Add this to the list of incredible things you didn’t know you needed until now. At Quartz, Jenni Avins reads through a selection of hand-typed book reviews, found in the NYPL’s archives, in which librarians tear apart children’s books they find objectionable. Sample quote, from a review of Green Eggs and Ham: “There must be better ways of teaching a child to read than this.”
How do you keep going back and back and back in conditions that are really awful? It’s the people that keep you going back; it’s these deep engagements with these people that you’re learning a great deal from. … It really is a respect and a love for these people that has nothing to do with your own virtue. It has to do with their claim on your heart. Then the trick is how do you get that onto the page so that people in New York, 8,000 miles away from their community, will be able to engage with their dilemmas?
"In the early eighties, rare book librarian John Rathe pulled down a dusty box, wrapped in twine, from a remote corner of the Rare Book room. Attached to the box was a label that said: ‘Do not open until war is over.’ Which war? The Civil War? The War of 1812? What he discovered was a box filled with disguised anti-Nazi tracts hidden in packets of tea and shampoo and concealed in miniature books both popular and scholarly.”
In celebration of this Tuesday’s event with Chris Ware and Zadie Smith, we’ll be posting great comics throughout the day. Here is an excerpt from Ware’s latest, Building Stories. A few tickets for Tuesday evening are still available here…