As a little girl I loved having someone read to me. I was transfixed by the sound of a reader’s voice unraveling a tale with bad special effect sounds, character voices and their changes in pitch and tone. Story time at the library never lasted long enough–how could 30 minutes go by so quickly? At home, my pleading “just one more” before lights out at bedtime didn’t accomplish the desired goal. One more was not enough. A flashlight in the bedside table for late-night, undercover reading became a necessity.
I still enjoy reading, and being read to is a true luxury in the same league as a box of Godiva chocolates and a first-rate movie. I find it easy to fall down the rabbit hole of most any book and to be off on one adventure or another. And I enjoy reading to others, especially children. For a few years I even read the newspaper as part of a service for people with vision disabilities. The comics were my favorite section to read, but I also plowed through editorials, features and obituaries.
I have allowed my love of books to lead me into jobs as a bookseller, a bookstore promotions director and a bookstore manager. As anyone in the field will tell you, none of these pay well, but you’re surrounded by books and the people who love them, including writers. Setting up events like author readings, book discussions and poetry jams became favorite projects in which I still indulge from time to time. I make sure to settle in and enjoy the richness of a reader’s voice, letting my imagination take over.
Hosting a book event is really pretty easy and almost any library, book club or community group can do it. Consider hosting your own Kentucky Writers’ Day celebration on April 24. You can get ideas from our online planning guide, which includes suggestions for Writers’ Day events and activities as well as marketing and promotion ideas to make sure that your event draws in others who love books and writers. Book events throughout April, especially ones honoring Kentucky writers, may be submitted to the arts council for consideration for our online calendar of Kentucky Writers’ Day events.
Help the arts council celebrate the wonderful writers and readers of the Commonwealth by hosting your own Kentucky Writers’ Day event this April. Now’s the time to begin planning so that you can sit back and enjoy the sound of writers’ voices all around you!
Tamara Coffey, individual artist director