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Getting Out In The World By Reading At Home

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Are you tired of binge-watching ‘“Call the Midwife” or “Peaky Blinders?” Are your kids bored with “SpongeBob?” A great antidote to television overload is that old standby, a good book. Whether physical or virtual, there are lots of choices in both content and access.

Speaker 1: 00:01 Read any good books lately. That's more than a catch phrase. Now it can be a lifeline for people spending most of their time at home before stay at home orders. Reading for a pleasure may have taken a back seat to other activities. Now it's time to brush off the bookcase and see what it has to offer. Some local bookstores remain open to deliver books, curbside and for pickup. San Diego County and city libraries are closed but have thousands of titles in their ebook and inventories available for free download both for adults and kids. Joining me are Seth Coombs is, he's a local freelance writer. His Sunday article for the San Diego union Tribune lists recent books, some by local authors and Seth, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me. Andy Huertas is the supervising librarian for youth and family services at the San Diego public library. Addie, welcome. Great to be on and to our audience. If you have a book you want to share, please give us a call. One eight, eight, eight, eight, nine, five, five, seven, two, seven. Seth, how did you choose which books to include in your list of books to read this season?

Speaker 2: 01:12 Well, when we originally set out to put the, the article together, we were mainly focusing on authors. Uh, some of them local who had, uh, events and appearances, uh, to promote new books. Um, you know, with the current, you know, climate and Covance crisis. A lot of those events are now being postponed or canceled. Uh, however, we still wanted to, you know, focus on, on some of those, uh, those new releases for the, uh, for the spring.

Speaker 1: 01:44 Do you, can you talk to us about the range of subjects these books cover?

Speaker 2: 01:48 Oh, it's all over the place. I mean, uh, the main, uh, feature that we did, uh, was on a local writer. She's based in Rancho Santa Fe. Her name's, uh, she'll be Samaya Gowda, I believe I'm saying that correctly. And as she wrote a new book called, uh, the shape of family, which is, uh, you know, uh, to, to summarize it, uh, succinctly as best I can. It's about a family dealing with a tragedy in their own separate and you know, they're very different ways. Um, and so that one was really interesting. It has a bit of a subplot where what the may one of the main characters gets involved as a cult. So that's really a, uh, interesting. Um, there's a, a book that we chose, um, called, uh, the wax pack where a writer, you know, took a pack of baseball cards and track down all the, uh, the former players that were in that one pack. And that was really, uh, interesting. And then numbers. There's of course Don Winslow who's a, uh, part time local writer, um, and he, uh, you know, he's most famous for the cartel trilogy that focuses on, uh, uh, drug cartels and local law enforcement. And he's got a new book coming out called broken. I believe. Some of it, I haven't read it yet, but I believe some of that takes place in San Diego,

Speaker 1: 03:04 which local bookstores, Seth, are open and managing to get books out to customers.

Speaker 2: 03:11 Uh, a lot of them, as far as I know, I, I, you know, it seems to change every day, but a lot of them still remain technically open. Um, you know, I know that the book catapult has been really in, in South park has been really active and sort of reaching out to people and, and saying like, Hey, we will, we will get you books. Uh, same with Warwick's up in LA Hoya. Uh, they've been really, uh, engaging as well. Um, as to, you know, their hours are, I mean, I find it, you know, I don't want to be that person who tells people to like go to the bookstore only to find it, you know, closed. So I'm not really comfortable speaking on that. I think it would be on best to call them or, or hit them up on social media, you know,

Speaker 1: 03:54 and you're basically talking about a drive through situation too, right?

Speaker 2: 03:58 Yeah, yeah. I mean like, and a lot of, you know, places and a lot of things I've read, they're very keen on pointing out that, Hey, we know we will come out. We will give you the book, you know, we'll, we'll have gloves on it. You know, it's, it's kind of a kind of a scary world we're living in right now.

Speaker 1: 04:16 Well, [inaudible] to the audience. If you know a bookstore that's doing something to get books to the people, you can give us a call or if you just got a book you'd like to recommend, call us at one eight, eight, eight eight nine five five seven two seven. Addie, the San Diego public library already had a considerable selection of eBooks, but now you're using social media to promote reading. Tell us about that.

Speaker 3: 04:40 Correct. We started, we just launched it this week. Our stay in Storytime club on Facebook and this is provided by sending a public library librarians and what you can find there, um, just to give you a glimpse of our schedule is stay as story time Bailey's where we have librarians sharing books, uh, every day, day of the week at 10:00 AM we also have the lunch bunch chapter a day and this is geared towards older, older youth or families. And every weekday at noon, Monday through Friday, we'll have a Facebook live engagement with one of our librarians was Angie, who's going to be reading a chapter a day and essentially sharing a book with our audience. We're going to start with Anne of green Gables, a good classic. And um, myself I'm going to be doing bilingual time would be [inaudible] on Fridays. So every Friday at 10:00 AM post we'll be able to tune in and it'll be, I guess in a sense of variety show that could be some stories, shared some songs, finger plays, but everything related to literacy, bilingual for younger children.

