Chicken-Fried News: Book learnin’ 

INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Thank you for reading. Not just Chicken-Fried News or even Oklahoma Gazette, but just, you know, reading, like, in general. Despite ample opportunities to fill your head with misinformation and garbage in the internet age, reading continues to be an excellent gateway drug to actually knowing stuff, and despite what the high-profile actions of some of our elected officials might indicate, Oklahomans are apparently reading — books, even. 

For example, Oklahoma County’s Metropolitan Library System (metrolibrary.org) announced that patrons checked out a record 2 million ebooks and audiobooks in 2019 through the Libby lending app. Some of the most popular books in both categories included Delia Owen’s coming-of-age murder mystery Where the Crawdads Sing, Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming and Tara Westover’s memoir Educated, which describes her efforts to learn actual history in spite of her upbringing in what The New York Times describes as a “family cursed by ideological mania.”  

“She is but yet another young person who left home for an education, now views the family she left across an uncomprehending ideological canyon, and isn’t going back,” writes Alec MacGillis.

We can only imagine that Oklahoma’s voracious readers enjoy the book as an escapist fantasy, because how could they possibly relate?

And there’s good local news for fans of physical books, as well: Publishers Weekly named OKC’s Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, as a finalist for its 2020 Bookstore of the Year Award, honoring “independent booksellers across the country that have weathered the changes that have roiled retailing in general and bookselling in particular.” We now reluctantly return you, dear reader, to other news about the world around us, which, we don’t need to tell you, is often not so fun to read.

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