Episode Information

CMS: Physicality of the Book
Aired:
04/02/2010
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In this episode:

Exploring books as aesthetic objects and technological marvels.

 

Episode Audio

49:31 minutes (23.77 MB)
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In the little Mexican beach town of Akumal, there's a grocery store, and in the grocery store works an American woman named Charlene. Charlene is in a wheelchair. She's from California originally, but she moved to Akumal long long ago after her first visit. Just went home and sold everything.

I know these things because I walked into the store with book in my hands. It was the novel "What I Loved" by Siri Hustvedt. She asked me what it was. I described it. We fell into a long conversation about books. "If you finish it down here, drop it off," she said in conclusion.

I did finish, but I never got it together to drop it off at the store. On my day of departure, I left it in my room with a note asking that it be given to Charlene. It's a small town. The book felt warm and touched by me, and the gesture of giving it to Charlene felt very human.

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Listener E-mail from Joan

I'm listening to your program today with great interest, both as a reader and an author. For me, I'd like to have all my reference books electronically because it makes research easier, not to mention ebooks are easier on the pocketbook. Since I'm not on the road all that much, I prefer to read my fiction on paper and love to hold the books in my hand. However, I also participate in a program that gets free ebooks to our troops and allied troops called operation ebookdrop (for more details see my blog article). This program enables troops around the world to carry a library of books on a small ebook reader. It also enables me to share my book with troops at no cost to me other than the time it takes me to send the link to my ebook and include a coupon code so the troop can "purchase" it at no cost.