Virginia Yerxa Community Read selects 'Fahrenheit 451'
In their own twist of plots, organizers behind the fouth annual Virginia Yerxa Community Read have selected a story about burning books.
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury has been selected as the 2013 book that members of the community are encouraged to read as part of the annual springtime event.
First published in 1953, Bradbury's classic science fiction novel, filled with big screen TVs and books going up in flames, very much resonates today.
Bradbury challenges readers to think: What would our society be like without books?
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them," Bradbury, who died this year, stated in an earlier interview.
The Virginia Yerxa Community Read was founded in the fall of 2009 by family and friends of Virginia Yerxa, a beloved and vital member of the Colusa community for more than 60 years.
The event includes a number of activities during Virginia Read Day.
The original selection was Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," followed by Herman Melville's classic, "Moby Dick."
Last spring, participants read the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck.
The event generally includes discussion sessions about the book, and often incorporates art, music and other elements to bring the story to life for all ages.
Many members of the community this past spring shared their own stories about how their families came to the area, mirroring the journey of the Joad family from the novel.
"A community read draws members of a community around the same literary work. The selected title becomes a common thread connecting the people who choose to read it. Discussions take place, usually in small groups. Events for the entire community may also occur, such as a presentation from the author or a guest speaker," organizers noted in a statement.
Anyone who would like to get involved in this year's "Virginia Read" simply needs to pick up a copy of "Fahrenheit 451" and start reading.
Many sources are available for the book, including school and county libraries, as well as Davison's Drugs and Stationery on Market Street. Used copies can be purchased at The Bookworm and Picket Fence, also located on Market Street.
Related titles for younger readers will also be available.
Moreover, readers can already go online and offer and opinion on "Which Book Would You Save?"
Details for this online event, as well as more information about upcoming events and resources for the 2013 "Virginia Read" can be found at www.virginiaread.net.