Next week the Boston Book Festival will overtake Copley Square. Every year the city brings top talent - local, national, and international - to the public spaces that surround its historic library. Fitting, though, that a city with such literary tradition approaches this annual celebration with joy.
Even more fitting that it approaches it through the rigors of academic and literary achievement.
The authors that speak are impressive in their own right, that is without doubt. In fact, it is refreshing to see the air of celebrity that surrounds them. Why shouldn't those who compete in the major leagues of the written word receive some adulation? Beantown has been (and still is) many things, but it nice to know that - even for a day - this town of sports, medicine, and science celebrates its status as a center of the arts.
The authors themselves, though, are not the entirety of the day, and they are not the entirety of celebrating this academic and literary legacy. That honor belongs to the organizers of the event, the annual author of the One City One Story short, and the residents of the Boston area.
One City One Story is the city's Autumn push for literacy. Sponsored and distributed by Dunkin Donuts and Zipcar (genius! both are on every corner in the Bean), the initiative floods the city with thousands of copies of the same story. This is not simply an attempt to publicize the festival, it is instead an earnest attempt to highlight everything that the festival celebrates: the continuation of the open dialogue and exchange of information and experience that writing has given us.
Imagine if the common thread wound through Boston for a day was a discussion on shared storytelling. Find a copy of the story at Dunkin Donuts and book stores around the city (I found mine at the Brookline Booksmith) and make it a reality!
For more information, follow the Boston Book Festival on its website here. Visiting authors this year include Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals), Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series), and over 150 more.
Til next time!