assert that we must. We must embrace the new digital format for reading books and continue to read into the future, as leaders in a new literary country. And this is not a country for nostalgic resistance. Pick up your iPad or your Sony Reader proudly. Save the book stores that you love by buying paper books and using their websites as your source for downloading your digital books. Download, save, read, notate, enlarge, consume the words as never before. Become e-savvy. Choose to join the wave and don’t be left behind in the papered world of old books that must crumble to dust, as all things worldy must. Open your mind to the possibilities.

As a book seller at Village Books I’ve heard arguments on both sides of this issue. The romantic booksellers say, ‘No, nothing will ever satisfy like a paper book, with pages to turn, pages to write one’s thoughts on the margins, to carry in one’s hand.’ However, I will own both: paper books and eBooks. Nothing can diminish the physical beauty of the paper books I’ve filled my home with, the books I carry everywhere I go, the books I read in bed late into the night.

And yet… And yet, I also love the new technology. I will download a portable library to take with me, in my back pack, with my water bottle, with my writing journals, and I will continue to feed my book-hungry brain with the tools of our new age. My iPad will become my new portable bookshelf.

What will I download first? Shakespeare? Mary Oliver’s poetry? The Zen texts of Thich Nhat Hanh? How about the new biography of Teddy Roosevelt? How about a Sudoku book?

I recently read a study in which children, who are reluctant readers, will actually read more books on a digital reader than an intimidating book with many pages. The answer to the teaching of literacy to recalcitrant young students may actually be in a electronic hand-held device. If that is what it takes to get kids to read, I’m all for it. Remember, it is the message, as well as the medium, that prevails. It is the words, the story, not the physical book that we absorb. Words trump book.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My artistic goals for 2011

Despite having a household filled with family (Alex & his 3 kids have moved in with us until they can re-settle in Bellingham) and an overly busy schedule of work and chores, I have enjoyed one of my most productive years. What is that saying? If you want something done, ask a busy person...

2010 was very satisfying for me, artistically. I participated in 2 art shows in the Village Books Reading Gallery. See my links in the previous post, for images.

What will 2011 hold for me? It's time to put pen to paper and write a story, based on the life of Floyd, my maternal grandfather, set in 1933, Toledo, Ohio, during the Autolite Strike and riots. In the midst of turmoil and heartache, he discovered a perfect gift - and a purpose that drove the rest of his life, and indirectly, drove the life of his granddaughter - me. This grain of sand has been irritating me long enough; time to write it out. Our family legacy...

And, I want to produce some smaller, more interpretive art pieces - versions of the WINGS theme, made with paper and found objects. The study and sound of birds has captivated me. Will it also set me free to create?

I accomplished my artistic goal for 2010

I accomplished one of my goals for 2010 - to produce at least 10 good pieces of artwork. I have had my work shown twice this year at Village Books Reading Gallery. Thank you VB. Here's a link to see some of the pictures of my mixed media pieces, all using altered books as part of the materials. Next year? Well, 2011 will have a new list of personal art goals...involving

my pen and the creations of my mind, in conjunction with smaller mixed media works. I like to combine my genres - all post-modern, all jumbled up, a mash-up of verbal, poetic and visual.

Here's more:

Thanks, Phil Humphries, for posting these pictures.

My newest art show is about WINGS. Using the theme of "wings" I created a series of mixed media pieces, using altered books, found wood and dresses. Here's a link to look at my current work, on display at Village Books in Bellingham:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just read "Say You're One of Them" by Uwem Akpan.