Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Roundup

Retailers putting up Christmas decorations right after (or sometimes in conjunction with) Halloween notwithstanding, the day after Thanksgiving is still taken as the first day of the holiday shopping season. Which in itself, seems to have taken on characteristics similar to the openings of other hunting seasons, or perhaps the Running of the Bulls. In any case, MSNBC ran a ton of coverage, most of which I missed due to being in a mountain cabin with no Internet or electricity at the time. We played Scrabble. It was refreshing.

When I got back to Seattle, the mister and I discussed how to respond to our relatives' well-meaning inquiries as to what we wanted for Christmas. Neither of us could really think of anything, largely because we both already own more material goods than either of us wants. (Books in my case, for the most part; DVDs and computer games in his.) The getting and giving of gifts isn't supposed to be the point anyway, though it's been the point for a lot longer than a lot of people realize.

Old information getting a new lease on life: This is the kind of thing that digital preservation is all about. If, like me, you have a fondness for old books and old maps of all kinds, the free distribution of digital scans of documents online is one of the best developments ever.

The apparently disappointing numbers on reading have popped up in a number of places, but this isn't the only coverage that seems to assume that reading = books. So is it that men don't read, or that their reading is largely materials that aren't books? I don't know, and I wonder whether the NEA doesn't either. Anecdotally, I read fiction and nonfiction in about equal measure, at least where books are concerned. But I also read a lot of other things. Got to fulfill that librarian stereotype somehow, I guess.

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