Friday, May 13, 2022

Librarians push back against book-banning

"Book bans are about limiting kids' freedom to read and teachers' freedom to teach" (from

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Dolly Parton’s library to give books to refugee children

Singer’s global initiative to offer a book each month to 200 refugee children in London until they turn five

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Journalistic Pitfalls of the Trump Era

The authors of a new book discuss how political reporting functioned during a period of upheaval, how quickly journalists should share scoops with the public, and what Mitch McConnell managed to extract from Donald Trump. (from ‘The New Yorker’):

Sunday, May 8, 2022

A Leak That Slowed, but Did Not Stop, the Presses

Here’s how the Times report on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade came together — and made it into print.

Saturday, May 7, 2022


The Last Days of Roger Federer’ is about so much more than tennis

Geoff Dyer’s new book explores endings — and the challenges we face as we approach them

Friday, May 6, 2022

After 18 months of being relocated (nicely I must say) for building repairs further west on 10th street, my favorite store is back where it was. Go see it.

One of the books I bought yesterday.       


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Press Freedom: why you should be worried. A news video from ‘The Economist’:

A week ago I cancelled my home delivery. I’d been getting a newspaper all my life but thought I could now make do with just the fast-breaking digital version. Well, I just called and re-subscribed to home delivery. I missed the morning paper. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How Public Libraries Are Seeding America’s Gardens

Libraries across the country are fighting food insecurity by offering communities free seeds and gardening education

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Robert M. Pirsig on the Book He Wrote (And the One He Didn’t)

‘Gradually, I began to discover that I was on to more than I had thought.’

Saturday, April 30, 2022


Just was reading about Elliott Landy who Albert Grossman asked to take photos of The Band when they lived in Woodstock. Bob Dylan was there too. 

Friday, April 29, 2022


What ‘The New Yorker’ Didn’t Say About a Famous Writer’s Anti-Semitism

Why are Alice Walker’s vile beliefs about Jews treated so gently? (in ‘The  Atlantic’):

Thursday, April 28, 2022

‘It’s like being a therapist’: the highs and lows of an independent bookstore.

In new documentary ‘Hello, Bookstore’, a small Massachusetts shop is observed over an extended period as Covid-19 threatens to close it forever. (from

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

I haven’t put out ‘a cityReader’ newsletter since before the pandemic. I’ve done 62 of them. #63 soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


Ukraine war: UK publishers take gifted books to children. (from


The Literary Star: Jonathan Franzen shares some secrets, sort of, in his first public appearance for Crossroads. (from


Monday, April 25, 2022


Banning books about Black and LGBTQ people isn’t protecting America’s youth

‘Great libraries have materials on their shelves (or in their e-circulation platforms) to support everyone trying to educate themselves, from home-schooling Christians to LGBTQ youths.’

Sunday, April 24, 2022


Alice Walker’s Journals Depict an Artist Restless on Her Laurels

As the writer counts honors and advances—and keeps tabs on rivals, lovers, and detractors—the drive to succeed is the drive to survive. (from ‘The New Yorker’):

Sunday, April 17, 2022


A video about HBCU schools Spelman and Morehouse. Clothes by Ralph Lauren inspired by the history shown in the video.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Gilbert Gottfried Was More Than Just a Funny Voice

The late comedian helped move stand-up beyond the realm of the merely observational and create space for the absurd. (from ‘The Atlantic’):


By the window where I sit in my branch library two and 1/2 blocks from where I live. I don’t get much accomplished at the library that I couldn’t do at home. But I do put a coat or a sweater on to go out. I do turn the lights out in the apartment before I leave. I do take the day’s NYT to leave at the library for anyone who might want it. I do see things along the walk to the library. I see books, some new ones, at the library. I could go on about other things and people I see outside my apartment when I venture out. I don’t think it’s all good this trend to stay at home. 

What Kind of Bookstore Browser Are You?

We booksellers have seen it all. (from

Tuesday, April 12, 2022


Graduating seniors from the city’s schools should be able to read as well as their teachers.

Monday, April 11, 2022


Ocean Vuong Is Still Learning

An interview in ‘The New Yorker’:  The author of “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” and the new poetry collection “Time Is a Mother” has won a MacArthur “genius” grant, yet keeps his white-belt approach to writing.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Young woman at my neighborhood branch library. I like her New York Public Library bag. She’s looking at new fiction titles. People are drawn to sections they’re drawn to. Who knows why we go where we go. 

Friday, April 8, 2022

I think about giving up my New York Times subscription. It costs more. It’s an obligation to read it. Newer news is online. Last night’s scores. But I’ll keep getting it. I like the familiar morning routine. I recycle it by leaving it for whoever wants it in the branch library vestibule. More important is the big size of the paper, and the big photos. Look at this one. It’s haunting. It’s by Lynsey Addario.                                                     

Thursday, April 7, 2022


A Black guy in his 50s in laborer’s clothes looked at the sign as he approached it today and said not to me but to somewhere bigger, ‘exactly’.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


The Fifties: An Underground History by James R Gaines review – a different view of the decade

Far from being ‘years of conformity and depression’, the 50s saw radicals in race, sexuality and activism break new ground. (in ‘The Guardian’):

The bookseller on the far edge
of the big green market at Union Square a couple days ago. I go by the market stalls during the week. My subway train ride back from holding the sign lets me out there. You notice how weather affects the crowd. Good day sunshine

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

On the subway the 6 train this morning going downtown with the sign. There are usually a half dozen young Asian-American kids in my car who get off for school at Canal Street in Chinatown. A mother once told me that the schooling is more rigorous there. 

Monday, April 4, 2022

The local library branch near me has books of course and places to plug in your laptop. It also has people who are drawn to libraries. It’s comfortable to be in a place like that. I’m drawn to libraries. Always was. When I’m in Wyoming with mountains and big scenery, I still go to the library every day. I have a card for the Teton County Library. As a kid in a small town I’d go in the library a lot. My friends really didn’t. My high school girlfriend and I in her town 7 miles from mine before I could drive would often stop in the library there on our walk into town to the hangout the Sugar Bowl in the evening. I sadly didn’t like my college’s library. Here’s a guy in the chair next to me today in Manhattan in the local branch.


'We Became Like a Big Startup.' How Kyiv Adapted the City's Tech to Save Lives. (this was in TIME magazine):