Scott Hutchins

Scott Hutchins: "There would have been no option for books except for the library"

I'm from a town without a bookstore, so there would have been no option for books except for the library.

Well, you know, when I was a kid my mom would take us to the library. Every summer we had to get our books every week...read them. And I just read for enertainment. It didn't really cross my mind that it was something I was supposed to do to better myself.

I just was reading mysteries and there was a series...Alfred Hitchcock actually did a kids mystery series.

I thought he had written them, but I think he just was sort of the umbrella over them.

But I used to love them; they used to spook me so much. And then, when I was seventeen, I decided I needed, kind of, I needed to start reading serious work.

So I went in. The librarian who had been my librarian since I was little, I went up to her and said, "I need to start reading serious fiction. Can you help me out with that?" She said, "Ya, it's over there." She pointed to a shelf about as big as this table (which is hard to see in this video) over the fire exit.

And it was the classics section. It was all Faulkner and J.D. Salinger. Those were the classics.

Well, there's just the amount of options you had And I'm from a town without a bookstore. So there would have been no option for books except for the library.

The library was pretty much everything for my reading.

[What town are you from?] A little town in southern Arkansas.

[Did you have a favorite librarian?] You know, I loved my high school librarian.

In part because she was very mothering towards me, and I was a sucker for that.

Well, you know, as a writer I'm a heavy researcher and uh... when you write a book...I'm kind of a polymath around this stuff and so I check out books on artificial intelligence... computers...just on anything that comes to mind.

I collect them all. I normally use...I work at Stanford, so I normally use the university library at Stanford, but I also use the San Francisco Public Libraries, just for reading as broadly as I can.

[On budget cuts] It just seems like alot of the budget cuts around education seem short-sighted to me.

You hear Ray Bradbury, our dearly departed Ray Bradbury, talk about how libraries formed him, and how, as a kid, during the Depression, that's how he got his education.

You think, that option needs to be.

Well, this is my first book. It's called "A Working Theory of Love."

It's a novel that kind of threads together...[there are] some love story aspects to it ...along with the narrative search for resolution around his father's suicide, through artificial intelligence. He's actually building a computer, a talking computer, to beat the Turing test, but he's using the diaries of his dead father.

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Book Title: 

A Working Theory of Love

Library Name: 

Stanford University