Has COVID-19 affected your reading life? Let us know.
The coronavirus pandemic has halted so many of our routines. Is it affecting your reading life? What you read. How much you read. Where you get your books, and whom you’re talking with about them. Let us know, being specific yet concise (200 words or shorter). We’d like to write about what you have to say. Email firstname.lastname@example.org; please include your full name, the city you live in, and (not for publication) your phone number.
Spring into Summer Reading, early: The Virginia Beach Public Library’s annual challenge is starting early to give people fresh ways to keep kids reading while they’re out of school. (Head off the “summer slide”: the drop in kids’ skills that can happen during an extended break.) This is reading for pleasure, folks. With the right book, comic book, etc., it should devour some of the COVID era’s endless hours. Details: the library’s website, via www.tinyurl.com/VBread. (Scroll down and you’ll see a link to recommended books, many of them available digitally.) The librarians also offer tips to encourage reading: Set a regular time. Set a realistic goal — 20 minutes a day. Let kids pick the books they want to read. Read together. Be a role model: Read, and make sure the kids see you.
55,000 people applied to the Artist Relief program for grants worth $5,000 each. This was the first round of five, each benefiting 200 people. About 11,000 people responded to AR’s survey on the impact of the coronavirus: 62% have lost their jobs, 66% can’t afford the supplies needed for their creative work, 80% lack a plan to get through an economic crisis. Average income lost: about $27,103. (Publishers Weekly)
More than 200 Barnes & Noble employees signed a petition asking New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to close their warehouse in Monroe so it can be sanitized. (Publishers Lunch)
The head of Kobo, the e-book seller, called out coronavirus fraudsters who use its self-publishing platform. On Twitter, Michael Tamblyn said Kobo yanks about half the COVID-19 and coronavirus e-books it gets for fakery. He also slapped “authors” who republish material they got free from the World Health Organization. (Publishers Lunch)
In Case You Missed It: Literacy as a right. Kids in the poor-performing Detroit schools system have a constitutional right to learn how to read and write — “a fundamental right to a basic minimum education,” ruled a federal appeals court, since it’s critical to functioning as a citizen. (Voting, say. Grasping what a document binds you to if you sign it.) The judges noted, “the history of education in the United States ... demonstrates a substantial relationship between access to education and access to economic and political power,” The case will continue on through the court system. (Washington Post)
On Wednesday, it’s Michelle Obama: Netflix will stream a documentary based on the former first lady’s memoir, “Becoming.” The program follows her globally on book tour; the book was an international bestseller and has been translated into at least 23 languages.
J.K. Rowling secretly bought her childhood home, a Gothic-style cottage, documents suggest. The 2011 transaction came to light because of renovations; permits are needed to work on historic buildings in Gloucestershire, England. (BBC and Forbes via Shelf Awareness)
Obituary note: poet Eavan Boland, whom the Poetry Foundation calls “one of the foremost female voices in Irish literature,” was 75.