The Everyday Wonder of real books

Something about old books makes new memories. (Photo: Renee Peck)

Among the many worlds that man did not receive as a gift from nature, but created out of his own mind, the world of books is the greatest.

Herman Hesse said that and, here at Everyday Wonder, we couldn’t agree more. Which is why we devote this episode to the everyday wonder of books. In particular, what we call “real books” or those physical, tangible things that you hold in your hand.

We’re joined by two well-known New Orleans bibliophiles. Susan Larson is the former book editor for The Times Picayune and current host of WWNO’s The Reading Life. Gladin Scott is the former owner of Maple Street Book Shop which for fifty-three years had a cult following with its mission to “Fight the Stupids.”

Because we like to keep things positive, this episode isn’t about bashing e-books. Instead, it’s about books as “talisman” (again, to quote Hesse); how libraries and book shops are some of the greatest community centers there are; the special joy that comes from reading your children’s books…to their children; and the pros and cons of keeping books vs. giving them away. Each turn of the conversation simply affirms Susan Sontag’s observation that books offer “…a way of being fully human” (which is something we’re all for, especially in these times!).

Please give a listen, share your own stories of what books mean to you and remember to subscribe!


Renee Peck, who loves books in any and all forms

Brett Will Taylor, whose first friends were books


Gladin Scott, who went to Maple Leaf Book Shop as a teen and owned and closed it as an adult (though its ghost and wisdom still lives on via Facebook)

Susan Larson, who knows exactly which five books she’d save in a fire

The City of New Orleans, a book lover’s paradise if ever there was one.

Producer: Thomas Walsh

Photo credit: Renee Peck


You must login to post a comment. Need a ViaNolaVie account? Click here to signup.