Thursday, April 26, 2007

Keynote by Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl, who "went to Mukilteo to be digitized" (for her action figure), titled her keynote speech, "The Pleasures and Perils of a Life of Reading," and defined herself as "a reader." She humorously gave the example of being "trapped" in the bathroom in the Mallory Hotel on the verge of panic realizing that she had nothing substantial to read. That's when she accepted the depths of her reading addiction.

As a child in a self-described dysfunctional family, Nancy escaped to the local library to travel to the other worlds that books allowed her to flee. She read a great deal, under the guidance of her mentor Miss Whitehead, at the public library and under the spell of books and Miss Whitehead became a children's librarian. During her years of reading and getting others to read she came to realize that "through books and reading we can have any number of lives."

Nancy shared the adventures of writing her books, Booklust, More Booklust (aka Booklust II: The Morning After), and Bookcrush. She stressed the importance of the first line of a book and gave various examples of books she fell in love with after reading just the first line. Nancy inspired us all to continue our love of books and reading and to not give them up too easily in this age of the World Wide Web.

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