Let’s remember Ray Bradbury and celebrate our favorite books on August 22nd

I have always wanted to find a fitting tribute for Ray Bradbury to express how much I loved his writing and how grateful I was to have discovered him when I was a young reader. I wish I had come up with a tribute while he was living, but nothing is perfect and it’s never too late to celebrate greatness so I am going to make my tribute on his birthday–August 22nd–and I invite you to join me.

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Until Bradbury’s death in 2012 he entertained and enthralled us during his long career with novels like Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes, collections like The Martian Chronicles, and dozens and dozens of short stories. Before I had read any of these works–I must have been around 7 years old–I remember seeing the film Fahrenheit 451 on TV. I didn’t understand much of the movie, but I was really intrigued by the ending where everyone was memorizing books and reciting them, in a camp in the woods.

A few years later, when I read the book, this idea about the fundamental importance of reading deeply impressed me. For the first time in my life, I felt it was not only okay for me to do it, but it was actually important. Bradbury opened a door for me that changed my life, and I know I wasn’t the only one.

So here’s my idea. Let’s celebrate “Ray Bradbury Day” (#RayDay) on August 22nd by memorizing a short excerpt from any book you cherish. Record your excerpt on audio or video and share it with your friends in any way that makes sense to you. Here’s an example.

If you clicked on that last link you saw me recite a little from Something Wicked This Way Comes. It’s not a climactic scene, but for all we associate with Bradbury — Martians, space, the future, horror — that novel is a testament to Bradbury’s ability to convey love for messy human beings through tender and thoughtful writing. Who better to celebrate and how better to celebrate the importance of the written word — an issue close to Bradbury’s heart — than taking cherished written words, preserving them in our minds and sharing them with others.

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Media matters: books, reading and the value proposition / El medio importa: libros, lectura y la propuesta de valor

I am plugging along on my WIP and writing the second draft at an appallingly slow pace. On bad days, the only way I can keep my hand to paper or keyboard is to imagine the book at the end. Of course, my number one goal, is to tell a good story, but my number two goal, which is really, really close to the first goal, is to see the story, smell it, and hold it in my hands in the form of a book.

So when I read “Future Reading” by Craig Mod at Aeon, I appreciated his reasoned admiration for the digital book and his Kindle, but what I liked even more was his exploration of why he has returned to reading more print books in recent years. There are some fairly obvious technological reasons for the source of his disillusionment, but there’s more to it that he doesn’t really pin down in the article. Continue reading