Friday, September 5, 2008

The Book (list) Thief

School is back in session along with the need for students to get their hands on the necessary text books. I came across this amusing article about professors at a university in Amherst supporting local independent booksellers by providing them with their required reading lists. The university bookstore, which is run under contract by the nation’s largest collegiate-bookstore chain, was left in the dark. The director of this campus store was caught posing as a parent of a student inquiring which textbook a professor required for her class.

I couldn’t help but stand up and cheer for the professors who see the importance of supporting independent businesses and sharing that knowledge with their students. The same would apply to high school teachers as well. Doesn’t it make sense for all teachers to send their students to an independent business less than two miles away rather than a chain almost thirty miles away? How about providing the nearest independent bookstores with required reading lists and preferred foreign language dictionaries in plenty of time to stock up?

Speaking of required reading lists, I just received a list for a local high school English class and have to admit, a few titles made me cringe at the memory of my own high school years and the dreaded reading lists. The Good Earth , Pride and Prejudice , Jane Eyre . Some were gifts presented to me by my knowing teachers; others were not the enjoyable experience they had promised.

What about you?
Any books you are still fuming about having to endure?

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