Built in 1912 and renovated in the 1980s, the hotel has just enough squeak in the stair and just enough musty book smell in the reader’s attic to give bibliophiles the chills. Rooms are categorized as either “Classics,” “Best Sellers,” or “Novels.” Mark Twain’s bust sits over the mantel, Jules Verne’s submarine door clangs shut every evening, and Shakespeare’s room has dueling swords mounted on the wall, just in case. It’s perfect for a writer’s retreat or a solitary writer’s escape, as well as for hosting a reading, a book launch, or a writing workshop. And can we talk about the library?
Growing up around this library program and watching it flourish over the years inspired me to take a deeper look at young adult programs in libraries for my thesis. How have they developed over the years? What makes them “successful,” and what defines success? How are librarians identifying and then meeting their communities’ needs?
I’ve known for a long time that I learn best through listening and through verbally discussing a topic. My favorite classes have always been the ones where the professor was a great orator, because it meant I could just sit back and absorb what they were lecturing on. All I ever needed to do was jot down some key words or phrases in my notes, and when I studied later the entire lesson would come flooding back. People thought I was crazy, but it worked for me.
I refuse to believe we can’t move past the paperback designs of the past with their jumble of chunky fonts, strange color palettes, and, dare I say, unappealing illustrations of aliens.
While I’ve read and continue to read numerous books on the art of editing and writing, I find myself most frequently leaning on an editing tip that was thrown at me way back in high school. Read it out loud.
We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom that staring at screens all day is somehow bad for our brains: supposedly it destroys our attention spans, blunts our intelligence, and transforms us into technology-dependent zombies. But is there any truth to such grim speculations? Are screens really changing our brains?