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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

LOVE to the ninja book monkeys

Today, it is time to give it up for the librarians and the independent booksellers.

I realize how dull that sentence sounds to a lot of you—but hear me out. LOVE your librarian. LOVE your independent bookseller. LOVE them for lots of reasons.

Today, I love them because of all the LOVE they have given to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I’m thrilled to report that Ginny and company have landed on the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults 2006 list. They also got a nod at the Cuffies, the independent booksellers “off the cuff” awards, as an honorable mention as the best novel for older teens, and . . .

Well, I’ll just copy this next one. I would hate to get the wording wrong.

Book We Could Have Sold with a Better Cover
13 Little Blue Envelopes
("Could someone please stop giving the publishers stock photos of slutty teen girls?")

I definitely want to weigh in on this one, but not before I finish giving the LOVE to librarians and independent booksellers. I promise you, you will LOVE them too when I am done.

Fact: Librarians are tough little monkeys

Librarians LOVE books. Librarians LOVE the fact that we have the right to read anything we choose. They fight for the right to keep books on the shelves—books that some people (for various political/moral/generally dubious reasons) would have removed.

Witness the case of the St. Andrew’s school of Austin, Texas. “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx (now a movie, as everyone knows) was listed as optional reading material on one of the school’s reading list. On hearing this, a donor offering three million dollars demanded that it be removed.

And what did the librarians (and the school officials) do? They said, “Thank you for your interest. Please take back your three million dollars. We do not compromise our values for money.”

Now, how many people are doing that these days?


They are silent warriors, librarians! They are like ninjas! When someone tries to ban a book—librarians are there! When someone tries to take away YOUR right to read something—librarians are there! Librarians protect books and knowledge, ensuring that it is passed along to future generations—not burned up or destroyed by the flavor-of-the-week political group.

It’s because of these MAD NINJA LIBRARIANS that most of the knowledge of the ancient world was protected and passed to us. Librarians of the past have put it all on the line. They have defied dictators, protected books from fire and thieves

Is it any wonder that in ancient times, librarians had titles like “Scribes of the Double House of Life,” “Learned Men of the Magic Library,” and “Ordaniers of the Universe.”

No, really. They did. I think we should go back to one of these titles, because they are kind of awesome. And I think they should maybe dress like ninjas.

Fact: Independent booksellers read the books they sell and have opinions

Yes! It’s true! Independent booksellers LOVE books too! They read them. They hang out and talk about them. If they find a book that’s really good, they will tell you all about it.

So when I go into stores like Books of Wonder in New York, I can go up to a salesperson who is passionate about all the good stuff out there. Every time you walk in, you can get want amounts to a FREE COURSE on the new good reads! Which is why Books of Wonder is knee-deep in authors. (That and the fabulous Cupcake Café, with the dancing cupcake statues.)

So, in short . . . all those “quiet” librarians and book sellers out there are kicking butts and taking names.

So give them the LOVE.

Go on.


Anonymous Chelsea said...

The principal of my junior high school was a very odd-looking man. I recently saw him at the library when I was checking out some books. Now I cannot stop picturing him in a ninja outfit, twirling nunchucks while defending our right to read some kind of controversial book. I think this mental image will haunt me and amuse me equally for the rest of my life.

11:48 PM  
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9:55 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

I have just started reading your blog and decided to go through the backlog. I'm very glad I did because GUESS WHAT! This post is from the same day as my birthday three years ago. And it's the SAME year I got my job as a shelver at my library!
On behalf of my local library and the librarians that work there: Thanks for acknowledging their awesome.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Angieanything said...

Librarians are amazing. When I am published, I plan to hug a librarian on every stop of my book tour.

-looks around for librarians-

4:00 AM  

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