Podcast: New York Public Library
This past month I’ve been working on a research paper about the founding of the New York Public Library, NYPL. The research has been intriguing. One piece of information I stumbled upon is that the NYPL offers a pod, video and blog page to anybody who is interested in literature. http://www.nypl.org/voices I was impressed because the page is not only informational, but also instructional in nature.
I chose to listen to one of the NYPL’s podcasts this week and was pleasantly surprised by how stimulating it was. Sure it’s nice to listen to podcasts geared toward helping me educate children and teens better, but sometimes a mom and librarian needs an opportunity to be an adult. The NYPL is sophisticated enough to provide for that need.
On 23 February, Andre Aciman was the guest presenter at the NYPL. He was invited to speak about his newest book, Eight White Nights. During the hour long presentation, he read and explained the elements of his sensuous story. Normally, this would not be the type of book I would pick up, but after listening to the author I would rethink giving this type of genre a try. This makes me realize that that is what author talks are meant to produce. These types of talks bring the author and his work into an intimate type of review, one which can not be obtained by reading the back sleeve or an author biography online.
However, this talk, as with most author talks, included a synopsis about why the author writes and why it is important to write. This portion of the talk was really quite excellent and if cropped properly, could be used with a group of older teens.
Aciman explained that literature should be challenging, that it should not be easy. He describes books as if they were living beings. These beings want you to be puzzled enough to think. Each book read should be read differently. If the reader isn’t reading each one differently then he isn’t reading at all.
In regards to writing, Aciman stated that when a writer begins a story, he should always be looking three sentences ahead. Also, the writer should aim for creating literature and not just a book. A book is something you pick up and don’t really care if it is left behind.
The podcast was refreshing.