We asked Victor, a long-time Carlingwood library customer: What Did You Read Today?
“I start each day with the Globe and Mail, and during the day I’ll flesh this out by reading items on several news websites during work breaks; the websites include Al-Jazeera English, CBC, BBC, Le Monde, and occasionally El País. Also, I maintain a lively e-mail correspondence with friends and colleagues in various parts of the world, so the e-mails that come in from them constitute a nice bit of relaxing reading. All of the items listed above are consumed every day, so they make up the “wallpaper” of my daily reading.
At the moment, I have 6 books out of the library, four of which are fiction, one of these authored by a colleague at Ottawa U. Having just finished the most recent spy novel by Stella Rimington, former head of Britain’s MI5, I’ve moved back to non-fiction and started Writing in the Age of Silence, the memoir of mystery novelist Sara Paretsky. Paretsky’s book is short but emotionally dense; she writes very well, and because Paretsky and I are of similar ages her memoir evokes many memories from my own life. This short book doesn’t pull any emotional or political punches, so the reader can experience the full force of her intellect and commitment.
I recently read The Book of Marvels, by Canadian poet Lorna Crozier; originally, I got this book from the library, but before I had finished it I bought 6 copies: one for myself – which I occasionally pick up to re-read a passage – and the others for friends. In this prose book, Crozier devotes 1 to 3 pages to each of about 100 everyday objects, addressing them in alphabetical order. Anyone who doubts Crozier’s command of language need only read the one-paragraph chapter entitled “Bobby Pins”, which begins with a description of this mundane object. Less than 150 words later, the male reader will close the blinds, disconnect the phone, and suggest to his partner that it’s time they called it a night.”
As Ottawa Public Library’s part of that campaign, for the rest of the year we’ll be asking that question to Ottawans and posting their answers in this staff blog, and invite you to participate in the conversation by posting your answer in our blog’s comments.
Since 2008, the National Reading Campaignhas brought together people from every region of Canada who are concerned about Canada’s changing reading habits.