FTRW 2007 – A Couple Last Notes on Freedom to Read Week

When I uploaded my FTRW interview to YouSendIt a couple days ago, I didn't realise they now required you to set-up an account before downloading files (boo!) 

Quinn has very generously agreed to host the file for those of who who may have found this a barrier for whatever reason. 

To save the file to your hard drive, right click on that “host this file” link and select “Save Link As” to save it to your hard drive.  Or click the link to listen to directly – no password or account needed.

I also had one correction from the show (so far .)  I said that Little Sister's went to court because they were importing material depicting underage sex.  That's not true.  I mixed up their Supreme Court case with another similar but different one that happened a couple years ago which was to determine if child pornography in the form of “works of the imagination” (ie. fictional stories or illustrations instead of photos) was illegal like “real” child pornography.  (If I'm reading that article right, it turns out that the Supreme Court found that it isn't.)

Okay, one and a half corrections.  I mentioned that I thought Little Sister's was going out of business.  Their web site is still up so this doesn't appear to be the case but there were rumours they might cease operations since they lost their case and were therefore subject to massive legal bills

Okay, two corrections.  I guessed that FTRW had been around for 25 years.  (It's 24 – not bad for a wild stab in the dark though!)

Oh, why not?  Three corrections.  I said that ALA's Banned Books week is in November.  It's in September

(How can you tell I'm used to the written medium where your words stay there forever to be contemplated and corrected as needed rather than the transitory nature of radio communications?  But if I'm putting up the radio broadcast in this format where anyone can download or listen repeatedly, I might as well 'fess up to my misstatements.) 

What else? I read from “Behold The Man” on the show and Wikipedia has a nice summary of the book although they give away the big “plot twist” (but so does the back cover of the edition I own – why do publishers do that?  They're getting as bad as film studios with their trailers, I swear!)

The story of how I came to know and then own this book is fun.  I was a big SF fan when I was younger and found the book while browsing at RPL one day.  The back cover (which thankfully didn't give away the plot) grabbed my attention so I took it home and devoured it.  At the time, I remember thinking it may just be the best book I'd ever read.  It was one of those books where everything fits together magically and there are no loose ends.  Plus the themes being explored – faith, mythology, religion, modern society, angst – had a big impact on me in a variety of ways. 

I kept the book in the back of my mind but never re-discovered it until I organized a Freedom to Read Week event a few months after I started at the Writers Guild of Alberta.  I asked local bookstore Pages (excellent independent bookstore if you're ever in Calgary!) to sell books at the event and during one of the readings intermission, I went over to check out their wares.

I saw the book on the table and blurted, “Sold!”  Brad, the Pages employee working the table, goes “You know that book?  Wow, I only brought it so I'd have something to flip through instead of Harry Potter when the table wasn't busy!” 

I bought it and a couple others I'd been meaning to add to my library and that book has come to define FTRW for me – I talked about it non-stop while serving on the Calgary Freedom to Read Week committee, I read from it during our FTRW reading last year at UWO and again on the radio show. 

So what I'm saying is that you (yes, you.  I can see you out there at your computer reading this blog – screw Web 2.0, that's Web 3.0, baby!) should find this book and read it. 

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