I'm not the Kindle type. I prefer the dead-tree version of pretty much anything I have to read. If I could print out my e-mails and read them on a page rather than on a glowing screen, I would. But then, I would be apprehended by the green police and would miss putting my hands on my most favorite real-life reading material of all: books. Oh, yum.
Once upon a time, I worked in a huge, old library. I would return to my apartment in the evening to do homework (or drink beer in the hot tub, depending on who you ask) smelling like musty books. Though I had the most boring job in the entire library - reshelving and taking care of the printers in government documents - I'm pretty sure the only reason I survived there as long as I did was because of all of those lovely, smelly books with their dusty residue and refreshing lack of cover art/marketing.
I still love books, cover marketing and all. That's why I am so pleased - no, thrilled - to learn that there's this underground of Tulsans who really like books, too. It's called Book Smart Tulsa.
Book Smart Tulsa, the new group founded by author Jeff Martin (I gave away a copy of his book The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles a few months ago, and I hear the winner greatly enjoyed it) and downtown proponent and retailer Mary Beth Babcock with the mission of making Tulsa a more literary city, will hold its first BookPub event - the intermingling of literature and beer, practically sensory overload for someone like me - tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the Gold Room at McNellie's, 409 E. First St. There will be drinking, discussion, deconstruction and, of course, more drinking.
From the Facebook invite:
"There are no rules. If we want to read a novel one month, and a book about skydiving the next, that's exactly what we'll do. Variety is key. But, one thing is assured. We will never read a book recommended by Oprah!"
The first book selection will be announced and available at this first event.
The Book Smart Tulsa group will continue to meet the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. for BookPub, but Book Smart Tulsa does more than just gather for book club meetings that would make your mother gasp and fan her face with her kerchief. The group also facilitates signings, author escorting, book release launch parties, offsite sales and others' book club setups.
From the Booksmart Tulsa Web site:
If you're reading this, chances are you are a book person. And if you are a book person, you are gladly resisting the future. In this era of high-tech gadgets and non-stop media, being a book person is getting to be the intellectual equivalent of Civil War reenacting. They aren't cheap, eco-friendly, or easy to store. We hold onto these things for years, moving them time and again, complaining every time, yet they remain, sometimes long after us, passed down like fine silver and antiquities.
They're after my own heart, I say. They're after my own heart.
Wanna know more about Jeff and Mary Beth and what they've got going on with this Book Smart Tulsa thing? Pay them a visit them at their new home on the Web, follow them on Twitter and friend them on Facebook. Also, check out Holly Wall's article in Urban Tulsa Weekly about Book Smart Tulsa.
For even more reading, don't come here. I'll be at McNellie's bantering and booking and beering. Just don't tell my high school English teacher - she'd come and not only put everyone else's literary-ness to shame, but she'd probably also drink me under the table. At least, I like to think that she would.