I spent a lovely Friday evening with the members of the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable. There was cheese, there was wine, there were amazing information books to celebrate. And there was book talk.
If you ever want to feel inferior about your level of reading, you should definitely hang out with these folks. At one point, I was part of a conversation that went like this:
ON MY LEFT: Have you read blah blah and blah blah? I thought they were fantastic.
ON MY RIGHT: But not as good as blah blah said they were. And what about blah blah?
ON MY LEFT: Wonderful. Reminded me of the old movie version of blah blah.
ON MY RIGHT: And there’s blah blah, which I loved almost as much as Bomb.
ME: I’ve read Bomb! I read Bomb! Yes. I read that one!
ON MY LEFT: What do you think of that sort of non-fiction in literary style, like blah blah?
ON MY RIGHT: Oh yes, and blah blah.
Confused? So was I. An entire ten-minute conversation, and I recognized the name of one book.
Fortunately, the members of the Roundtable are gracious as well as knowledgable, and they pretended not to notice my complete empty-headedness. Not only that, they actually let me speak afterwards, on whatever topic I chose.
In preparation for this, I had taken all the things I’d been mulling about for weeks — tiger parenting, the economic value of the arts, inspirational people in history, the value of work ethic, and even one of my dad’s logging stories — and strung it all together in a way that turned out (to my surprise) somewhat coherent.
There is nothing like an evening with thinkers and writers and readers to send you home inspired to think and write and read.