So you can read my books

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


REMEMBER when motherhood meant being more concerned about your child than your sexiness?
But I am not going to criticize Kim Kardashian here as she is too easy a target.
But it got me to thinking what other things are also dying in our society --

Keith Wynn (Optimistic Existentialist)
He wrote how libraries had been magical places when a child.  Me, too. 

I remember when I sat in a darkened corner of a library and saw in my mind when Triton rose up out of a wine-dark sea, blowing death from his spiral horn.
Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY was tucked happily under my arm that day.
But the Day of the Library may be nearing its end:
 Library patrons want more e-book choices, but libraries can’t afford to purchase e-books at the inflated prices.
Effectively, libraries are leeching money by purchasing fewer e-books at higher prices to keep patrons happy.
Where will we take our future children to discover and enjoy reading if libraries are gone? Where can I go to browse the shelves for weird books?
“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain
“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
― Roger Zelazny
Have you lost any favorite comic strips lately?

The print industry is dying. Newspapers were the first to sink with magazines following close behind. Now print books are dying as well.

One problem with the dying newspaper industry is that comic strips are disappearing as well.

In the old days, every newspaper had a comics page so every newspaper was a potential market for a new comic strip.
CALVIN & HOBBES and PEANUTS were the last strips I daily read.
I've just bought a collection of the first year of ALLY OOP strips

to bring back the wistful dreams of childhood when I read the last of his strips as a young boy.

Do you look forward to reading any comic strips daily?

The Fading Art of Letter Writing

Letter-writing is among our most ancient of arts.
Think of letters and the mind falls on Paul of Tarsus, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Mark Twain;
OR love letters written during the American Civil War, or letters written to a parent by a frightened soldier at the battlefront.
A good handwritten letter is a creative act, and not just because it is a visual and tactile pleasure.
It is a deliberate act of exposure, a form of vulnerability,
because handwriting opens a window on the soul in a way that cyber communication can never do.
You savor their arrival and later take care to place them in a box for safe keeping.
Yes, e-mail is a wonderful invention.
It links people across the world, destroying in an instant the hurdle of geography that confronts snail mail.
Yet it is by its nature ephemeral and lacks the spark of character that only handwriting can provide.
When you get an e-mail, you can never be sure that you are the only recipient — or even that it’s original.
We have always liked to pore over the letters of great figures like Winston Churchill and Abigail Adams for the insight this offers into their lives:
the writing, the crossings-out, the very feel of history on paper.


  1. That Longmire trailer is dark in its implications. . .

    Newspapers - we only get one once a week now. Libraries - I still have and use my library card.

    Mags are expensive and so full of advertisements that they have little room for quality content. I don't buy them anymore.

    As our writing sources dwindle, we must look elsewhere. Speaking of that, hope you can stop by and read the entry I had for the Romance WEP.

    Take care, Roland.

  2. D.G.:
    Longmire is loyal to his friends, even to threatening stalkers.

    Yes, print media has atrophied.

    I've been sleeping most of today, but I am heading your way now!

  3. D.G.:
    Oh, just wanted to say that Ed, the stalker, had broken into the house of his female deputy and taken a bite of her shower soap so she would feel especially violated and vulnerable. You don't mess with Walt's friends.

  4. A bite of her shower soap? That's weird. But now I see why he (Walt) was quietly threatening. . .to a psycho in the making.

  5. If people want the library to supply them with e-books, then they should also be willing to pay higher taxes so that the library can receive more tax money so that it can buy those e-books. Until then, people can toughen up and keep checking out old-fashioned paper books. (And there's my tough-talk lecture for the day.)

    A lot of people don't understand what they're missing with the loss of letter writing. One of my most cherished possessions is a large box with all my late father's letters and cards to me over my lifetime. They are a part of him.

  6. Roland you are so right about comic strips - I never see them anymore! SO so sad.

  7. Hi Roland .. I occasionally use our library here, but I really want to see the new Birmingham Library and hope to get shown round by some students at some stage - I can't easily get to it without a trip away from my seaside ...

    I still buy books, but I buy ebooks too .. and I've never really bought magazines - by choice I buy The Week - a curated news magazine and like DG buy one paper a week .. and read a free one if I go up to town, London town that is ..

    Thankfully I've always written letters and have some that just might now be the time to look at - some I've never seen.

    The last comic strip I used to read regularly was in South Africa probably 30 years ago .. and was Garfield .. and growing up I loved the Punch cartoons ...

    I could be more negative but I guess I'd better not and hope humanity will come to its senses and realise what's important .. the three Rs ... Reading Riting and Rithmetic!

    Cheers .. we are in a changing world .. Hilary

  8. wow, what a nostalgic post! love the quotes - always enjoy mark twain's wit!

    books are morphing and tho I miss libraries and bookstores, the only way to keep people reading is to make sure us parents limit the electronics and keep the kids reading (and make sure us writers give them great stuff to read and keep them interested!)

    calvin and hobbes is awesome! i even made a stuffed hobbes and was calvin for halloween one year =)

    and thank you for your comments on my broken branch falls blog tour!

  9. I was never a letter-writer, but I've always sent hand written thank you cards.
    Calvin and Hobbes was one of the last strips I read. And The Far Side. Kept up with Dilbert for a while until it lost its edge.

  10. Hell could freeze over before I find myself reading an e-book as apposed to a good-old-fashioned paperback.

    And as for libraries. It is heartbreaking to think that they are rapidly closing down. Like you, and countless others, they are (and have always been) a huge part of my life.

    And as for comics. I've never really been all that into them. I think it's more of a 'boy thing'. And as for magazines. I agree with DG. Too much advertising for my liking, so no thanks.

    Books. And lots of books for me :)

  11. D.G.:
    Yes, Ed, the psycho, knew she would be naked and emotionally vulnerable then. It is an on-going plot thread in the series.

    I lost all my letters from all those I held dear in my house fire so I double know how you feel about your late father's letters!

    I see a few comic strips, but outside of repeats of PEANUTS there are so few I enjoy now.

    Yes, we are in a changing world, and we must change with it, while bringing with us what was worthwhile in our past -- if only in our memories. :-)

    I loved that you made your own stuffed Hobbes and went out as Calvin one Halloween (another fun event that is being warped and taken from us by the unpleasant in society).

    I hope libraries can survive. I live close to one, and when my home burned, it was my lifeline for weeks.

    Yes, I forgot about THE DARK SIDE. Society is changing all around us, and I think I have become a dinosaur!! LOL.

    Comic Strips a boy thing? Say it isn't so! CALVIN & HOBBES is for everyone -- as is PEANUTS. But those were classics.

    Libraries may survive as they evolve to meet popular demands.

    But I have eight bookcases in my apartment that attest to how much I love actual books. I have two long shelves with just leather-bound volumes with embossed covers. I am such a child at heart! :-) Thanks for RT-ing my tweet for this post!!

  12. Clearly I've lived a sheltered life!

  13. I read real books. No e-books for me. My children told me I would not like a Kindle, and I'm quite sure they're right. They know me. I exchange letters with a blogger friend. We are creatures of days gone by. We enjoy receiving something other than a bill in the mail.