Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beginning with Bacon

Let's begin this new blog with one of my favorite quotes about reading. I first saw these words posted outside a public library in Chicago.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
- Sir Francis Bacon

Many books that are banned or challenged don't offer easy answers. In fact, sometimes they offer no answers...but they can offer a new way of looking at things. And a lot of people who try to ban books, I believe, simply don't trust individual readers to weigh and consider new points of view.

Now that we've got this first post out of the way, I'll be back in the new year with some thoughts of my own (as opposed to stealing the words of some guy who lived 400 years ago just so I could put something up today).

11 comments:

Kelly Fineman said...

Evidently, I read for some of the wrong reasons (like "to escape" and "for amusement"). Congrats on the solo blog.

Lee Wind said...

Hey Jay!
congratulations on the fresh blog start to 2009!
It will be fun to see what you do with the new canvas...
Namaste and good blog sailing,
Lee

Natalie said...

Nice quote, Jay (although I'll admit that I love "to find talk and discourse" about books that friends and I have read...sorry Sir Bacon!)

Another favorite reading quote from one of the 5th grade boys I teach: "I was reading and totally forgot to study for the math test." :-)

tamarak said...

Ooh. The anticipation!

Jay Asher said...

I can only assume Mr. Bacon was talking to the type of person who picks up a book because they want to disagree with its premise or because they think it will confirm their already held beliefs. And I guess it hit home for me because "edgy" books (especially for teens) are often attacked when, instead of getting preachy, we let our readers "weigh and consider" for themselves.

But I'm all for escapism and book talkin', too!

And tamarak...you must've been in my suspense workshop!

Shelli said...

loved you at mermaids and look forward to following you into 09.
shelli

LizR said...

I'll still be looking back on those old Mermaid blog posts, but it's great to see you're all continuing to blog.

Good luck; I'll be visiting often :).

Liz

Sarah Beth Durst said...

Happy New Year, Jay! Good luck with the new blog!

Best wishes,
Sarah

PaulaKayMac said...

After finishing your book, I had to come tell you how much I enjoyed the read.

On my blog I wrote:

This book grabbed me so completely I kept it beside me for the two days it took to finish. In the car, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, sat in my passenger seat. I read while waiting at red lights. I read while sitting in the Starbucks drive thru line. I read while rolling in traffic (Eek! No I didn't rear end the car in front of me--but it was close.)

Your book sure made me think. Thanks!

ellen.mcelwain said...

Loved your speech at conference! As a first time attendee, I was busy being a knucklehead most of the time...I'll call it my learning year....The year I learned to make up my mind more quickly in the bookstore...I was kicking myself for putting off purchases until Sunday...Now I have to go to Barnes and Noble and be content with an unsigned copy.

Anyway Thank you for a terrific presentation! I truly enjoyed it!

Music Lover said...

Heyy...
great quote. i read your book TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY this year, and i am writing a letter for the Letters about Literature contest about it. If you check the website, and you see anything from a letter about it, it is probably mine...

just to let you know....


by the way, i love your book(in case you haven't noticed...)