Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Author shares his love of classics

Kevin Smokler photo by Julie Michelle

KEVIN SMOKLER is the featured author at Wine for Words, a fundraiser at the El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane in Placerville, on Sunday, Aug. 25. Courtesy photo

By
From page B2 | August 19, 2013 |

What: Wine for Words

Who: Friends of the Library

Where: El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane in Placerville

When: Sunday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.

Cost: $50 per person

Information: 530-621-5540 or visit eldoradolibrary.org

When Kevin Smokler recently went to his 20th high school class reunion, he wasn’t there just to show off the fact that he had lost 70 pounds and looked like a million.

Instead the highlight of the evening was reacquainting himself with the wonderful teachers who had, among other things, cultivated his love of books.

Smokler, the author of “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School,” will share his passion and talk about his work during the Wine for Words fundraiser for Friends of the Library set for Sunday, Aug. 25, at the El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane in Placerville.

Perhaps surprisingly, Smokler, who makes his home in the Bay Area, said he wasn’t that big a reader in high school. But when the reunion rolled around, and then he found himself peering at turning 40, he said he realized “how poorly read I actually was versus how well read I thought I was.

“Seeing how fortunate I had been to have such great teachers … I realized that I remembered few of the great books I had been assigned as a teenager and if I wanted to make room for them in adulthood, I had to just say I had the time and do it,” he said. “So I did.”

The undertaking has been rewarding, the author said, and he is gratified that he made the effort to absorb the wonders of the classics that escaped his full attention as a high school student.

“Back then, I read what I had to to get good grades but I was a pretty typical teenaged boy more interested in video games, record stores and making mischief,” he recalled. “That’s part of what’s been so great about both writing ‘Practical Classics’ and now talking with readers about it. “I feel like I discovered a great gift I neglected the first time around.”

Although Smokler has edited professionally, he said “Practical Classics” is the first book he wrote himself.

It is a humorous, clever presentation regarding the classics, focusing on turning the mind to the marvelous lessons and sheer entertainment contained in the writings.

And even though Smokler as a high school student didn’t fully appreciate their still-relevant gifts, he said he has faith that today’s youth will find their way inside the rich pages of the past.

“Readers have found books as long as the two have existed,” he said. “I’ve no doubt that will continue on forever, just as it should. My hope then is for the act of reading itself, in our attempt to advocate for reading and books, that we do not smother the infant in the crib and give future generations the message that ‘books are good for you’ like spinach, instead of delicious, like chocolate.

“I have never had more fun than I have had reading. We must always remember that nothing will marginalize reading faster than framing it as a trip to the dentist instead of the amusement park.”

Asked whether the Internet and online offerings are seen as a threat by authors of printed books, Smokler isn’t worried.

“I don’t make such distinctions,” he explained. “Reading is reading. The words to Shakespeare’s plays are exactly the same, whether you read them in a printed book, on a screen, spray-painted on a brick wall or decorated on a sheet cake.”

Smokler said he prefers to read old-fashioned books, however, because of his absent-mindedness.
“I read print books because I have a terrible habit of losing things, and I fear if I carried a reading device around, I’d forget my house keys, wallet, cell phone or head. Losing a $12 paperback is less risky than a $150 device.”

Now that he has cracked the classics that he shunned in high school, is there a book that Smokler yearns to read before he dies?

“If I only had time for one, I couldn’t choose,” he conceded. “Hopefully by then I will have read widely and freely, and that will be more than enough to hold me over until I reach the shores on the other side of the river.”

Wine for Words will feature Smokler talking about his book and signing copies, along with wine and beer tasting, a silent auction and raffle. Music by Singin’ 4 Supper will fill the room, and participants will enjoy a scrumptious dinner by Diane Wilkinson Catering.

Sponsored by El Dorado Savings Bank and Face in a Book bookstore, the program begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 8. Tickets are $50 per person, with limited seating. They are available at the Placerville library or from Face in a Book bookstore in Town Center, El Dorado Hills. For more information, call the library at 530-621-5540 or visit eldoradolibrary.org.

For readers, books, and the joy they bring.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17