The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web
Gamble, Gambol, Ham, and Gambrel: On Inefficiency
I grew up in a family that kept a dictionary and a study Bible on a shelf next to the dinner table. If discussion at a meal raised questions, the resources for looking up an answer were readily at hand. As the youngest, I was often the one digging through the Bible to get at an unknown reference or paging through the dictionary to find out the meaning of the word just used. Perhaps it’s that early training that made me love words–not just the ones I was looking for, but the ones around them as well. This piece by Jonathan Rogers at the Rabbit Room celebrates the inefficiency of the old fashioned way of searching, the way that opened our eyes to the things around the thing we were looking for.
- The great thing about Google is that it takes you straight to the information you want to find (or, in any case, straight to the information that the Keeper of the Algorithm wants you to find). The great thing about every other method of organizing and/or delivering information is that it doesn’t take you straight to the information you want to find.
Back when I was walking to school in the snow, uphill both ways, if you wanted to know something you had to go to the library and get a book. And in order to get that book, you had to walk past a lot of other books.
At All Costs
- “Let’s go change your diaper,” I chirped in my sing-songy “mom” voice. I carried my son upright against my chest with a hand under his bottom and a hand behind his head. Six weeks outside the womb, it was his favorite place to be.
We headed toward the stairs, a frequent and familiar routine. I wasn’t distracted. I was present in the moment with my baby. Stepping up, my slipper caught a rough joint in the wood, and the world flipped in slow motion. We tumbled toward the wooden landing with no possible way to prevent the fall.
To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library
This OpEd from the New York Times looks at the value of public libraries as part of the fabric of society. It’s a fascinating exploration of a resource some think is becoming obsolete.
- Is the public library obsolete?
A lot of powerful forces in society seem to think so. In recent years, declines in the circulation of bound books in some parts of the country have led prominent critics to argue that libraries are no longer serving their historical function. Countless elected officials insist that in the 21st century — when so many books are digitized, so much public culture exists online and so often people interact virtually — libraries no longer need the support they once commanded.
Hug First, Ask Later
- I was having lunch with a friend a couple of days ago when a 3-year-old boy ran over to my friend and wrapped his arms around him in a big hug! His mom, just a little embarrassed, said “Asher, you must ask people before you hug them!”
Around the Warren
The Words We Need to Speak
Glenn McCarty shares some of the ways he’s learning to speak the emotions he feels and to find those expressions in the stories we love.
- “How are you feeling?”
Depending on the chapter in my life, my response to that question has been excitement, anxiety, or downright queasiness. It’s rarely easy to talk about “that emotion thing,” even for those who are the most comfortable in their own skin. The distance between our own hearts and those of others can seem an acre or more, making it terrifying to open our mouths and communicate what’s going on inside us.
Meeting Amy Grimes
Lindsey Murphy introduces us to an author she discovered an immediate kinship with.
- The first time I met Amy Grimes, I ended up ugly-crying in front of a large group of complete strangers, and even my six-year-old daughter was trying to distance herself from me. When I finally was able to choke out words about how much her work had meant to me, her kind eyes and sparkling demeanor soothed away my embarrassment and conveyed how truly thankful she was that I was so touched by her work. I’m sure this happens to authors of adult, inspirational literature every day, but the catch is—she’s not one. She’s an artist and illustrator of some of the most powerful children’s books I know.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I grew up in Michigan, so my brain says that September is fall–even though right now I’m living in a place where the temperature is over 90 some September days. But hey, if you want fall, you make it, right?
And Something to Watch
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.