Speaker 1: 05:43 And what about kids who don't have computers in home? What can they do?

Speaker 3: 05:48 Um, certainly if they don't have a computer, if they happen to have a phone that could also tune into this on social media. I know a lot of folks may not have a computer, but they do have their phones available. Um, or maybe their parents have a phone so they could also tune in to kind of use some of this on social media. But also I think that there's a lot of fun things that they could do at home. They could, if they, hopefully if they have books, but if they don't have books, um, there's a lot of, you know, songs and play and things that can happen with their parents or, um, you know, again, ho I'm hoping that maybe they're communicating with maybe with [inaudible] some resources with their teachers as well of things that they could do at home. It's, it's just always fun. I think. I always like to take songs and change them up that are classics and kind of connect them to what is happening. So that's a fun thing they could do with, you know, what their parents or their families or their siblings, but we're hoping that, um, if they don't have a computer that may be using their cell phones will be an option where they can tune in to some of this and also access some of our aid library resources.

Speaker 1: 06:51 Gotcha. Now, Addie, is the libraries spring into reading events still on?

Speaker 3: 06:56 Absolutely. Uh, our, uh, spring into reading was launched last week and it will continue until the end of April and potentially be extended depending on how things go. But this is any reading that they do at home. They could read books that they have, magazines, newspapers, things that they're reading, online, things that they're reading for school and all that counts towards reading. And what we're trying to do is, um, get folks to log their reading and as youth are logging their reading, they receive these fun, really cool digital badges to kind of Mark their milestones in reading. And then there's also fun activities in our reading program. All of this can be accessed through our website and uh, when they sign up they're also will prompt them to do fun activities at home and that can kind of count towards their reading as well. So, uh, we're keeping it very interactive. And the really nice thing about spring into reading is that anybody can participate is open to all ages.

Speaker 1: 07:50 Karen is on the line with us right now from ocean beach. Karen, welcome to the program.

Speaker 4: 07:54 Thank you. And how can I was calling because, um, I know there's a lovely little bookstore here in OB and it is open. They're taking orders and delivering and um, also you can pick them up, curd side curbside. I'm pretty sure [inaudible]. And what's the name of that bookstore? I'm sorry. Run for it. Cover is what it's called. It's on Voltaire street in OB. And you can say great. That's a great bookstore. Yeah, I love that book. Yeah, that's great service. It's just a wonderful place.

Speaker 1: 08:25 Thank you for that call. Very much. Karen, the number here is +1 888-895-5727. It give us a call and tell us about your favorite bookstore that maybe is still offering books by the curbside or perhaps your favorite book right now. Seth, in reading your article, it's really stunning. You mentioned it earlier, but it's really stunning how many book events have been canceled. Uh, is April usually a big month for new books?

Speaker 3: 08:54 Yeah, it is. And,

Speaker 2: 08:56 um, you know, it, it is sort of one of those, you know, those times of the season, you know, you know, you think about movies and how they're all, you know, like all out of the, the acclaimed and, and big ones are sort of released, uh, you know, uh, at the end of the year for Oscar season and things, this is the time of year where a lot of, of big name authors are coming out with books. So, you know, people should really keep that on their radar. If you have a favorite a writer, it's quite possible that they are, uh, coming out with something new this year. And yeah, I, I'm super, I, one of the ones that I'm excited about, uh, locally speaking is, um, and I, I, I realized she, you know, works at KPBS is gene Guerrero's new book, which is called hate monger and that's nonfiction, but it's about, uh, Stephen Miller, the, uh, the guy in the, you know, the Trump administration.

Speaker 1: 09:47 I want to close by just asking you both. First of all, Seth, what books are you reading right now?

Speaker 2: 09:54 Oh well not to. I want to give the library a shout out here real quick because I really like I there, you know, I think it's called the cloud library app. I have been using that nonstop to read eBooks and audio and audio books. I'm listening right now to um, uh, excellent, uh, exfiltration, I believe it's called, uh, which is like a science fiction book. And I, I'm, I'm having a trouble remembering the author's name off the top of my head, but he's the same guy who wrote the arrival and I am just enthralled with it and that app has gotten me through some stuff. I'm also reading disappearing earth by Julia Phillips, uh, which is sort of this, uh, kidnapping mystery sort of set in like this obscure area of Russia. It is also just really, really engrossing and I, yeah, so shout out to the library, the library app.

Speaker 1: 10:49 Andy, real quick, what books are you reading?

Speaker 3: 10:52 Um, well first of all, thank you for the shout out. And I do want to say about our cloud library. If folks don't have a library card, they can still access it with a temporary ID. So if you just go onto our website and put in some basic information, they'll give you a temporary ID number and we've opened it up so that we can create more access to folks. And thank you Seth for the shout out and hopefully more folks can go on there

Speaker 1: 11:14 and we are out of time. Addy, we are out of time. I've been speaking with local freelance writer Seth Coombs and Addie Huertas supervising librarian for youth and family services with the San Diego public library. Thank you both so much.

Speaker 2: 11:29 Thank you.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.