Virginia Yerxa Community Read
Supporting Community Through Reading
"He hadn't known fire could look this way...that it could give as well as take."
“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Ray Bradbury
Our 2013 selection was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1922-2012). First published in 1953, this classic science fiction novel uncannily resonates today. Through a variety of events and the book itself, our community of readers considered: What would our society be like without books?
For more detailed coverage, look for our 2013 Album on Facebook.
Ray Bradbury insisted that Fahrenheit 451 was more about the dangers of watching too much television than about censorship. Davis artist and songwriter Heidi Bekebrede granted permission for VYCR to use “I Wish I Was a T.V.” as a very fitting theme song for this year’s Virginia Read events.
Science fiction novelist and playwright Ray Bradbury was featured in, “Ray Bradbury--An American Icon,” a special video highlighting the full scope of the his five-decade career. Community members gathered at the Colusa City Firehouse for this 45-minute presentation, followed by refreshments and the first of several opportunities to “strike up a conversation” about this year’s Virginia Read.
Readers packed the Colusa City Fire Department at 750 Market Street to hear the Fahrenheit 451 presentation and discussion, led by UC Riverside professor Rob Latham. Our readers were treated like royalty by the City firefighters--thank you!
The conversation continued at 735 Main Street, where our readership encountered a book swap, the compelling oil paintings of Davis artist Marlene Lee, fire department displays, a timeline of the printed word, and a multi-media presentation highlighting the ubiquitousness of the visual image in our time.
The community enjoyed a free screening of Francios Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451," made in 1966 and starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner, at the Colusa Theater on Market Street.
Our online event this year asked readers to consider the following: If all your books were about to be burned, which one might you grab? Readers who participated in our online event this year sent in their suggestions, creating a special collection of "saved books".