Robert Venditti

Robert Venditti: Books can help you connect with your kids @ your library

"Libraries are an essential part of our culture."

My earliest memory of a library is the elementary school library we had at my school in Hollywood, Florida, which was St. Mark's Lutheran School and it was called The Lion's Den, the Lions were our mascot of our school. In retrospect, looking back on it, it was probably about half the size of a classroom, but my memory of walking into it in  kindergarten was...I had never seen so many books in one place before.

My parents had always fostered in me a great love of reading as I was growing up. So it was a place where I could find all of these books and read them over the course of my entire time at that school over the years, whereas, I wouldn't be able to purchase them myself, so those are my earliest memories of libraries.

[Do you go tot he library with your family?]

I do. They just opened up a brand new library, near my home in Forsyth County, Georgia, just a few months ago. And so we took the kids there, my wife and I took the kids there just a few weeks back.

You know, it was wonderful to see it. They had a little kids reading area with computers and games for literacy and things like that. And my three-year-old just stepped right up to it. I had never seen him on a computer before.

He stepped right up to it and it was all really intuitive for him. And to see him working the computer in that way and playing these games... very quickly he sort of was like, "Go away Dad." He felt like such a big boy, doing all this on his own and working the little mouse and doing the literacy games.

It was a great thing to see.

Like I say, my earliest memories being from when maybe I was just a year or two older than he is now. To have the opportunity to take my children and maybe they're going to look back on the library the same way I did.

For me, a big part of writing is... you will hear people say if you don't write every day, you're not a writer, or something along those lines, but I think it's different for everybody, and for me, if I'm sitting at the computer and it's just not coming to me today, I'm gonna go out and try to get influences and read materials, be they magazines, periodicals or books, or whatever, because maybe some of these other influences that I bring in are what is going to jar something loose, you know, some nonfiction piece of reportage that you read the newspaper or magazine, or a scholarly book about some kind of study, or whatever have you.

These things will come back, down the line, so it's circuitous. I can go there with the intent of of solving an issue I happen to have the with the book at the moment, but something I experienced through one of those avenues will come back around and maybe even spark an idea down the road.

[On budget cuts]

I'm not an economist, but, to me, it seems like libraries are just an essential part of our culture. And in so many ways provide resources to people that can't afford those resources on their own, whether it be access the Internet, doing Internet searching, or things like that, or books, or subscriptions to magazines and newspapers that you might not be able to afford.

A library is able to provide those for everybody. So, to me, like education, it's one of the last areas where you should see those types of budget cuts.

We need to really preserve them and keep them for future generations so we can make sure as much information is available as possible to everybody, whether they can afford it or not.

[On censorship]

It isn't something that I've ever experienced myself, but my general rule has always been that if you don't want to read something or hear something, or whatever, then don't look at it or listen to it. That's what choices are all about. There are varied tastes for everybody. What someone wants to read or listen to might not be what somebody else wants to read or listen to, but that's what the library is for. You can go there, and somewhere in that library  are the things you do want to read and the things that you do you want to listen to, so go seek those out. Let people who want to seek out others, seek out what they want to seek lives

My current project is adapting all of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians"  novels into the graphic novel format for Hyperion.

And I also have my own graphic novel coming out in about two weeks  called "The Homeland Directive" for Top Shelf Productions, which is more of a modern day conspiracy political thriller for an older age group, not for Percy Jackson age group.

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Book Title: 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Library Name: 

Forsyth County, Georgia