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It’s Book Week at CMH Gourmand

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 26, 2018

There was a time, long, long ago, in a lifestyle far away when I read many of books of all varieties and types on a weekly basis. I may have read three books in the last five years. I do not have much unstructured free time in my life so when I have it, the choice is choose between reading a book or sleeping or trying to find something to do that generates money to pay bills. I do miss reading books the way I used to. I hope others still read. I know a good many of book clubs out there are really secret happy hours but I don’t have time for that. But I do have hope for other bibliophiles out there.

I don’t read blogs like I used to either. In fact, most people do not. Although all types of studies and statistics show blogging continues to grow, it is not what it started out as which is a Web Log, information and stories with an authentic, personal spin on it. Marketing people will harp on the need to blog to drive web traffic and increase SEO etc., etc. Studies show about 43% of blog readers just skim content and do not read the actual post. I certainly understand that, we are all pressed for time and a lot of blog content out there does not seem genuine, more often it is self promotion or boiler plate (did I get enough work count, buzz words and links to attract promotional dollars) written to attract Google Bots or ad money.

All of that being stated, I though this would be a good time to reconnect with writing in some way. Last year, during the early dog days of August, I created Sandwich Week in a mad grab for ratings and to challenge myself to create more than one post per month on this dying media.

There are other reasons why I choose this month / week for Book (writing) Week. Twenty years ago I was paid to write for the first time for a publication call the Columbus Web Observer. I then went on to do a lot of freelance work for publications throughout Ohio that would typically go out of business or change format a year or so later. I had a giant article on Ice Cream in Ohio Magazine nineteen years ago. While I always enjoyed writing it was never more than a supplement to my income. I really wanted to be a travel writer but I could never connect to anything that would stick or try to pretend I could support myself doing i and I did try hard to land with Frommer’s and Rick Steves. My early content was more about the web and how to use it but in time I found my best shot at getting published was food so I stuck with that. Eighteen years ago, I started my masters degree in Library and Information Science. I learned a lot in the program but I did not accomplish my primary goal of getting the degree, a job at OCLC. I did not accomplish my back up option which was the presidential merit scholar program which would have had me spend one year with the Social Security Administration and one year with the Library of Congress….because my advisor forgot to send in his recommendation. While all of this was distracting me I overlooked the fact that for a one year period that was a shortage of librarians that could have finally gotten me to Australia as a citizen. I was so focused on one goal I forgot about the other, I missed that window by two months. Fifteen years ago I saw my first book deal fall part (pizza) and fourteen years ago my second (regional sandwiches). Twelve years ago my pal Saucisson Mac suggested that I take up blogging so I did. August has been the alpha and omega of many major events in my life. In some aspect each August I await a Charlie Brown moment of something important to being pulled away as the last second.

I the spirit of the above, I thought I would write a bit about books this week (all with a food focus) to try to reconnect with this old school media. I will also use some of my library training in my analysis and treatment of these books using some of the following criteria where I see fit and most likely somewhat randomly.

American Library Association Selection Criteria

Examining and Evaluating Books / Reference Sources

Evaluating Internet Sources

Most good writers will tell you if you want to be a better writer, you should read. A few good writers will tell you that you can’t be a good writer or even a good person unless life has punched you hard in the face a few times. As a “master” of the library and information sciences, one of the things I learned was to objectively and critically look at all types of media to assess it’s information value, credibility, authority, etc. In the world of so called fake news this is an invaluable skill because I have a very strong and effective bullshit meter and can sniff out fakery pretty quickly.

And now….Book Week.

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2 Responses to “It’s Book Week at CMH Gourmand”

  1. Cindy Leland said

    I look forward to your posts, and read all of them (I admit I skim the ones about donuts, which I can live without.) I know about missing those brass career/life rings, too. I will continue to look forward to what you have to say!

    • I know that the infamous ChairmanL / Dining Duder is not a donut post fan either so I try keep the dough to a minimum, plus I can’t have more than ten donuts posts left from what I have not been to in the state.

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