The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has developed a program called the Big Read. The idea is based on a simple question: What if everyone in the city read the same book? No matter who you meet, you’d have something to talk about. We’d all have another layer to add to our shared experiences. It could be amazing to have us all rooting for the same protagonist, puzzling the same plots, enjoying a collective climax--literary climax. I suspect that everyone will come away from the book with slightly different interpretations since we each have our life experiences that will, undoubtedly, filter the experience that we have while reading.
Those filters are part of what makes reading the same book all the more exciting.
Cities all over the nation are participating in the Big Read.
Participants in the NEA’s Big Read choose one of the pre-selected titles in the Big Read collection. The titles include a variety of genres such as poetry, science fiction, and memoirs, among others. The Big Read has the potential to bring people together for community events who would not otherwise have a shared experience. This kind of community building and cannon growing is a foundational part of Paterson’s “turning the page” to new kinds of quality of life experiences. Our mayor and library director chose from the available titles the late Earnest Gaines’ highly acclaimed realistic fiction.
I hope that you will join us, ONE BOOK ONE PATERSON, for our city's BIG READ. Copies of the novel are available for loan at the Paterson Public Library. If you'd like a FREE copy to own, join us at the ONE BOOK ONE PATERSON Launch Celebration on Thursday February 6, 2020 from 5:30 - 7:30 at The Dansforth Memorial Library, Second Floor Assembly Room 250 Broadway Paterson, NJ.
Finally, and arguably most importantly, you're invited to start a book club or host an event. Simply fill out a brief form to inform us of your interest.
You can find the form here.