Winner of the International Association of Crime Writers’ Dashiell Hammett Award
Richard Lange’s cinematic thriller about a woman on the run to save her daughter is on sale for $3.99. ENDS TOMORROW!
My friend Jeffrey Marks reminds me that I have inadvertently omitted Frances Crane, the author of the Pat and Jean Abbott mysteries, from my post about husband-and-wife detective teams (above). Let me correct that by calling your attention to The Indigo Necklace, a 1945 entry in the series. This one is set in New Orleans and manages to evoke the feeling that is still present today in the old French Quarter of the city - in fact, our detectives have a number of fine meals in some classic New Orleans restaurants that survive and thrive to this day. Here's what I wrote about it on this blog when I reviewed it a couple of years back. Recommended!
Richard E. Clear, one of the individuals who helped Pulpcon, the predecessor of PulpFest, to survive during its early going, passed away on March 21, 2015. He was 71 years old and had been ill for a number of years. Richard was the winner of the 1988 Lamont Award, the author of OLD MAGAZINES, IDENTIFICATION AND VALUE GUIDE and other reference works, and worked as a book dealer for nearly forty years. Our condolences to his family and his friends. He will be missed by the pulp community.
Every year in January, we see them come into the library. Holding a deluxe, super-bubble protected, and reinforced leatherbound e-reader. In December, thoughtful children decide that the perfect gift for their traveling, book-loving parents is an e-reader that allows them to wile away the hours without the ten pounds of usual printed materials they lug in their bags. Or, more commonly, the thoughtful children gifted themselves with the newest version of the e-reader and are passing on the old castoffs to their parents. Sort of like hand-me-ups.
Unfortunately, what they often forget to do is actually teach their parents how to use the snazzy new(ish) Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Having thoughtfully loaded up the tablet with the coolest apps and freebies, they hand off to mom and dad what will essentially become a very expensive paperweight.
This is probably just as well, as teaching a parent how to use the newest technology is about as mentally healthy as parents teaching their kids to drive. Alcohol, therapy, and a lot of apologies will eventually be required.
If you are brave enough to attempt to teach, here are a couple of hints: 1. Be patient. You are essentially speaking a foreign language, so don't jsut start throwing around terms like "drag," "sync," "tab," "update," and "cloud," and expect them to understand. And be honest, you don't know exactly what those terms always mean anyway. I just say "It's magic. Go with it." 2. Repeat. Let's be realistic, the second you're out the door they're going to put it away and ignore it, meaning that they will forget everything about the lesson. So be prepared to repeat lessons, often.
As a result, in the past few years a librarian's job description includes teaching patrons how to use, not just computers, but tablets and e-readers. What we once thought of as a threats to our profession (What! Non-print books! Blashemy!) have become a savior. I actually enjoy teaching adults how to install, download, and read e-books and magazines (I'm stereotyping, but honestly, kids come out of the womb knowing how to Tweet and send Instagrams).
I was also fortunate enough to be able to use my mother as a guinea pig. After an instructional session on how to use the three television remotes from my brother left my mom in tears, she looked to me to teach her how to use her new iPhone 5 (and the iPad 2 I gave her when I upgraded. I admit it). After having taught my mother how to use the Kindle, Gmail, and Messaging Apps, pretty much nothing a patron not related to me can do to test my patience.
So, if you are generous enough to keep the past generation updated with the newest technologies, just remember that you might want to gift them with a patient instructional lesson. Age is not a barrier to learning, nor to technology. My mother loves her iPad and her iPhone 5. She may only send texts that tell me to call her, but it's a start.