On the Red Couch with Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers


They say design is the world’s oldest discipline. And maybe the most essential: From freeways to French fries, the stuff of modern civilization had to be crafted by designers—engineers, artisans and architects—with the capacity to understand and execute the needs of society.

One of those designers is Stephen Ayers, the 11th Architect of the Capitol. Of his many responsibilities, one looms the largest: the renovation of the Capitol Dome. To explain why the iconic edifice needs a facelift, Ayers uses Flipboard to retell the story of one of democracy’s greatest symbols.

What is the Architect of the Capitol?
It’s a federal agency, and we are the stewards of the beautiful buildings on Capitol Hill. We’re in charge of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of nearly 18,000,000 square feet for Congress and the Supreme Court.

We’re an organization of 2,300 employees who are experts in architecture and historical preservation, and employ historical crafts and trades to repair and maintain these beautiful buildings that have been entrusted in our care.

It’s also a person. I’m the 11th Architect of the Capitol in our 224-year history in this great city of Washington D.C.

Was this something you aspired to as a child?
It’s not something I knew about in architecture school. I was in active duty at the military, working as a licensed architect, in 1985 or so. It wasn’t until the late ’90s that I heard about the Architect of the Capitol, and applied for a job there. I’ve been here 17 years.

When you were in the military, what kinds of projects were you working on?
It’s funny, everybody asks me that question. They’re surprised to hear that there even are architects in the military!

I was designing office buildings, a master plan for Edwards Air Force Base, and family housing units—homes, that is—plus all the industrial parts that go with flying airplanes: an air traffic control tower, or a hangar, or some high-tech facility.

I was part of a team that designed an anechoic chamber—that’s a huge building where the B1 bomber would come in and be on a turntable, which would turn inside this building as it activated its radar so the military could do tests. Some really fun, hi-tech buildings.

The public doesn’t have a great opinion of Congress at the present moment. Why should people care about what you’re doing?
I’ve been out across the country in the past several years, talking to people and giving speeches and getting feedback, and one thing that I’ve learned is that people treasure their Capitol building. It always ranks as one of the most beautiful buildings in these surveys that architects do every year.

And people want to know about it. It’s important for us to get the word out because there’s a genuine interest across the nation and globe. You can hardly turn on a television anywhere in the country without seeing a glimpse of the Capitol building. It’s become a symbol of our democracy. People want to be reassured that it’s cared for. And that in 200 years, it will look as it first did.

It sounds like the Capitol is under a lot of construction. What’s going on?
We have a number of issues across the Capitol campus. Right here on the Capitol building we are restoring the cast iron outer shell of the dome that’s been in place for some hundred and fifty years.

It was built at the height of the Civil War. It hasn’t been restored since 1959, and today it’s got over a thousand cracks and water leaks and is in dire need of repair. We’re undertaking the repair of the dome today, and it’s in the process of being scaffolded. We’re also restoring the frescos and paintings of Constantino Brumindi, and that’s just here in the Capitol Building.

Out of all those projects, which is the most personally satisfying?
The restoration of the dome. It’s so iconic, everyone knows and loves it, and it stood for so much. It was constructed in the midst of a war, when President Lincoln talked about the building continuing through the Civil War. Relating that construction to the fact that our nation should endure is really meaningful for me. What an honor to be a part of it everyday.

You’re fixing old buildings. Why use new media like Flipboard?
We have an unbelievable groundswell of people asking questions. It’s not just a local thing, it’s a national and international thing. We have to reach a broad spectrum of people very, very quickly. Not everyone gets the opportunity to see it. We have to recreate that experience virtually.

And what do you hope people learn from these magazines?
We want people to be comforted that we are passionate stewards of their treasure. This is their capital building and they’ve entrusted my organization to care for it. We accept that challenge and are passionate about doing so. We really want people to be inspired about architecture and design and the work that Congress does.

As an architect, what do you think about that the average person might not consider when it comes to cities and the buildings in them?
What I often think is important is not the buildings themselves, but the space between them. The design of those buildings has to create healthy and welcoming environments inside and outside. I also think about how they create civic spaces that give communities a sense of who they are. Buildings must be designed to reinforce our identities.

Keep up with the Capitol Dome renovation here:

~ShonaS is curating “Proof of Experience

Posted in Android, iOS, Red Couch Interview | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Table for Two: Serious Eats Joins Flipboard

Before becoming the “missionary of delicious,” foodie Ed Levine had two great passions: baseball and jazz. After throwing one too many curveballs, Levine migrated to music full-time, becoming the pop critic for The New York Times. But while Levine enjoyed the position’s authority, he longed for a sense of community.

