Bolinas Reads: May 2023

A Monthly Interview with Bolinas Library Readers

Oliver grew up in Bolinas in the 90’s raised by a colorful community Mother, and renaissance Father. He made his way through the local Art Shops program to eventually study Printmaking and Electronic Music at UC Santa Cruz, opens a new window. As more of a ‘big kid’ he would return to work with the youth at the Summer Camp and kept teaching while further studying Photography at Cabrillo College, opens a new window. Somehow, he found himself back teaching STEAM/Woodshop at Bolinas School, opens a new window in his father’s footsteps. Since matriculating to the University of Bolinas, he has enjoyed drawing comics and printing the Hearsay, opens a new window as well as working with the Young Stewards of the Land. He delights in learning and sharing a smorgasbord of mediums from animation to radio, drawing, as well as working with wood, metal, ceramics, and art cars.

Musically he can be found mixing beats, records and spoken word alternating Sundays on KWMR, opens a new window (Pick-n-Pull 8-10 PM).

What are you reading now? What’s in your pile of books?

 Let’s See. Pile is a good word to start with but at times it feels like more of a mountain of books. Rather than just reading a book, I try to invite many books to a big party and let them all coagulate and get to know one another.  It’s like cooking with good ingredients. At the end of the day, I rarely get to finishing a lot of the awesome books I’ve checked out. My theory is that if you keep them near where you sleep, then you can absorb some of their essence. If nothing else, you can always read the first and last page so that you can at least say you finished it before returning them. That said, I am currently reading some of the word-salad-surgery of Tom Robbins' Tibetan Peach Pie, opens a new window, alongside cyberpunk classic Snow Crash , opens a new window(Neal Stephenson) and Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements., opens a new window

Do you read one book at a time or several?


What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Probably the Four Agreements, opens a new window. If we were all taught that book's simple precepts growing up, the world would be so much less catty wompus. (For quick reference they are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best)

Do you like to read paper or ebooks? Audio books? Dvds?

I’m into all kinds of mediums. Books on Cassette tape are probably my favorite but I don’t discriminate. I even read moldy books sometimes.

Are you a browser in the library or do you know in advance what you are looking for?

Sometimes I peruse, but lately have been ordering things through the vast catalog of Link Plus, opens a new window. I also am a large fan of freegan alternative sources like the free box / free piles or free libraries (shout out the Book Nook/Exchange). When you stumble on stuff there, perhaps the universe guided you to that book you didn’t know you were looking for.

 Do you browse the library catalog or pick specific books? If so, how do you find out about them?

I just browse by subject or author. Sometimes from word of mouth, or from cross searching through the sources from other books.

 Do you have a favorite genre?

I love a good art book. Comics are cool too. I’m also down for any book with a good cover. I try to glean from History, Music, Science Fiction, Instructional stuff, even Spiritual Fitness or Poetry. Just no Country (just kidding). It’s not a genre but I’ve found some books are in two languages printed side by side and that’s always cool to cross reference (Check out Antonio Porchia’s Voices, opens a new window)

Have your preferences changed through the years?

 I used to and still do enjoy maximizing the library because it’s a great resource and the librarians are always so stoked to help and see things get used. * (just don't lose track of those Link+ books cause the bills might catch up to you)

What was your reading experience as a child? Did you grow up with a lot of books?

Yes. My dad was always rescuing books from dumpsters and what not. A book I remember, Harold and the Purple Crayon  , opens a new window(Johnson Crockett) might have been my childhood favorite. There was also this really cool ancient book of engravings that I remember having my hands on.

 Were there any books that made a big impression on you in your life?

This guy Paul Twitchell had a crazy book on the Soul, (In My Soul I am Free, opens a new window)  and had some real nuggets in there.

 Is there a famous author that you ever wanted to meet?  Maybe back in time?

I would love to meet Miguel de Cervantes because I can’t quite fathom how he wrote such punny Quixotian hilariousness so long ago. (Don Quijote, opens a new window)

What’s the last great book that you read and recommended to a friend?

Either Sombrero Fallout , opens a new windowby Richard Brautigan or A Wizard of Earthsea, opens a new window by Ursula K. Leguin

 What do you plan to read next?  Do you plan?

 I plan on waking up tomorrow and finishing all the books@! Actually I plan on reading more of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, opens a new window cause they are still coming out with some new ones I hear.

 Is there a book that you always meant to read but still haven’t.

I have never successfully read Dune, opens a new window (Frank Herbert) Lord knows I’ve tried!

Any highly rated books that you thought were overrated?

 The Harry Potter, opens a new window series. (J.K.Rowling) I loved the first gang of them as a kid but when it became clear they were just recycling Voldemort over and over again as the books got thicker, I tapped out.

What books do you return to? Are there any books you like to re-read?

 I love to go back to Calvin and Hobbes, opens a new window. (Bill Watterson)  Those guys are the best. Also, Dave Duffin, the Bolinas youth motorcycle guru, put all the youth on to Autobiography of a Yogi, opens a new window (Yogananda, P.) and that seems like a good one to revisit too.

When and where do you like to read? Describe your ideal reading experience.

 Ideally sipping a proper cup of tea in a tree or parked on a cliff with some good beats in the background or something.

Why read?

 Because it can help focus the antennae of the brain to the multitude of other hidden worlds.