I grew up in a little town called Muskogee, Oklahoma, and my parents were not poor, but they didn't have just tons and tons of money on to spend on books and I was a voracious reader, so I spent many, many afternoons when other kids were out running and swimming and I was hold up at the library, the Muskogee Public Library and I just loved it.
I mean I just always felt like I was at home there and it was just all these worlds that were available to me. And librarians introduced me to of some of my favorite books.
And of course my aunt was a librarian and she passed a few years back, but whenever I give a talk at a library always like to think of my aunt Dee.
I'm kind of happy that I've become an author and and that I'm at a library.
I think when I was young that kids were only allowed to take out a three books at a time. My mom went to the librarian and said look, three books, you know, if we can only take home three books we will have to come back in two days. So I think I got to take the maximum or whatever.
But you know, just being able to explore so many different things. I went through a phase where I was interested in the kings and queens of England, then I went through the arachnid phase, so everything about spiders, and of course there's all the fiction, which is always my favorite, Everything from "Encyclopedia Brown" to "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" were introduced to me by library.
I use the library mostly for research. In this next novel and "Mudbound" certainly, I spent huge amount of time at the Columbia University Library and also at the New York Public Library, which is an amazing resource. So I use it mostly for research.
[On budget cuts] Libraries, for so many people who are like me as a kid, who can't afford to just buy and buy and buy books. This is just something that's kind of being taken away and and the librarians are the ones who really can sort of direct people towards - Oh you would really like this, or you'd be interested in that, as they did so much with me.
So I hate to think of there being fewer libraries and librarians.
[On censorship] I'm completely against censorship of any kind. I think it's an absolutely horrific idea and that would apply not only communities and say, well "Catcher in the Rye" is a corrupting influence on young minds, but also to things like these revisionist rewrites of Mark Twain, which is another kind of censorship, you know, it's political correctness censorship. So I'm not a big fan of censorship.
Well I just finished a book, and I'm about to plunge into my third novel which I'm not really talking alot about yet. But before I do that, I'm actually working on several short stories, one of which is about a comedian who has lost his "funny." Another is about the second coming of Christ, and the third story is actually titled, right now, "Naked Woman Walks Into a Library," so it's about... takes place in the library. I'm just trying to keep my fans as confused as I possibly can.
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