Enter his third and most definitive passion: pizza. Well, all food actually. Levine had just finished writing a book about New York City dining (aptly titled New York Eats) and realized he could demystify the way people think about eating.

So he started Serious Eats, a site devoted to democratizing food culture. With a voice that’s proficient but playful—think “Harold McGee meets The Simpsons”—the site investigates everything from the science of the perfect steak to the history of America’s weirdest soda.

Serious Eats has brought its entire archive of recipes, experiments and delectable discussions to Flipboard. Whether you’re looking for Dinner Tonight or the best way to hack homemade red sauce, your “destination for delicious” has been fully paginated to appease every device and appetite. Pull up a chair and dig in:

~ShonaS is reading “Facepalm

Posted in Android, Content partner, iOS | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

The Week in Review: Women Take Center Stage

“We are having a moment,” Barnard College President Debora Spar told The New York Times. “Young women are identifying as feminist at levels and in ways that haven’t been seen since the 1970s.”

Spar appears to be onto something if news coverage and recent events are an indication, from op-eds about feminism to analyses of the female voting block ahead of the November midterm elections and the debate over workplace discrimination.

Seventy-two million women make up 47% of the current U.S. workforce, but that representation is significantly lower at tech companies. Women are 20% of the workforce at Apple, 31% at Facebook and 30% at Google. That recently admitted disparity and vocal female leaders in tech have helped increase the focus on gender diversity in the industry.

In his new book, “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” Walter Isaacson profiles women who helped shape today’s technology but have since been excluded from the history books.

“When they have been written out of the history, you don’t have great role models,” Isaacson, a biographer and President of the Aspen Institute told NPR. “But when you learn about the women who programmed ENIAC or Grace Hopper or Ada Lovelace…It happened to my daughter. She read about all these people when she was in high school, and she became a math and computer science geek.”

Hopper was a U.S. Navy rear admiral before she led a team that created what became one of the first computer programming languages. Women gathered in her honor this week at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference.

Female leaders were also celebrated this week at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, one of many similar gatherings organized by media companies. GM CEO Mary Barra, HP CEO Meg Whitman, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords were among the speakers this year. According to The New York Times, “Conferences promoting women’s empowerment are on the rise and haven’t had this kind of cachet since the feminist movement encouraged consciousness-raising groups in the 1970s.”

Even the word “feminist” attracted a high profile defender in Aziz Ansari this week.

“If you look up feminist in the dictionary, it just means someone who believes men and women have equal rights,” Ansari said on CBS’ “The Late Show.” “I feel like if you do believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes, because that is how words work.”

Read about women working in tech, feminism and the importance of leadership, regardless of sex.

Women Who Tech by Amy Vernon: A look at the women who worked, work currently and would like to work in tech.

Feminism by Courtney Cole: Feminism in the workplace, in politics and in our families.

Leadership, Management & The CEO by Tony Crawley: Leadership advice from those who make it seem easy.

Women and Tech by Laura Grantham: Laura Grantham, a recruiter at Flipboard, is curating this magazine with some of our other female employees.

Girl Power by Hazel Hernandez: Women raising their voices around the world.

Advocate, Empower, Change, And Grow by Alice Lannon Maynor, LCSW: Quotes, tips and speeches to give you the push you want or need.

~GabyS is reading “Political Junkie

Posted in Android, iOS, The Week in Review, Updates | Tagged , | Comments Off

On the Red Couch with Pretty Little Liars’ Sara Shepard

Imagine being sure of your professional calling while your peers played princess and scrambled on monkey bars. “I was one of those kids who didn’t really play dress up or didn’t play outside,” says author Sara Shepard, the mind behind the blockbuster young adult (YA) series, Pretty Little Liars. “The thing that I loved to do most was sit and write stories.”

In 2005, her imagination spun “a weird obsession with kidnapped people” into the start of a thriller series that has since catapulted Shepard into the stratosphere of YA writers and spawned a popular TV show on ABC Family. While Pretty Little Liars will officially come to an end this year with the publication of Vicious in December, Shepard’s taste for mystery and intrigue lives on in books like The Heiresses, the new The Perfectionists and whatever else she might stir up.

