Tuesday, December 12, 2006

For entertainment purposes only

Reading aloud isn't dead around here. We understand very well why the cigar-rollers hired readers to entertain and enlighten them while they worked. Sometimes the reading is just from the newspaper. Often it's excerpts from something intended to last a bit longer, something humorous from whatever is the current re-read of Trollope, Dickens, Austen, or the like. Just by chance, on the return cart at the library recently, there were books by a Barbara Holland, new for us. Her personal Web site lists only books currently in print. The books of short, light essays are amusing, but they're also good because they inspire conversation, often conversation that runs far afield. She hates it, too, when she asks someone in a new place about a bird or tree and the person shrugs and says something like, "Oh, I don't know; it's just a bird."


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