Bookishness: Week of December 19, 2011
Independent bookstore lovers unite Book and bookstore lovers spent much of last week raging at Slate technology writer Farhad Manjoo’s essay on the superiority of Amazon over independent bookstores. The piece, a response to Richard Russo’s op-ed on Amazon’s recent thuggish price-check promotion, decries bookstores as user un-friendly (user!?) and “mistakenly mythologized.” Not surprisingly, bookstore enthusiasts have been quick to focus their ire on Manjoo. I can’t help but wonder how his wife, described in the piece as an “unreformed local bookstore cultist,” responded. I just hope that his own is as comfortable as “the couches that you can curl into on a cold day” he concedes are an “ancillary benefit”of bookstores. (Russo, in his response to Manjoo’s essay, shares my concerns.) (Image via Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums)
The Rob Ford Book Club The Rob Ford Book Club has arrived with a holiday mandate to show support for the Toronto Public Library while sending a message to Mayor Ford that “the people of Toronto don’t think libraries are gravy.” The site encourages library supporters to make a donation (minimum $10) to the library in Rob Ford’s name; a card will then be sent to Mayor Ford informing him of the donation. For those who want to show their support but don’t have $10 to spare, the library also accepts donated books: here’s a what, where when and how from Open Book Toronto.
Poetry vs. more eggnog An alternative to yet another festive holiday gathering, Friday’s Toronto Poetry Slam, featuring Detroit’s Deonte Osayande as well as the BAM! Youth Slam Team, promises to “rock your face.” Friday December 23, at the Drake Hotel Underground, 1150 Queen St. West, 7 pm-10 pm. Related: on the financial lives of poets and a call for a new parliamentary poet.
Omit needless words, yo Improve your writing while also enjoying some spectacular fake moustaches (Movember withdrawal begone). Strunk and White, represent.