Everyone’s Staying Home to Support the Los Angeles Public Library!

The Stay Home and Read a Book Ball on Friday, March 1, 2013 is fast approaching, and in anticipation, Library lovers are eagerly sharing their support for knowledge, reading, and books.

Howard A. Rodman, Professor at the University of Southern California and Vice President of the Writers Guild of America West, writes:

“I grew up in an atheist household in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. My parents told me there was no religion. But they lied. When I’d visit my doctor, he’d ask not, what’s wrong, or even, how’s school. He’d say, ‘What have you read?’ When I’d ask my grandmother a question she’d say, ‘You have a question? Look it up in a book.’ Then she would whisper, ‘A library is a place with a lot of books.’

Where others would have a hearth or a breviary niche, we had The Wonder Book of Knowledge. All the world’s knowledge, and all the world’s wonder, in twelve volumes: A to BAL, BAL to BYZ, CAB to CLI, CLI to DEN, DEN to FIF, FIF to GRE, GRE to JES, JES to MIN, MIN to PEA, PEA to SAN, SAN to TID, and TIE to ZWY. When my parents would fight I’d hide under the piano, inhaling the faraway fragrant scent of the waxed wood sounding board, the raised lid become a giant sail, and I would stare at the Wonder Book of Knowledge, a cyclopedia of destinations – of places I would rather be. A-BAL, BAL-BYZ, sailing to Byzantium, CAB to CLI, CLI to DEN, ‘round the North Sea to Denmark, DEN-FIF, FIF to GRE, down the Aegean to Greece, GRE-JES, JES-MIN, aboard the U.S. Minnesota, MIN to PEA, PEA to SAN, San Francisco! Shore leave in North Beach!, SAN to TID, and TIE to ZWY. The island of Zwyzwyzwantia, where iridescent spider monkeys climb from volcanoes, where telekinetic pandas control the weather, and where perfumed pheasants roost all day in sun-dappled trees, singing to each other, and to us. And that – curled up under the piano, hiding from my parents, gazing out at a cut-rate encyclopedia, in the heart of godless Brooklyn – was how I became a writer. And I would venture that most every writer I know became a writer in similar fashion: staring at books, reading our way through the Universe. The Universe, as Borges says: which others call The Library.

And so as a writer and, most proudly, as a reader: it’s truly gratifying to bring attention to the libraries’ essential role in the creative life of our community.

(With a h/t to Tom McGuane for the idea of a piano lid as ship’s sail, to John August for the weather-controlling pandas, to Thomas Pynchon for the iridescent spider monkeys…)”


New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott‘s plans for March 1, 2013:

“I have gotten both dogs whipped up in anticipation of the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball. Heaven: we’ll share the couch, and some cheese, but we’ll each have our own book, as neither of them reads English very well.”


Los Angeles-based author and journalist Hector Tobar‘s call for action:

“Down at the bottom of Bunker Hill, there’s a big building with a pyramid on top. It’s filled with thousands of magical devices, each the shape of a box. I go there, pick one up and take it home. I open it. Suddenly there are ancient Romans in my living room, a Spanish knight in my kitchen, a boy and a runaway slave on a raft floating down the hallway. Yes, every day is a ball, a journey or a miracle when you have a library card. Let’s celebrate the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball together.”


Author Terry Tempest Williams shares her thoughts on the Ball:

“I open the door, walk outside and turn another page.”


Los Angeles’ first Poet Laureate Eloise Klein Healy describes her clothing for the occasion:

“My usual reading attire at home is a comfortable outfit of plaid flannel shirt and pajama bottoms of a different plaid.  Since the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball is a formal affair, I plan to up the ante and read my book while clad in at least three plaids.”


There’s still time to RSVP!  Also, make sure to let us know how you’re celebrating by emailing Erin Sapinoso at [email protected], tweeting us at @LibraryFoundLA with the hashtag #LFLAStayHome, and leaving comments on our Facebook page.

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