Sunday, April 15, 2007

Our Relationship to Books

Alice Robinson-Gilman and I did one of our interactive member platforms at Ethical Culture this morning. It was raining hard already, but we had an intrepid twenty people or so, mostly circled, and Alice did a great job of speaking about her personal deep relationship with reading. I had some amusing quotes from people like Ambrose Bierce (“The covers of this book are too far apart.”) and Frank Zappa (“I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy”) and Dorothy Parker (“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force”) as well as the famous Groucho Marx one (“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”)

So Alice provided the passion and I provided some amusement and serious comments as well– I got to read a page from Higher Ground where Blair Ellen reads Crime and Punishment and walks around through the Christmas holidays feeling like Raskolnikov. Then we had a good twenty or twenty-five minutes of discussion about all kinds of good stuff– Jill didn’t become a reader till adulthood; Terri sent Essex County Community College students off to read the Great Books, etc. etc. Very satisfying.

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