Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Library of Days Gone By

Apparently the library of days gone by isn't much more different than the library of today, according to a recent article in the New York Times Sunday Book Review about the reading habits of library patrons in Muncie, Indiana, considered to be the bellwether city for average American life in a small town. The data was taken from checkout ledgers from 1891 to 1902 and collated with census ledgers at the time to give a more exacting picture of what your everyday Joe was reading. So what kept readers' noses in books? The same kind of thing that does today: popular literature! Of course, the popular literature of the late 19th century isn't anything that we'd recognize today (just who the heck is Oliver Optic anyways?) but the story remains the same--if it's a page turner, you can bet that your local library will be stocking several copies.


No comments: