Thursday, 27 October 2011

Shared literature in your city

Back in NB the local community offered a program, Rothesay Reads, where the local high school read a book and encouraged community members to read the same book. During the event there were sessions where readers could meet and connect through the book. It was a great way to spark conversations with strangers at the local coffee shop or anywhere you saw people reading the selection.

Not a unique idea, but a great one for community bonding and dialogue. I was thrilled to learn there is a similar program in Calgary, called One Book, One Calgary.

This year's pick is the Cellist of Sarajevo which I am reading in time for the official launch Friday, November 4th. Throughout the month there are a number of free workshops, talks and special events and I plan to attend several. I am excited to be part of a literary movement like this.

As I read, I am reflecting on what makes a city feel like your city. After a recent relocation, I don't yet have that bond to Calgary.  In the book one character reflects that the trams were his sign of continuity and security in the city; if the trams were running then things must be ok. In my last home the river was my umbilical cord to the sense of place as it was so prominent in all seasons, even frozen solid when it became a spectacular winter recreational meeting place.

What is the one thing in your town or city that signifies the essence of that place to you?

If you are a reader see if you can find a similar program in your city.


  1. Ohhh - I hope you find your new umbilical cord soon! For me it is Fish Creek Park in Calgary. I breathe easier and I always feel myself completely unwind in its beauty at anytime of the year. I am just heading out the door for a run through it with the dog now. I must remember to pick up The Cellist of Sarajevo. Happy blogging :)

  2. Your comment about Fish CReek Park has me thinking. I spent so much time running and walking there when I lived here before. I am just that distance away now that a walk only gets me to the park. Guess I could drive to the park so I can enjoy it more- that's what we did as a family on Sunday!

  3. I've never heard of one book, one Calgary. I'm going to have to look up some of the events. Thanks!

  4. That's a great program - I'd heard about that being done in Seattle or Portland, maybe both! Don't think they've tried that here in Auckland, but will recommend it to our library system.