Winders: Celebrate the books that make us unique

The first book I loved was called The Pokey Little Puppy.

Written by Janette Sebring Lowrey, a Texan, although we shouldn’t hold that against her, Pokey was published in 1942. It was among the first batch of Little Golden Books, that gold-spined children’s series still produced today.

A few years ago, Publisher Weekly calculated Pokey as the single all-time best-selling children’s book. That’s good work for an author whose name you already have forgotten from only one paragraph ago. But Lowery is tops. Not Dr. Suess. Not Beatrix Potter. Not even J.K. Rowling.

I named my first dog Pokey and wore through several copies of the book as a young boy. And last year, it was among the first books I bought my daughter when she was born.

With no shame, I admit to being a book reader in the Digital Age. You can tell by the sore back I sport from years of moving boxes to the faint mustiness that takes over my office once the shelves hit critical mass.
I love the Digital Age and many of its treats. But books still mean the world to me. (So do record albums, but that’s a story for a different day.)

And it’s all thanks, in part, to Pokey. You see, little books can resonate a long time.

Inspired by that passion, we kick off a little something new this week.

Starting today, and continuing the last Thursday of every month, we will be publishing Read All Over, the first-ever Western News book supplement.

In it, we will feature profiles of Western authors, as well as reviews of their books, event listings, even occasional commentary on all things Western books. We’ll focus our efforts on faculty and staff efforts, but occasionally dip into our alumni pool for books to spotlight.

No rules on style. Fiction. Non-fiction. Academic. Poetry. We want to showcase them all.

To me, this small section is a way to celebrate the blood, sweat and time that goes into producing these very personal endeavors.

I am excited about having a home for this wonderful work being done on our campus. But in order for this to be a success, we need your help.

Don’t be shy; drop me a line about your upcoming (or recent) release. If you or your publisher can get me a copy, please do. We’ll get a review written. If you want to write a review of a work, better yet. I’ll get you started.

Our goal is to help tell the stories of the stories we tell. And I think this section will go a long way toward that.

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Just a note of thanks to those who took a moment to comment on the Western News’ new look. Thanks for your kind words; credit goes to my team for their hard work and creativity.

One concern I have heard raised involves the point size; some find it too small to read.

Just as an FYI: We didn’t reduce the point size, simply changed the font for better reproduction. But it does read differently.

In response, we have bumped up the point size to larger than before the change as well as added a bit more spacing between the lines. Give it a look, and if you were among those having issues, drop me a line about the tweak which started this week.

And, as always, thanks for taking time to read Western News.