Pretty Little Liars (PLL) is loosely based on your experiences growing up on Philly’s Main Line, right? What kind of upbringing did you have?
“Loosely based” is very true, but I did not sleep with my English teacher. I did not have anybody after me. I didn’t have a missing friend. I knew two family friends who were kidnapped when they were younger, and that really resonated with me. It was kind of hush hush, and I was pretty young, so I let my imagination take over. And you always hear about family secrets and that sort of stuff. But my upbringing was pretty normal. Rosewood in the book is based on the Philadelphia Main Line, but it’s a really stylized, wealthy version of where I lived. We lived in a normal house and I went to public school.

One of the premises of the series is that “everyone has something to hide” and now there are apps like Whisper where you can anonymously share secrets. How might technology play into your story if you were to start it today?
It would be interesting to start it now and have all of these different social media sites. [The character] “A” would use social media to more of an advantage. “A” would be pretty nasty broadcasting certain things not just to the whole school but to everybody. As an example, “A” outs Emily at a swim meet with a photocopied picture of Emily and Maya kissing. There was probably a little bit of Facebook back then, but now it could have been much more extreme. The show uses a little bit more social media than the books do, but, yeah, that’s a fun question. I’ve actually never been asked that.

PLL comes to an end this year with Vicious. What can we expect from the series finale?
I’m thrilled that readers have stuck with the series for this long. When [Vicious] starts out, the girls are not in a good place. I don’t want to give away too many details, but they seem pretty doomed and there’s a really big twist. I think it’s a satisfying end.

It’s funny: a long time ago, with book 8, Wanted, I thought that was the end. And then the show came out and it sort of revitalized the series. So I was very sad at book 8 that I was ending Pretty Little Liars, because I was like, “I’m not ready!” But now I think I’m ready to end it. I’m ready to start something new. And I think these four girls, whom I’ve written about for nine years, have been through too much torture. I have to end it.

What’s next?
Well, I have a two-book series coming out [October 7] called The Perfectionists. It’s a murder mystery, and I think it’s a good followup to Pretty Little Liars. It’s kind of similar but it’s its own thing with its own unique mystery and characters.

How do you collect inspiration or ideas for books?
I write those down longhand—if something pops into my head or if I read something or if I overhear a conversation. I always watch teenagers wherever I go, and I read a lot. When the series first came out, I subscribed to a whole bunch of teen magazines like Teen Vogue. But now it seems like girls are kind of dressing like adults more and more, so I don’t [read teen mags] as much anymore. I used to watch a lot of the reality series that used to be on MTV, like The Hills and Laguna Beach. But now I just I look at comments on Twitter, and I have a couple of neighbors and friends who are young, in high school still, and I talk to them.

Adults now are embracing young adult fiction like never before. What do you make of this trend?
It’s pretty amazing. When I started writing the series, there wasn’t much of it; Twilight was coming out at the same time. It’s kind of wonderful that it’s become its own genre. There’s so much good fiction that I can’t even keep up with all the good stuff that’s coming out. Good writing is good writing. I’ve gotten as much out of good YA novels as I have out of a regular adult fiction book. So I don’t think there’s actually a stigma about it anymore.

I’ve read a bio of yours that says that you’re a hypochondriac. What’s a hypochondriac to do in today’s world of flus and global pandemics?
Oh, that’s funny. I used to be a hypochondriac. But it was never like big flus that I worried about. It was more like brain tumors—the things you would see on some sort of medical mystery show.

How do you find the time to read as a busy working parent?
I basically read for a few minutes before bed. I used to love to knit. And I kind of had to drop that. But I was like, “I can’t drop reading!” There was no way.

Shepard’s book, Pretty Little Liars, is available for free download this month from our partner, iBooks, as part of their iOS 8 celebration. You can download the book (and others) via the iBooks pages in this magazine:

~MiaQ is reading “R E L E V A N T T

Posted in Android, iOS, Red Couch Interview | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

What I’m Reading: William Holman of Guerilla Furniture Design

Will Holman is a one-man design studio. Trained as an architect, the multi-disciplinarian took it upon himself to approach buildings from all angles. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he poured concrete at urban laboratory Acrosanti, taught carpentry to rural kids in Alabama and was an artist’s assistant on the South Side of Chicago.

Now back in his native Baltimore, Holman is helping a nonprofit company build safe, affordable makerspaces for local artists. He’s also a regular contributor to BmoreArt, posts DIY guides on Instructables and writes about design and the politics of craft at Object Guerilla, a blog “on the front lines of sustainable design.” His first book, Guerrilla Furniture Design, is due out from Storey Publishing on March of 2015.

