Waterloo Region invited to get on the same page with Elizabeth Ruth’s “Smoke”
Organizers of the One Book, One Community program today invited all of Waterloo Region to “get on the same page” by reading Elizabeth Ruth’s “Smoke”. Ruth’s novel was unveiled today as the 2006 One Book, One Community reading selection.
Libraries and bookstores in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the townships have stocked up on extra copies of the novel to respond to the anticipated demand from readers eager to participate in this community-wide reading program.
According to Angela Caretta, Chair of the steering committee of One Book, One Community, the success of the program lies in the selection of a Canadian novel by a living author who is available for the “Meet the Author” events in all area municipalities in September. “Both loyal readers and new readers enjoy the opportunity to hear and see talented writers who create masterful works that are successful in Canada and around the world,” says Caretta.
One Book, One Community was created to promote reading by adults, and to build new connections in the community through the shared experience of reading. “Once people have read the same book,” says Caretta, “they talk to friends and neighbours about how the story resonates in each of their lives. The special twist this year is a surprise ending, so we’ll be asking everyone not to spoil the ending for their friends.”
In 2002, when One Book, One Community was launched, organizers expected that 1% of the Region’s population would read Alistair McLeod’s “No Great Mischief”. Instead of the expected 4000 readers, more than 6800 readers were counted and an additional 3000 people attended author events. By tracking sales, library circulations, web hits and event attendance, the committee has recorded that 79,900 people in Waterloo Region have participated in the program. Interest in the reading program has continued over the past 5 years with selections still generating lots of interest in libraries, bookstores, workplaces and book club gatherings.
Organized by library staff, booksellers, city staff and volunteers, the program requires a year round commitment. After the book title is announced, individuals, book clubs, organizations, employers -–everyone – is invited to take up the challenge of the One Book, One Community initiative and organize their own way of “getting on the same page.”
The working group organizes the author events in Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and the townships from September 25 to 28, 2007. Watch The Record for notices of community events as they develop, or check out the One Book, One Community website at www.therecord.com/onebook. And don’t forget the OBOC Blog – check it out at http://obocwaterlooregion.blogspot.com
Readers and event participants will be counted again this year, so be sure to participate, and let the community know how you got involved. Email the website, visit your local library, fill out a ballot on the bookmark, or speak to one of the working group volunteers.
For more information about Elizabeth Ruth’s “Smoke” visit www.penguin.ca