A crumbling castle

“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind,” wrote 19th century American poet James Russell Lowell.

My best friend and I call the campus library the Castle of Books.  I guess it could also be a giant beehive.

I want to write novels.  Actually, I want to write more novels; I’ve already written two.  Publishing them is one of my great life goals, but odds are that my personal bees will some coaxing.

And it seems as if spring will be a long time coming.

The Internet is playing a double-edged sword these days.  Then again, who really sharpens only one side of a blade?

Cutting and slicing

Parents are banding together, with the help of the web, to push classics out of libraries and classrooms.  Books often challenged by school districts include To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and The Color Purple.

Twilight made the Library Association’s 2009 list, but that’s okay, right? Outside my subjective judgment of the vampires’ less-than-meritorious contributions to society, no book should be banned.

Along the lines of free speech, where does this slippery slope lead?  Any book of genuine value can be discussed in a classroom with proper context, background and understanding.

Honing and helping

Websites aren’t simply killing books, they are also helping them thrive. Publishing as a business model has sustainability questions.  Deep discounts have continued for years, and now nearly any book can be bought cheaper than the shipping to mail it from Amazon or Half.com.

Yet the Internet is helping some independent sellers – “the bookstore equivalent of ‘Cheers'” – like the ones in Columbia.  Long-time homes for the eclectic, outdated, and well-worn travelers of paper and glue, independent stores can breathe life into a sodden publishing industry.

Maybe we can just direct the children there, too.

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