If you’re a reader, a bibliophile, a bookworm, this is the weekend for you, as our city’s motto takes on an unofficial and temporary transformation to boost “the City of Arts, Innovation — and Good Books.” This weekend will feature more activities than the fleetest reader can shake a bookmark at as two essential local organizations — the Forsyth County Public Library and Bookmarks — share the stage to promote imagination, information and other qualities found in the finest of printed material.
The library kicked off its annual On The Same Page community reading project with a presentation last night at Winston-Salem State University featuring author and physician Uzodinma Iweala. He’ll speak again from noon to 1:30 p.m. today in the Central Library auditorium.
His novel “Speak No Evil,” a coming-of-age tale about two teenaged friends from different backgrounds who face family conflict together, is the selection for this year’s shared reading. Copies of the book are available to borrow from all library branches (and for sale at the events with Iweala) and its story serves as a springboard to accompany a full schedule of group discussions, teen and children’s activities and films spread throughout the county. Discussion topics include cooking, geography, culture and other life essentials.
On The Same Page, now in its 18th consecutive year here, provides an opportunity for local residents of different backgrounds to share a story and learn about our commonalities. This year’s program runs through Oct. 5. For more information, pick up a program guide at any library branch or go online to http://www.forsyth.cc/library/same_page.aspx
The annual Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors also kicked off last night with a keynote presentation at Hanesbrand Theatre featuring Casey Cep, the author of “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.” That’s only the beginning, though. For its 15th year running, Bookmarks, the biggest book festival in the Carolinas, has put together an event-packed program featuring more than 50 professional and popular authors signing their works and schmoozing with fans. They include many New York Times best-seller authors like Margaret George, Sarah Blake and Cece Bell. In addition, there will be panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions from community organizations, food trucks and, tomorrow, a pancake breakfast and a big book sale.
There truly is something for everyone at Bookmarks: Poetry, graphic novels, science fiction, historical fiction, cookbooks, travelogues, true crime, audiobooks, small press and opportunities to meet and hear from prominent authors. Most of the activities, especially on Saturday, will be focused on the festival site bordered by Fourth, Spruce, Second and Poplar streets.
The Bookmarks festival is sponsored by the organization Bookmarks, a literary nonprofit that also operates a bookstore in downtown Winston-Salem and, among other activities, provides tens of thousands of high-quality books to schoolchildren throughout the area.
For a complete schedule, stop by the bookstore or go online to https://www.bookmarksnc.org/festival19
It’s events like these, sponsored by organizations like these, that put Winston-Salem on the map as both an exciting destination and a hometown in which we can take pride. We appreciate the efforts of the staff members and the many volunteers that make them more than possible — they make these events outstanding.