Monday, May 11, 2009

Reading Across Rhode Island May Breakfast

On Saturday I attended the May Breakfast sponsored by Reading Across Rhode Island (RARI) to celebrate the 2009 RARI book, Five Skies. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read all about RARI here and you can read my review of Five Skies here.) This year, since I was fortunate enough to attend the breakfast with 7 other women from my two book clubs, we had a table to ourselves - which was terrific. Ron Carlson, the author of Five Skies, was there and he gave an amazing talk to the crowd of over 400 people. Carlson is a professor of creative writing at UC - Irvine and he is a talented and engaging speaker. He is very funny and he had no trouble keeping the audience's attention. (It didn't hurt that he is very easy on the eyes and the audience was predominately female). Oh, and to top it all off, I won two tickets to Trinity Repertory Company in the raffle! But, I digress...

Carlson spoke about the craft of writing, how he gets story ideas and his work as a teacher. But, the thing I found to be the most interesting is that he started his talk by saying that groups like Reading Across Rhode Island and events like the May breakfast, in which groups of people get together to talk about books (what he referred to has "literary meetings"), are the foundation of a civilized society. Wow! That is quite a statement. He talked about how some stories transcend the book in which they are written and actually cross over into our very lives. We can all recall books like this. Books that we can't stop thinking about when we are finished reading them. Books that we can recall exactly where we were when we were reading them. Books we can't wait to pass on to other bookworms. Books that become a part of our very history. And, of course, all books are not created equal. Not all books are worth sitting around discussing. Not all stories transcend the book itself. But when you find one, it is a real gift. A gift that should be shared and treasured. After all, according to Mr. Carlson, doing so is the very foundation of civilization. Mr. Carlson, I couldn't agree more.

Image from Google Images


Terra said...

You know I love books, Last year I bought a book I read for all my local friends, I loaned out several favs and can't wait to share more! I love getting a book someone else loved but even more I love when someone LOVES a book I encouraged them to read!

Ronnica said...

Ooh, I agree, too! When I read a good book, I can't WAIT to share it and want all my friends to read it so I can discuss it!

Anita said...

I love when I can share a good book, and I have started giving more away than keeping them, how many book shelves do I really need. Mr. Carlson sounds like an interesting speaker and as though he knows what books are to many people. I love when I can listen to someone like this. Thanks for sharing Pam.

Tammy Howard said...

The very foundation of civilization. I'm going to take half a moment to digest that. Gulp. Before offering my complete agreement.

I guess it's cliched to say, "I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me." - but it's TRUE!

Sounds like a great lecture, color this little bookworm pea green with envy!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS! I love the quotes from this lecture. It sounds like he was a fabulous speaker.

Kathy B! said...

He souds like a wonderful speaker. I lve reading and sharing my books and my thoughts with friends. Thanks for sharing this with us :)

Pam said...

Terra - I couldn't agree more. My favorite part of working in the library is giving someone a book recommendation and then having them come back for more. Heaven!

Ronnica - Me, too! You need a book club! Check out your local library or bookstore and see if they have one.

Anita - I hear you on the bookshelf issue. I stopped buying books 7 years ago when I started working in the library. Now I only buy books AFTER I read them and only if I LOVED them. If they "transcended the story and crossed over into my real life". LOL! Mr. Carlson was amazing. What an interesting guy!

Tammy - I know, right? Talking books is the foundation of civilization. Heck! Count me in. I'll hold up one corner all by myself!

Blonde Duck - Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. It was a great lecture and I loved how Carlson feels that books are so very important. Kind of validates my leisure time (oh and my job). Heck - my whole life!

Kathy B! - Sharing books is probably one of the things I most enjoy. Kind of why I started this blog! And I sure am loving this!


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