This village of fewer than 6800 people put on a 3-day book festival that rivals anything I’ve ever seen.
There were 60 author events and booksignings. The ones I chose to attend were far afield from the topics in my personal library.
The Art and History of the Banjo by Scott Odell.
Suddenly, the Cider Didn’t Taste so Good by John Ford anecdotes from his career as a game warden in Maine.
A Tea Reader: Living Life One Cup at a Time by Katrina Munichiello included a sampling of tea varieties.
Three books by Kate Braestrup about her experiences as a chaplain in the Maine Warden Service. She is currently negotiating a TV series based on a character she inspired.
Fourteen readings of 15 minutes or less. These were delivered outside at one of Belfast’s benches (http://allevenson.wordpress.com/the-benches-of-belfast/). These included:
Molly Bloom’s soliloquy that closes Joyce’s Ulysses.
Mark Twain’s “New England Weather”—a speech delivered at the New England Society’s 71st annual dinner in New York City, Dec 22, 1876
Excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s “Head and Heart Letter”, composed for a young women he was in love with, in which Jefferson’s head argues with his heart.
At one guerilla reading, a woman walked into a bookstore and asked if she could do a random reading. Given permission, she recited the opening paragraphs of a Tale of Two Cities. (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . .”) And left.
Three years ago Belfast supported five bookstores. Since then one closed, three new one have opened. Granted, the bookstores of Belfast serve an arc of Maine’s coast with a radius of 30 miles. It occurs to me an equal area around San Francisco has 1000 times as many people, and I am unable to name seven bookstores there.
Belfast is now officially outed as the most literate acre in the country.