Wanted: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the VPL's Book Choice

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To play Vogon's advocate for

To play Vogon's advocate for a moment:

I agree that it's hard to drag anything Vancouver-specific out of this 30-year-old British book... but I have to agree with its selection on principle. It's an incisive, funny, whimsical book whose satirical relevance has, if anything, grown over time -- the titular handheld, networked computer that sprang from Adams' fertile imagination in 1979 is very much a reality today, and in fact, it's hard for us to appreciate how fantastical it would have seemed when originally published.

Now, you can argue that public reading events should focus on up-and-coming, or local, or capital-L-literary authors (or preferably all three) and ignore light popular fare such as The Hitchhiker's Guide, but that attitude is already so prevalent that it actually makes choosing a popular book a daring choice. I'm reminded of the National Post's recent criticism of Anne Michaels (as one of Canada's 10 most overrated authors): "They’re the All Bran of CanLit: books that people read because they think they’re good for them, not out of any expectation of pleasure or enjoyment."

Surely we can allow ourselves a break from the All-Bran and enjoy a nice meal of fish and chips every now and again instead?

(And yesterday *was* binary-42 day (10/10/10 = 101010 = 42 in binary notation). That only rolls around once a century.)

Brook Jones more than 5 years ago

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