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Nonfiction Matters
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Life Begins at Fifty

My trusty counter tells me that this is my 49th blog, so I thought it would be a good time to think about the blog process itself. Each time I read over one of my posts, I have a sinking feeling. I notice a typo, a misspelling, a repeated word. Here I am lecturing about writing, and my sloppiness is exposed. Seeing my own failings makes me oh so grateful for the production teams who help me on my books — the editors who ask me to write more clearly, the copy editors who catch mistakes, the designers who care so much they read the text and tell me what they think. Revealing to all of you here how often I rush and slip makes me thank my lucky stars that my books go through many hands before you see them. In a way this gets back to the thread about the digital echo: books need the hand-crafting that makes them books (when they are done well). But online there is more of a premium on speed, on exchange, on the back and forth of ideas, than on final presentation. I would love to find ways to tap both — the full bookishness of a book, with the conversational quality of the web.

Looking over the topics that have inspired responses from you, here or in personal emails, the teacher issue is clearly the Fave Rave. No one seems eager to add on, or cross swords, over the history bits or the swerves near to current events. That is interesting. Since this is a site that, initially at least, was best known by librarians, how come teaching has caught the most attention? Is that because you librarians also teach? Because you teachers know to hang around librarians’ sites? Do librarians prefer to lurk, and teachers to talk? Yes SLJ relates to librarians in schools, but I would still assume the librarian’s POV, needs, interests, would be different from the teacher’s. 

And closing out this conversational section, if any of you will be at AASL, I’ll be on the SLJ panel about research on Friday — that ought to yield a blog or two.