I have never met Ruth or Larry Kuhn but I feel a kinship with the couple who own the Oak Lawn-based Paperback Trading Co., Inc.
They are trying to save books just like people in my racket are trying to save newspapers.
The couple realizes there are merits to e-books but they don’t want to see real books disappear. These two will go to any lengths to convince you that real books are better than e-books including seeking out medical research to prove their point.
Not to turn this into a Dee Woods’ column, but here are some medical facts the Kuhns have come up with in a letter that they sent my way.
They quote a dude named Stephen Adams, who is a medical correspondent and has these words of wisdom:
“More and more people are taking their e-books to bed with them,” Adams wrote. “Researchers are warning the blue light their screens emit can stop users from getting a good night of sleep because this type of light mimics daylight, convincing the brain that it is still day time.
“Blue light suppresses production of a brain chemical called melatonin, which helps us fall asleep. This is because our brains have evolved to be wakeful during daylight hours. Neurologists have known for years staring at screens late in the evening can disrupt sleep. However, because e-books are portable – not to say addictive – more people are taking them into the bedroom.’’
I don’t know if all of this is true or not, but it sounds good. So the Kuhns add: “To prevent oneself from possibly having a restless night, try the traditional book with the night light attached.’’
Now I am off to find a research expert to prove that getting your news from Twitter – or anyone except the Reporter – will cause blindness and warts to grow on your unmentionable parts.
Ugly garage contest
I get a lot of e-mails from all over the world and few make me laugh.
But my favorite press release so far from September comes from the Downers Grove-based Blue Sky Builders, which sponsored the Ugliest Garage Contest.
”The Ugliest Garage Contest of 2014 sought to identify the ugliest garage in the Chicago region and nationwide, and is pleased to announce the winner,’’ the release breathlessly announced.
And the winner is?
“A homeowner from Glen Ellyn, Ill.’’
Wait. No name?
The only other reference to this person is “the winner will receive their choice of a 50-inch LCD Television or cash equivalent.’’
Aw, come on. I can see someone being embarrassed by having an ugly garage and may not want their name splashed around. But if you enter a contest like this – and win a cool prize – you might want to let them use your name. After all, the photo of the offending garage was provided and used.
And a proud honor it is. We’re not just talking about a Chicago area bad garage. We’re talking about some stiff competition here.
“The Ugliest Garage Contest received entries from across the United States, with the majority from northern Illinois and the Chicago region,’’ the press release said.
“The Ugliest Garage Contest has been a fun way to engage with the community and our social media networks,” said Scott Wendell of Blue Sky Builders in the release. “When we saw the winning garage, we knew it was one of the ugliest we have encountered.’’
As long as we’re cracking wise about this contest, why not offer a first prize of a garage makeover instead of a TV?
Up in smoke
The editor of the Desplaines Valley News, a paper that serves a bevy of communities including Bridgeview, Summit and Willow Springs, wrote a lead piece in a business notebook about the village of Worth potentially getting a medical marijuana dispensary.
This editor informed people “Cannabis clubs will not be the stuff of Cheech and Chong movies with stoners knocking on an alley door and saying a password to get a bag of reefer. There are enough of those already.’’
The editor also had a little fun talking about the economic impact this clinic may or may not have in Worth.
“There are already enough restaurants in that area to help any future customers get over the case of the munchies.’’
Oh, and the name of the editor who is writing all of this? His name is Bob Bong.
I can’t make this stuff up, folks.