Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Nancy Pearl

I just read "Book Lust" a book about reading books by a librarian in Seattle (well actually she's from a lower middle class neighborhood in Detroit, but I didn't recognize the name of the library she went to as a kid--Parker Library?) Nancy Pearl is the librarian who got all of Seattle to read the same book--citywide book club. I heard about her on NPR in a piece that discussed great first lines in a book. Well "Book Lust" is categories of books that she loved for every mood or topic. There is a baseball topic, biographies, world war 1 and 2 in fiction and nonfiction, California, New York, 9/11, fantasy, futuristic, coming of age, Father's and sons, Mother's and sons, etc, etc, etc. And there is a section for books with great first lines. There's a section on Dickens--explaining to people who were forced to read Dickens that when he wrote that stuff it was in weekly installments and that ships were met by anxious readers who asked if Nell was dead. The section goes on to list other authors who wrote in that genre. I skimmed through the entire book and I only recognized a handful of the books, so I'm going to take it to the library with me and get started. It's cool, because she obviously loves books so much. She also said that there is a rule of 50. If you are under 50 years old, never give a book you don't like more than 50 pages and if you are over 50, subtract your age from 100 and that's how many pages you give a book--life's too short to waste time. Of course, she being this incredible book lover, she did admit that sometimes she's just not in the mood for some books and she'll go back to them another time giving them a second chance.

1 comment:

ez said...

I love this idea. I have often taken reading lists from literature classes, vowing to read all of the recommended books but never quite getting there. Keep us posted.