Notes On Reading In the 21st Century

It’s tired old news but my watery eyes have not fared well following an unfortunate stroke and too many years of use and misuse. A few years back when I moved from my own little house to fresh digs in my daughter’s house, I painfully donated box after box of new Penguin Classics and Oxford Classics to the local library, not because I didn’t want to read them all, not because I didn’t want to move them to the new house, not because bookshelf space might be tight in my new library, but simply because the print was too small to read without a magnifying glass .. and holding a magnifying glass, a book, a coffee cup, and wiping my tearing eyes at the same time was a circus act I was too old to maintain.

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They’re Watching Us

Ariel Dorfman from an revised essay collected in Homeland Security Ate My Speech .. highly recommended.

As the 2001 Patriot Act proves …, if people are frightened enough, manipulated enough, fear-mongered enough, they are more than willing to abrogate their own freedom … in the name of personal and national security. And if there were to be another terrorist attack like the vile ones perpetrated on September 11th 2001, even more invasive surveillance would be eagerly authorized, indeed demanded. Think of what fanatics like them could do with such colossal executive muscle at their disposal. Though what’s unsettling is to grasp that prospective tyrants wouldn’t require new legislation, now as during so much American history, to rein in free expression

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Library Memories

When I was a young man, the school I went to had a library .. not a media center. Actually, I like the name “media center;” “library” contains that ancient term “liber” which at least etymologically suggests books and is not expansive enough for all the modern media that can nowadays be found in libraries.

Twenty-five years ago my favorite public library was in an adjacent county but was well worth the annual fee I had to cover just to enjoy its advanced and diverse collections.

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