ATG Hot Topics 11/24/15

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

In reality, it probably started before Halloween this year, but now that Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away, we’re officially in the quick and dirty race to the holidays.  For many people, Thanksgiving means turkey, lots of other less exciting foods, pumpkin pie, football, family (for better or worse), naps, and the inevitable leftoversMy Thanksgiving will have some of that, but instead of football we binge on Jeopardy and instead of turkey we’ll be trying our first ever TofurkyBring on the soy.  And the wine.  What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?

I’m feeling festive, partly because of the holiday spirit but mostly because our temperatures here in Central Florida finally dipped below 80 degrees this weekSo let’s look at some fun hot topics this week.  I was delighted by this post on Ebook Friendly of vintage photos of mobile libraries.  Apparently, the phenomenon of “libraries on wheels” has been around for a good while; vehicles run the gamut from horse-drawn carriages to station wagons to Winnebagos.  These photos are a heartwarming reminder of how much people who can’t make it into a physical library still value and appreciate the ability to discover good books.

This is another fun one.  I was previously unaware of this, but for the past five years, staff of the New York Public Library and Washington’s King County Library have waged a hot battle over book sorting.  They both use highly sophisticated mechanized processes for sorting the myriad books that make it to their patrons each year, so I suppose the natural outcome would be to stage a competition.  I recommend reading the interview transcript and watching the videos; these guys get really competitive!  But I would expect nothing less from those of us in the book industry.

In other book news, the National Book Awards winners in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Young People’s Lit were announced this week.  I have a lot of holiday reading to do…But who am I kidding?!  I’ll still end up reading what I’ve already planned to and these will end up toward the bottom of my queue.  But still, they look fascinating (particularly Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me) and may make lovely holiday gifts.


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