Holman’s work is both purposeful and practical. As someone who spends a lot of time thinking about how structures impact our lives, he’s done his fair share of research. So we asked him: what are you reading?

There is so much media out in the world, and I get to it through a variety ways: streaming video, podcasts, radio, blogs, books, print magazines and social media. I use Flipboard to cut through the clutter and get a daily dose of useful information at the top of each day.

I read widely on a huge amount of topics like sustainability, food, politics, music, film, literature, design, architecture, art, urban planning, economics and history in order to inform and expand the horizons of my work.

My front page is news sources, so I can quickly catch general headlines. The second page is mostly design sites, spread across sub-topics like industrial design, technology, architecture and urbanism. The last page is longer-form pieces for when I have time in the evening, food sites, less serious stuff.

For news, I hit The New York Times, local Baltimore sites, then Quartz for business updates, The Daily Beast for headlines, and Politico for Washington news. They give me a good broad overview of national and international news.

In design, I check Core77 every day. They do great mid-length pieces that examine a lot of passed-over corners in the design world. I particularly enjoy their “True I.D. Stories” series.

CityLab and Places Journal are smart, well-argued sites about urban design issues, placemaking and sustainability.

Then in the back, I love Longform and The New Yorker. I really enjoy non-fiction across topics, and Longform pulls together the best articles from 20-odd good magazines. My parents always got the New Yorker growing up, and eventually I picked up the habit.

Reading informs me as a designer. Design does not exist in a vacuum. A well-informed designer is a well-informed citizen, putting the problem at hand into a broader social, economic and cultural context.

Follow William on Twitter (@objectguerilla) or find him at Object Guerilla.

~ShonaS is curating “Proof of Experience

Posted in Android, Flipboard for You, iOS | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

On the FRONTLINE with Flipboard

Since its launch in 1983, PBS’s long-form primetime series FRONTLINE has provided deep coverage and impactful reports on the toughest subjects facing our world. With a self-described commitment to “credible, thoughtful reporting combined with powerful narrative,” FRONTLINE has tackled Ebola, school segregation, bank fraud, child sexual abuse, the rise of ISIS and voter discrimination—just in the last six months.

The program’s often iconic pieces help shape the national conversation. Profiles on the financial crisis, the 2012 presidential campaign, the rise of AIDS in Africa and brain injuries in the NFL were repeatidly cited by other media outlets. They have won 69 EMMY Awards and 16 Peabody Awards, and in the news business, are considered the gold standard.

FRONTLINE’s reporting is now on Flipboard with findings from the ground, excerpts from their TV pieces and interviews with featured subjects and experts. You can also stay abreast of upcoming topics and guests for the show’s 31st season:

~GabyS is reading “American Presidents

Posted in Android, Content partner, iOS | Tagged | Comments Off

It’s a Hoot: Flip Content from Hootsuite into Flipboard Magazines

Hootsuite and Flipboard

Flipboard magazines just got a social boost. As of today, Hootsuite users can easily flip content from their dashboards into Flipboard magazines. It’s another fast, efficient way to share updates from Twitter, Facebook and other platforms right into Flipboard.

All you need to get started is the Flipboard Plugin for Hootsuite. It’s available to any Hootsuite user and can be accessed from the Hootsuite App Directory or you can get it here.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll be able to choose Flipboard as a network to share updates to. Hootsuite power users can take full advantage of all the lists, tags and terms they’ve already set up within Hootsuite and use them to power their Flipboard magazines.

Here’s an example of flipping a Tweet from a hashtag stream.

Step 1: Find and select the post you want to flip into your magazine.

You're Set

Step 2: Select the magazine you want to share the post or Tweet to.

Select Your Magazine

Step 3: Voilà! The post will appear in your magazine.

You're Set

It’s a small plugin with a big punch. Try it now and you just might smile like a wise Hootsuite owl that knows a powerful new trick.

~Deemanator is reading “Social Media Matters”

Posted in Android, iOS, Updates | Tagged , | Comments Off

The Week in Review: Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Thousands of pro-Democracy protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong over a week ago to fight for the right to choose their own leadership, an opinion at odds with the Chinese government.

Tensions started to rise in August after the Chinese parliament voted to pre-approve candidates who would appear on the ballot in Hong Kong and picked up more recently with the student-led revolt.

The government in China denounced the protests as “illegal acts” and insisted the conflict is a domestic issue.

“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” said Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister. “All countries should respect China’s sovereignty.”

But the protesters show no signs of backing down.

