I love planning and participating in library events that bring readers and writers together. Right now, a committee of librarians from around Montgomery County is working together to develop the first county-wide One Book event. One Book events are special. They bring a community together to talk about a single book. They encourage the reading of that work more consciously and more deeply and they inspire conversations that permit people to share their thoughts (both positive and negative) in an effort to better understand a work’s meaning. I love this kind of community conversation.
I have the honor and pleasure of being part of this committee. Bringing readers and writers together is an interest of mine because I like to think about where a story or its characters come from. Writing a book, regardless of genre or content, is such a personal experience. Who is this person whose book has taught me something or inspired me, made me laugh or made me feel?
One Book events require a lot of time and money to put on. The hardest work happens up front—who can we get to come and how much money do we need to pull it off? We toss around a lot of author names before we settle on who to pursue, and even then, most of who we think we (and all of you) would like to meet is not available or, more likely, outside our price range. When I so desperately wanted to schedule bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell several years ago, I was politely told that his fee was $150,000. Wow! Sorry to say, at that rate, we are unlikely to ever bring Mr. Gladwell to Montgomery County.
But there are so many wonderful authors out there. I don’t want to give anything away now, but I’m currently in conversation with a representative for a bestselling nonfiction author who I think would do very well here. It’s probably a long shot, but as the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” We’ll see!
If you, too, enjoy meeting authors, tell me about it. I’d be interested to know more about who you’d love to see visit us here in Montgomery County. And if you or someone you know would be interested in sponsoring a county-wide One Book event, please let us know.