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Maxwell unshushed

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Nancy Pearl says Shhhh!

Esteemed book acolyte Nancy Pearl repents, reprieves, and reprises:

Book Lust, the 2003 predecessor to her readers' guide [More Book Lust], remains popular. Barnes & Noble Inc.'s flagship store in Seattle at the University Village shopping mall keeps 38 copies in stock, compared with one or two for most books, says Cameron Morrison, a spokesman for the store.

Inevitably, Pearl gets chided for leaving authors out. While walking down George Street during the Sydney Writers' Festival in May, a woman approached her about omitting William Maxwell, the late writer and editor of The New Yorker magazine. "Leaving him out was a huge mistake," says Pearl.

Pearl says she finishes fewer than half the books she starts. For some readers, that has been her most valuable advice: She gives them permission to stop slogging through books that don't captivate them. Her rule for any reader under 50 is to give a book 50 pages before giving up on it. Readers over 50 subtract their age from 100 for the number of pages.

After a stint reviewing books for the Library Journal magazine, Pearl tired of being a critic. "I just thought, 'Why am I wasting my time on books I'm not liking?'"
Pearl's next project is a reading guide for children, tentatively titled "Book Crush."

Later this year, her stops will include a writers' conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a booksellers' gathering in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Before that, she will sign books at Archie McPhee's, the Seattle novelty store where the [Pearl-inspired] Librarian doll hangs on a wall alongside action figures of Jesus, Einstein and Shakespeare.

It outsells them all.

Update: Speaking of shushing librarians, how long has it been since you saw Ghostbusters? I saw it again recently at the Sunshine Cinema's midnight movie series, and it was if anything funnier than the first time. An excellent choice for reunions with your Murray-appreciating peers.

Seattle Action-Hero Librarian Stokes Reading Habit [Bloomberg]

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