“Let’s all stay strong, stand firm, keep fighting to the end,” said Alex Chow of the Hong Kong Federation of Students. “We are fighting for universal suffrage and the right to nominate our leaders.”

Although largely peaceful, the uprising was dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution” because of the umbrellas used to shield against pepper spray and tear gas from the police. Over 91 people have been injured.

Stay up to speed with the demonstrations, tour the streets of Hong Kong and read about the historic relationship between China and Hong Kong with magazines on Flipboard.

The Umbrella Revolution by Elsie Chan: Track the protests from the beginning of the uprising.

Hong Kong & China News by HappyHappySunshine123: Explore the long and complex relationship between China and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Urban Photography by Andi Andreas: See the city, apart from the recent conflict.

Protests in Hong Kong by thenewsdesk: Keep up with the latest developments around the clock.

Breaking Hong Kong by JMarni: Over seven million call Hong Kong home. Read about their economy, culture and architecture.

China by Ladye Wilkinson: News about the world’s second largest economy.

~GabyS is curating “Words To Live By

Posted in Android, iOS, The Week in Review, Updates | Tagged , | Comments Off

Flipboard Arrives on Windows Phones

UPDATE (12/16/2014): Flipboard now supports all Windows Phones running Windows Phone 8.1.

Windows Phone fans can get excited about the Lumia 830 rolling out around the world—and the Flipboard team is ready to celebrate too. Flipboard is pre-loaded on Lumia 830 phone and is available on Windows Phones with at least 1GB RAM, such as the Lumia 920 and HTC One M8. Like our release for Windows tablets and desktops, this newest edition of Flipboard is tailored just for Windows Phone 8.1 users.

From its architecture to visual design, Flipboard for Windows Phone includes some great features. As CTO Eric Feng explains, “We’re re-imagining many of our designs and interactions so readers can get to more of the content they care about more quickly.” Check out a video interview with Eric on all the interactions that make this launch unique to Windows Phone, or see a list of the features below.

  • Cover Stories is central: After you pick a few topics for your magazine, Flipboard takes you directly to your Cover Stories. Cover Stories collects highlights from everything you’re following and gets more personalized as you add new things to your Flipboard.

  • Search and follow more sources: Continue to customize your Flipboard by tapping on the search icon in the top right corner. Enter keywords to find articles, photos, publications and Flipboard magazines, or browse through sections like News, Tech, Travel and Design. Open the app bar (it looks like three dots) on any story for the options to Share it or Follow the story’s source.

  • See everything you’re following: All the sources you’ve followed are listed in one place. Tap the menu icon in the top left to find everything on your Flipboard, including the sources you’ve added and the magazines you’ve been making.

  • Share to other Windows phone apps: When you find something you think is interesting on Flipboard, you can share it to other Windows phone apps. Tap the share icon on articles, photos and videos to send it as a text message, email, social media post and more.

You can download it from the Windows Phone App Store today. The Microsoft and Flipboard teams will continue to work together in the months ahead to develop a roadmap for optimizing Flipboard for lower memory Windows Phones. We’re excited and we are eager to hear your feedback. Let us know any thoughts or questions you have at our support page.

~The Flipboard Team

Posted in Android, iOS, Uncategorized, Updates | Tagged | Comments Off

On the Red Couch with Author James Patterson

When James Patterson set out to be a writer as a graduate student at Vanderbilt, he says he just wanted to write books that “were as good as they could possibly be.” He wrote some fiction and then started reading thrillers, like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist. “I thought that I could conceivably write books that were suspenseful,” he says. “So I tried one.”

Ninety-five books later (with 300 million copies sold worldwide), Patterson is one of the most successful writers of our time. He’s sold more books than Stephen King, Dan Brown and John Grisham combined, and he’s responsible for such iconic characters as detective Alex Cross from books like Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, and Jack Morgan of the Private series. (In fact, you can download Private for free this month from our partner, iBooks, as part of their iOS 8 launch celebration.)

Patterson is also a huge proponent of encouraging kids to read—and to love reading. Here’s what he had to say about this important mission and more…

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for Alex Cross?
Well, I grew up in Newburgh, New York, which is a tough little river town about 60 miles from New York City—pretty significant African-American population. My grandparents ran a little bar/restaurant. The cook there was a black woman, and she was having trouble with her husband so she moved in with us for a few years. I spent a lot time with her family. I loved just the way they were. I loved their spirit—the music, the food, the wit, the charm. I also played a lot of basketball in those days, and most of the best basketball was in the parts of town that were African-American. So I hung out with a lot of kids like that. And then, as I got older, I just didn’t like the way African-Americans were portrayed in the movies in those days—sort of the guy with the ghetto blaster on his shoulder—and I said, “That’s not really representative.” So I wanted to create a man who was different from all those stereotypes.

