Sunday, December 31, 2023


SO THIS CAME BY MAIL. It’s a British book and my bookstore said they couldn’t get it. I have four good books going now. I’ve only read the first two poems in the Louise Gluck book. I don’t watch much on the screen anymore. Not even news. I get the New York Times and the Washington Post online, and I do like stuff YouTube brings me that I’ve subscribed to. I’ve vowed that this coming year I’ll read more, like I used to. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


I BOUGHT TWO COPIES of this today. I went to get one for my grandson who’s a real reader. I got one for me too. Ray Bradbury’s books got me to be a book reader. This one I’ve thought about more than any book I ever read. I gave it away with all my books this past year. Fun to buy it again.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023


THIS IS AN OLD PHOTO WHEN I STILL HAD BOOKS all around. I still go out with the sign. I’m grateful I get to do it every weekday. The message of it for sure matters as much to me as ever, and the people I see. Have a good holiday up ahead, and to those who just had theirs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


Jane Smiley on What It’s Like to Have Your Book Banned

In Conversation with Tai Caputo From Iowa City’s City High School Student Paper

Saturday, December 16, 2023


Reading print improves comprehension far more than looking at digital text, say researchers

A study from the University of Valencia found that print reading could boost skills by six to eight times more than digital reading (from The Guardian):

Thursday, December 7, 2023

SOMETHING MADE ME THINK OF THIS BOOK yesterday. I read it a few years ago. Then I read it two more times. It’s not big and the way it’s broken up, three times is no heroic accomplishment. It’s a nice paperback. Her other book is good too. Try her. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023


Tupac Shakur’ captures an icon’s spark and decades of Black history
. Staci Robinson’s authorized biography covers the rapper’s early life and private life as well as the years of global fame

Friday, December 1, 2023


I just read this in paperback for the second time. I may read it again sometime. Look it up. It may be for you. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

It’s been some days since I’ve held the sign. Let me give thanks that the holiday break is over and tomorrow is Monday and my alarm goes off at 6:00 and I get up and do what I do and then go downtown with the sign. Don’t tell anyone but I never cared much for Thanksgiving. We weren’t a big food family when I was a kid. I only really liked the mashed potatoes with no gravy and the pie. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Monday, November 13, 2023

PEOPLE WORKING SOME DAYS FROM HOME takes away some of the daily regular faces I used to see on Chambers Street. They warmed the street for me.

Saturday, November 11, 2023


The librarian who couldn’t take it anymore

She loved books. And in a time of spreading book bans in public schools, that’s why this Florida librarian had to quit.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


“she was called Phillis, because that was the name of the ship that brought her, and Wheatley, which was the name of the merchant who bought her. She  was born in Senegal. In Boston, the slave traders put her up for sale:

-she's seven years old! She will be a good mare!

She was felt, naked, by many hands.

At thirteen, she was already writing poems in a language that was not her own. No one believed that she was the author. At the age of twenty, Phillis was questioned by a court of eighteen enlightened men in robes and wigs.

She had to recite texts from Virgil and Milton and some messages from the Bible, and she also had to swear that the poems she had written were not plagiarized. From a chair, she gave her long examination, until the court accepted her: she was a woman, she was black, she was a slave, but she was a poet. "

Phillis Wheatley, was the first African-American writer to publish a book in the United States.

Friday, November 3, 2023


Mike Curato’s graphic novel ‘Flamer’ was recently banned by a Georgia school district.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

My new ‘cityReader’ #68. I enjoy doing them. They have to be somewhat redundant because new people come upon them. Sorry the pages are not in the right order. That’s a quirk I haven’t fixed on this blog.  

Sunday, October 29, 2023


‘When a writer tries to explain too much, he’s out of time before he begins.’—Isaac Bashevis Singer

Thursday, October 19, 2023

 Judith Butler, Masha Gessen, Rachel Kushner, Ben Lerner, V (formerly Eve Ensler) and others

‘WE ARE A GROUP OF JEWISH-AMERICAN writers, artists and academics. We oppose what the Israeli government is doing with US assistance…’

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


THE MIDDLE AGE BLACK WOMAN with a well-worn face was coming toward the sign this morning. I looked at her face and wondered if the sign would matter to her. She didn’t look my way until she was shoulder to shoulder with me and hardly moving her mouth she said, Bless Ya.

Friday, October 13, 2023


This couple just published a Nobel winner from their living room

Transit Books, the American publisher of Nobel Prize-winning author Jon Fosse, is the rare publishing house that literally operates out of a house

Saturday, October 7, 2023

How to Fight Book Bans, According to the American Library Association's Queer President

“We need all hands on deck in this moment, and there’s something everyone can do,” Emily Drabinski says.


Thursday, October 5, 2023


Get on the bus: banned books tour hits the road, from New York to Texas

Book banning in public schools jumped 33% this year, so a group of enthusiasts is tackling censorship with a bus tour

Monday, October 2, 2023


THIS MORNING A BLACK THIRTY-MAYBE GUY cooler than most on Chambers Street said in a deep voice almost a whisper but strong when he got right next to me and the sign as he walked by, Amen, Brother.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Monday, September 25, 2023

Brooklyn Public Library

BPL's new podcast series Borrowed and Banned tells the story of America's ideological war with its bookshelves. In seven episodes, we'll talk with students on the frontlines, librarians and teachers whose livelihoods are endangered when they speak up, and writers whose books have become political battleground.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

WE INCREASINGLY SPEND MORE AND MORE TIME at home. On the computer. Reading variations of the same old news. Blogs are big. I look at YouTube stuff too much. It’s good to get out. The library is a perfect getaway. Today I went for a couple hours. Looked at books. Looked at people. Wrote a little. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023



Stories change our hearts, expand our worlds, and challenge what was. Storytellers have always threatened those in power, but today the stakes are dire, as book bans and library censures increase across the United States. These authors of some of the most banned books in America are on the front lines. (That’s Jacqueline Woodson in the photo.):

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Liev Schreiber revisits Spotlight role to narrate Marty Baron's new book

EW can exclusively reveal that Schreiber will narrate the audio version of Baron's Collision of Power, after first playing the journalist in the Oscar-winning 2015 film Spotlight.

Friday, September 1, 2023


For John Green, the Battle Over Access to Books Has Gotten Personal

A fight over Green’s books in his home state of Indiana reflects a broader cultural debate over what books are appropriate for young readers, and who gets to decide.

Thursday, August 31, 2023


Top 10 books about solitary living

Finding your way without the social template of romantic love is a tough challenge, but writers from Deborah Levy to Hanya Yanagihara offer clues to how it can be done

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 29, 2023



Does the far-right extremism of the Trump era represent an eternal pattern in American politics or a new one? (from the ‘New Yorker’)

Thursday, August 24, 2023


How the Vietnam War Accelerated Generational Divides in America

Drew Gilpin Faust on the Gradual Radicalization of Anti-War Student Activism (excerpted from the new book, Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury)

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The best books on street photography in 2023

Get advice and inspiration from our selection of the best books on street photography that are currently in print

Sunday, August 20, 2023


Interviewer: ''Are you hard on people in your songs because you want to torment them? Or to change their lives and make them know themselves?"

Bob Dylan replied while laughing: "I want to needle them.''

Saturday, August 19, 2023


‘I Really Want to Write the Books I Want to Write Before I Die’: Zadie Smith Is Back With an Epic—And Emotional—New Novel (from ‘Vogue’):

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

               Write as if you were dying, Annie Dillard once said.