“The New You Project and The Speed of the Machine”

13Jan09

Patrick Brown of Vroman’s Bookstore, “Southern California’s oldest & largest independent bookstore,” was kind enough to write about The New You Project on his blog and the best part is that he makes many provocative and intriguing points that have me thinking at this late hour (I am really considering the bookseller’s perspective, and all perspectives; please share yours via comment). Such as:

“This past month has brought on an onslaught of lists and articles about what the best book of the year was and what the ten best books were and then, quickly, what we’re all looking forward to for next year. These are well and good. It’s fun to look back at the year, and the internet, we all know, was invented for lists. But maybe the machine needs to be slowed down. A lot. Looking at the staggering number of books that appeared on people’s best-of lists, I’m struck by how many of the books I haven’t gotten around to yet. And it’s my job to get around to them. That’s one of the reasons I love the way The Millions handles its annual Year in Reading series. It’s the best book you read in 2008, not the best book published in 2008. As a reader, I sometimes feel that I’m constantly under attack by a relentless stream of new books, new books, new books.

Newness is great, newness is fun, newness is necessary. But let’s slow down for a second. The New You project could help us all do that. A copy of Baumbach’s novel is on its way to me. I’m going to read it, hype machine be damned.”

You’ve got to read the whole thing. And also, Vroman’s will now order YOU for you!

LAUREN CERAND

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