Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Wish Someone Would Invent: An All-Book MPR Station

I am fortunate to live in the great state of Minnesota, which boasts the best public radio system in the country. For you out-of-towners, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is a three-headed [loveable] beast: 91.1 KNOW is non-stop news and information (except for Saturday night, which is a newsless black hole of Prairie Home Companion and jazz), 99.5 KSJN plays classical music and broadcasts the Met opera every Saturday afternoon, and 89.3 the Current is like listening to your cool friend's iPod.

As a cartoonist, I cannot express how grateful I am to these stations for existing, as they provide a hands-free soundtrack to my life while I work. However, they've spoiled me, and the spoiled child always wants more. When I was in high school, I used to tune in Sunday nights to 91.1 because they'd air book readings and short stories, which I found extraordinarily relaxing. Way back then I began dreaming of another MPR station, one that would play 24 hours of people reading stuff. I know that books on tape exist, but I'd honestly much rather make someone else do the work of picking out and airing the readings. Plus, books on tape are so limited compared to the possibilities of a public radio station dedicated to reading: live poetry slams, authors reading their short stories, old scratchy recordings of Dylan Thomas and T. S. Eliot, ... etc.

I can't imagine that anything like this station would be able to get off the ground, but it's fun to think about. Here's my imaginary line-up for a typical weekday:

And of course, Garrison Keillor would pop in a few times a day to give us an update on authors' birthdays and remind us how important it is to turn the radio off once in a while and actually go to a library or bookstore.



At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Betsy said...

That is a great idea, Kevin--can't you email that to NPR or MPR or wherever? They would be everlastingly grateful that someone clever thought up all of the programming for them!

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous danno said...

Krista Tippet.....
...i HATE F-ing Krista Tippet!!!!!

And where would Ira Glass' "This Great American Novel" fit into the line-up?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Kevin Cannon said...

Hmm... maybe Ira Glass and Sarah Vowel can have their own 24 hr station.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Donn Ha said...

Krista Tippet sounds like everyone else on NPR. I think the world needs 24 hours of Fresh Air. Now there's a voice.


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