Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Trip to Capital City Library

Three local, independent booksellers teamed up to bring SF author China Mieville to Capital City last night. I had heard some good buzz about his new book UN LUN DUN and read somewhere an interview where he said that the reaction that people have to a phrase like "the fridge men are coming" is very telling. Did you picture delivery men or rectangular monsters with doors on their stomachs? He's in the latter group, and I think I am, too, often.

He read for about twenty minutes, then took questions, handling equally gracefully a kid's question about how he thinks up all those names, and an adult's question about writing for young people vs. for adults. Some names, he said, he took from people he's met, and sometimes he just plays with words and sounds. "No swearing" and less "baroque" (not simpler!) language, and more punning, are some techniques he used to make Un Lun Dun a book for YAs.

The talk was at Main RPL, where they seem to have the same problem my branch does with noisy teens killing time until their ride gets there. They need badly to weed non-fiction, which is not a problem in our system. Sure, they should keep period books on Richmond and Virgina, but 1980s books on great weekend trips and hiking the Old Dominion (two copies of each!) are DATED not Historically Important. Plus, there are other institutions charged with collecting Virginia's history. I want my city library to have current works that will help me become a stepmom or take a honeymoon in western Virginia.

Capital City weather: 60s, cloudy


Daniel said...

I must admit that, in my personal library, there still exist some of those Things To Do This Weekend books...from the '70s. Some of the ideas are great, but most of the hotels and restaurants mentioned were opened in the '30s and no longer exist or exist only as ruined hulks.

OTOH, I'm a bit surprised, O Hostess, that you would resort to RPL for honeymoon ideas--surely you've a wide variety of your own interesting ideas! :-)

Lisa said...

We've got reservations for that lodge on my links list; I just thought it would be nice to get a book on hikes in the area or something.