Best of Vancouver 2011 contributors' picks: Literature & Language
For the Georgia Straight’s 16th annual Best of Vancouver issue, our editorial team has spent months on the lookout for good deeds, weird urban details, and various howlers to highlight. Here’s our contributors’ picks for Best of Vancouver 2011.
Best reason to turn your Kindle into kindling
2422 Main Street
3133 West Broadway
Yes, we know, your new e-reader comes equipped with a thousand classic titles. But here’s the thing: they all smell like the same plastic that everything else you own is made of. The app has yet to be invented that can top the experience of strolling through a properly stocked independent bookstore. Take Pulpfiction’s Main Street location: nicely curated collection up front, long shelves of paperbacks behind. Your neighbourhood bookseller needs you much more than those online widget merchants do. So go with an open mind and you’ll find out what you want when you get there. And all those rats? They’re toys.
592 East Pender Street
Overdue fees? Deleted. Can’t find that book just yet? They’ll renew it for you. Destroyed something? Well, they may give you the look, but the lovely ladies and gentlemen at the Strathcona Branch are so dedicated to reading that they might just write it off. Sometimes. Shhhh. Don’t tell.
Best use of new technology to preserve the old
All B.C. First Nations languages are endangered or nearly extinct, according to the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language, and Culture Council. So the provincial Crown corporation is using Internet and mobile technology to help First Nations in their efforts to keep languages like Halq’eméylem and SENĆOŦEN alive. In December 2010, the council launched FirstVoices apps for both languages, which are spoken by peoples of the Fraser Valley and southern Vancouver Island, respectively. Available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, each app functions as a mobile dictionary, containing hundreds of words and phrases, along with audio recordings and images.