Saturday, October 15, 2011

Books, Books, & More Books!

Yes, I work in a library, specifically, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) in Nashville. So, yes, there are plenty of books in my work environment. But I'm actually posting about somewhat less job-related tomes and library issues.

First, on Thursday, 13 October, the Friends of the TSLA, a fairly new organization, held their board meeting in the TSLA building, followed by a reception with talk. This reception impacted my work, but in a positive way, as in greeting the Friends with an even warmer smile than usual when they entered, and at closing (4:30pm) inviting patrons to linger for the talk (alas! none did).

Refreshments for the reception consisted of elitist cookies and a tasty orange juiced-based punch. The talk, by author John Egerton, was "Sleuthing in the Archives". He gave a fascinating account of a murder in Knoxville almost a hundred years ago, and how a Black man was accused, convicted and executed -- and then a woman came forward eight years later confessing the heinous deed! His sleuthing was to discover what had happened to the woman after she was let go due to "case closed".

Friday was the beginning of the yearly Southern Festival of Books here in nearby Legislative Plaza, War Memorial and the State Capitol. Jenny, one of the admin staff for TSLA, went over to it on her lunch break and returned with a copy of the information magazine for me. Later I took my break and went up to the break room, where I found staffer Jay eating and reading. Jenny came in shortly afterward, and I told her I really liked her tee. It read,"There's no such thing as... too many books". Jay, Jenny and I had a great discussion about books, the festival, and the impact of the electronic media on printed books. Jay and I both much prefer to read a published book, of which we open the cover and turn the pages while curled up in a comfy chair!

On Saturday I used my lunch break to wander over to Legislative Plaza myself and enjoy some of the music and the various exhibit booths (TSLA had a booth, mainly for info). I went over fully intending to purchase a book or two. But the alacrity with which the acquisition happened all but took my breath away! Less than two minutes into my browsing the booths I arrived at that of the Vanderbilt University Press. There among the books for sale was Singing in the Saddle: the history of the singing cowboy by Douglas B. Green, aka Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky (Grand Ole Opry members). Having read and enjoyed the book, which I checked out in 2008 or '09 from the Nashville Public Library just a block from the Plaza, I whipped out my wallet in a heartbeat!

Later I also purchased a Festival book bag and a Festival glass. I also hobnobbed with folks manning the TSLA and TWA (TN Writers Assoc.) booths and listened to "The Ukedelics", a local music group which includes Andy Hudson, member of Eastwood Church. (The Hudsons, however, were in Florida.)

Of course there was music in addition to the books and authors at the Festival. After all, Nashville in addition to being the Athens of the South is Music City USA!

1 comment:

Glen Alan Graham said...

I returned to the Southern Festival of Books on Sunday afternoon. Not so much to browse booths as to enjoy more of the musical acts and an author talk. First, at the Café Stage I heard Leipers Fork Bluegrass Band. (Leipers Fork is a rural community southwest of Nashville, kind of central to the various residences of the five band members.) Then I walked into the State Capitol for the talk by author Bradley Green. He addressed us in the Capitol Library room, original location of the State Library. It's a beautiful, ornate Victorian room! Prof. Green gave a synopsis of his book "The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and reshaping the intellectual life". Sounds like a fascinating read; I almost bought it (only my shorness on funds prevented this purchase).