And how about the character Jack Morgan. How did he come to be?
[I wanted to create] a worldwide organization that was the best investigative unit in the world in pretty much every city that they were in, and get a character who was obsessed with making that happen, who was basically pretty ethical about conducting business in a line of work that is infamous for being a bit shady. He had been a marine and he just wanted to do things differently. That fits with the way that I would like to see things more [in today’s world], in terms of corporations having a really powerful ethical side to them.

How do you keep serving your fans? You’re such a prolific writer.
Well, if you were in my office, you would see there are shelves all the way around the room. There’s one folder that’s about four-inches thick now and it has a very clever title on it called “Ideas.” I just keep adding to that. I have probably a couple of thousand ideas for books, and I keep adding to them. So it’s never been a problem. The way I write, if I get to a chapter and I’m not getting it right away, I just go on to the next chapter. And if a book is stalled, I just go to another book.

Of all the books that you’ve written, which is your favorite?
I don’t have a favorite. I’m very happy to have created a lot of memorable characters: Alex Cross, the entourage in Private, the idea that Private takes readers around the world, The Woman’s Murder Club series, Maximum Ride, and then the kids stuff, the younger kids stuff which I love: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and I Funny, which is about a kid who wants to be a standup comedian. He studies every comedian in the history of mankind and then he starts writing his own jokes. But he could never really be a standup comedian because he’s in a wheelchair. One of the things we find is that it’s the power of humor to help us pass the bumps in life. I think my kids books are probably the best things that I do.

In fact, you’re a big advocate for getting kids excited about reading. Why is this issue so close to your heart?
As individuals, we can’t solve the healthcare crisis or do much about global warming. But we can get the kids in our house reading. We can help the local school. And in my case, I can reach out even farther than that. At this point, I have scholarships at 24 different universities, over 400 scholarships for teachers; I just shot a pilot for a kids variety show out in Hollywood which is all about celebrating the arts. I think we’ve given away over 700,000 books now to kids and to the military. It’s something that I can do.

We just have one boy, Jack, and when Jack was little he wasn’t a big reader. He’s a smart kid but he wasn’t a big reader. When he was eight we said, “You’re going to read every day in the summer.” And he said, “Do I have to?” And we said, “Yeah, unless you want to live in the garage, but we’re going to get cool books for you.” We wound up getting a dozen or so books ranging from Percy Jackson to Al Capone Does My Shirts to A Wrinkle in Time, etc. etc. By the end of the summer, Jack had read 12 books and he liked all of them. His reading skills had improved dramatically. When Jack did his SATs, he got an 800 in reading.

What are some books you think every child should read?
My favorite kids’ book is The Book Thief. But that’s not for all kids: it’s a dark and tough book. I don’t think there’s a book that all kids should read. The main thing is that kids read a book and when they’re done they go, “Give me a another book.” That’s the kind of books kids should read. It takes a lot for kids to be ready for Shakespeare. We just should not be giving kids books when they’re going to turn them off because they’re not ready for them.

Are you optimistic about the future of books? What do you think happens to them in the next few years?
I think eBooks are terrific for people. I wish more kids were aware of eBooks because kids like screens. On the other hand, I think it’s important that we have bookstores and places where people could go and feel comfortable about talking about books. Right now we do not have a way to do that on the Internet in the way that we would like to. My theory is that in five years from now, the equivalent of Ulysses comes out and it goes onto the Internet with a million other books, and it immediately gets 10 F’s—”Couldn’t get through the first page,” “Couldn’t get through the first chapter”—and then it disappears from the Earth. That’s my fear. That Robert Caro never gets to write all those books on LBJ because nobody would give him the advances he would need to take the time to go and write them. I think those are the problems we’ll have to deal with. Look: if it all winds up on the Internet, so be it—as long as people can get the information that they need to be able to find books that really are superior, whether they’re literary or commercial, and that writers can be encouraged and mentored and find a way to write books.

Flip through this magazine for more about James Patterson and to quickly get to his offerings on iBooks:

Click here to read more about James Patterson on Flipboard.

~MiaQ is reading “reBel piXie Magazine

Posted in Android, iOS, Red Couch Interview | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off