Hamlet’s Blackberry Picked for 2010-2011’s Great Read


The Great Read committee is pleased to announce that Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers has been chosen as the 2010-2011’s The Great Read selection.

The Great Read (formerly known as Reading Across Plainfield) was created in 2004 to promote literacy, reading, conversation and community in the greater Plainfield area. The community wide reading program has expanded to include several area libraries. The Great Read  is proudly presented by the Fountaindale Public Library; Plainfield District 202; the Plainfield Public Library; the Joliet Public Library; the Shorewood-Troy Library; the Joliet Barnes & Noble store, and is supported through a generous grant by the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence.

William Powers has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Guardian and many other publications. In 2006-2007, Powers wrote the groundbreaking essay, “Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Why Paper is Eternal.” Then in 2008 he began writing a book that “focused on the broader question of how to live wisely and happily in a connected world.”

The publisher, HarperCollins Publishers, describes the book by stating, “At a time when we’re all trying to make sense of our relentlessly connected lives, this revelatory book presents a bold new approach to the digital age. Part intellectual journey, part memoir, Hamlet’s BlackBerry sets out to solve what William Powers calls the conundrum of connectedness. Our computers and mobile devices do wonderful things for us. But they also impose an enormous burden, making it harder for us to focus, do our best work, build strong relationships, and find the depth and fulfillment we crave.”

The kickoff event will be Thursday, January 13th at 6:30pm at the Joliet Barnes & Noble Booksellers. We will be talking to the author via Skype, enjoying refreshments, and there will be a drawing for a wonderful gift basket that will include a Nook!

There will be other events including book club discussions, additional author Skype events, a debate between adults and teens on the importance of technology, and a finale with “An Evening with the Author.” So be on the lookout for all these events during the beginning of 2011!

-Lynnette

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