Tag Archives: reading

Minnesotans Reads about Reading

Truth to tell I don’t get to very many author readings or even find time to prowl the local press sections in the areas libraries and bookstores.  I can’t afford the Minnesota Book Awards any more.  Still, I love to just read about what’s happening on the literary scenes — in bookstores, libraries, book clubs and attic reading spaces throughout the metro area and the state.  Mary Anne Grossmann does a great job of keeping the literary flame burning at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Though other print media flag a few readings, it’s almost always the out-of-town biggies.  I want to know about the emerging writers, the local folks whose literary works, histories, memoirs, books for children  and more are so artfully created and so often overlooked.

One delightful way to track the Minnesota muse is by following  Minnesota Reads, now celebrating two years of celebrating Minnesota writers and readers.  On the one hand, MR is running commentary on who’s doing. writing and reading what.  My favorite or many treats on MR is an absolutely essential calendar of readings and literary events, often in places I’ve never visited except in my imagination.   That’s MY favorite, but there something for everyone!

Happy Anniversary to Minnesota – Celebrate by checking it out and adding your voice whether you’re a reader, a writer, a publisher or, like me, mostly a lurker.  They also serve who only stand and lurk.

Minnesota Women’s Press Shares the Joy of Reading

Give us books – Give us wings!

Some years ago the theme for a national reading promotion was “Give us books, Give us wings.”  I still treasure the posters and T-shirts – and the visual image.  It’s that image that came to mind this week as I’ve had a small role in finding good homes for the unique collection of books in the library of the Minnesota Women’s Press

Any break-up is painful – the breaking up of a library collection is truly poignant. [Many books in the MWP collection were] donated by women who participated in the scores of book groups and salons sponsored by MWP.  Having purchased and read the books, these avid bibliophiles chose to share the words of women writers by contributing their books to the library.

For many years the collection was tended by volunteers, including Barb Clark and Rhoda Holden, who spent hundreds of hours at MWP arranging the dynamic collection, meticulously handwriting cards, welcoming visitors and contributors.  The collection is eclectic, charming and overflowing with books you won’t find in the chains or even public libraries with tight budgets and limited space.  A few of the volumes are autographed by the author herself.

Ever at the ready to face head-on both changing times and fiscal realities, MWP is on the move, from their long-time home near University and Raymond to a site just down the street, at 970 Raymond.  Though staff will enjoy [slightly] expanded office and meeting space – not to mention windows – they have had to phase out the library.

Mollie Hoben, MWP co-founder, quotes a volunteer who reminded her that each book arrived at MWP with a story.  Now, having gleaned more women’s stories and women’s words during the MWP years, each will take flight to carry wings to other readers who will add their own stories.

In recent days and weeks book lovers from prospective adoptive homes – colleges, schools, women’s centers and used bookstores – have been pouring over the MWP books, recalling their own reading experiences, pondering what is just right for their students, hoping to find that autograph. clipping or other memento of a past reader.

MWP will open soon in their new quarters.  The recently expanded magazine] will appear monthly in your mailbox or the corner magazine rack.  The book groups and salons will continue in comfortable meeting spaces.  Meanwhile, the books once housed in the MWP collection will be sharing their stories. the joy of reading books by and about women, and the thrill of new wings with readers of every age throughout the region.