With the first phase of editing on The Ride complete, I relaxed a little bit this week and caught up on some magazine and on-line reading.
As an author, reader and lover of books, I became disheartened when I read “The Grim Reader” article in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, discussing the latest report by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). According to the article, less than a third of thirteen-year-olds read for pleasure everyday, a 14% decline from two decades ago. The percentage of non-reading seventeen-year-olds doubled over the same period. Americans between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four watch television for about two hours a day and read for seven minutes.
Then I came across some good news on Nathan Bransford’s blog. Apparently, Contra Costa County in California is starting a program called “Library a Go-Go.” It may be a silly name, but the plans are to install book ATMs at BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stations so that commuters can pick-up or drop off books without leaving the train platform. See http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/02/this-week-in-publishing_29.html for the entire article.
Obviously, if there is this type of demand for books, then someone must be reading. Is it possible that the idea of using an ATM to select a book will appeal to the younger generation? If the idea catches on, perhaps schools will install them in their hallways, cafeterias, gyms and even libraries.
Maybe such titles as, I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen and If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs, might attract a younger audience. These two, among others, are finalists in the Oddest Book Title Award Contest. Last year’s winner was The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification. The odd title article was sent to me by my friend and fellow-writer Tina Murray, author of A Chance to Say Yes, (http://achancetosayyes.blogspot.com/). The entire article is at http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080222/wl_uk_afp/entertainmentbritainpublishingoffbeat;_ylt=AiRqidahktNFhCspbjBy.2YDW7oF
or visit http://www.bookseller.com/ to vote on your choice of oddest title.
If you’ve run across funny or unusual book titles while cruising through a bookstore or library, I’d love to hear about them. Simply click ‘comment’ at the end of this blog to share the titles and to give us all a good laugh.
Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.
Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride (to be released by ArcheBooks Publishing)
Tags: The Ride, ArcheBooks, Poets & Writers Magazine, NEA, Nathan Bransford, oddest book title, Library a Go-Go, Tina Murray, : A Chance to Say Yes, Bookseller.com