09/27/09 — 'Farenheit 451' will be 2010 Wayne County Reads choice

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'Farenheit 451' will be 2010 Wayne County Reads choice

By Staff Reports
Published in News on September 27, 2009 2:00 AM

Wayne County readers will have a chance in 2010 to explore a world where getting caught with a book could cost you your home, family or even your life.

Wayne County Reads has chosen its next book, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, a classic science fiction novel first published in 1953 but still relevant today, organizers say.

"This book describes an America where citizens disdain reading," said Tara L. Humphries, chairman of the steering committee. "They interact mostly with large video screens in their homes or electronic devices in their ears, which sounds similar to the technology we have today and our relationship with it."

"Fahrenheit 451" was chosen by Wayne County readers in a 2008 survey as a favorite for a future campaign.

The committee is announcing its selection during Banned Books Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 3, the annual effort by the American Library Association to celebrate the freedom to read.

Censorship is a major theme of Bradbury's novel, in which the lead character, Montag, is a "fireman" called out to homes where books are found to destroy them.

Bradbury drew inspiration for his novel from Nazi Germany burning books in the 1930s and '40s, but censorship has been practiced in nearly every country and era, including today in the U.S., Ms. Humphries said.

"We want Wayne County residents to remember this year how fun and important it is to read," she said.

Wayne County Reads will kick off with a talk about "Fahrenheit 451 "and Brad-bury. The event will be held on Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at 7 p.m., at Moffatt Auditorium in the Wayne Learning Center (main building) on the Wayne Community College campus on Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro.

The special guest will be acclaimed science fiction novelist John Kessel, who is a two-time winner of the Nebula Award, presented annually by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to celebrate excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing.

Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus" was named best novelette of 2008. The story was also nominated for a 2009 Hugo Award. Since 1982, he has been an English professor at N.C. State University and heads its creative writing program.

Other scheduled events are:

*Monday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m., Wayne County Museum -- "What Reading Means to a Reader," Dr. David Carr, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

*Monday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m., Wayne County Public Library -- a talk on censorship, speaker to be announced later Monday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., Mount Olive College -- discussion on science fiction, science fact by a panel of experts on the various genres within the genre

*Monday, March 1, 7 p.m., Arts Council of Wayne County -- final event, including art exhibit, reception and announcement of essay contest winners

*The Wayne County Public Library will also host a science fiction film series. There will be a children's movie Saturday, Feb. 13, and movies for all ages Sunday afternoons Feb. 7-21.

Check www.waynecountyreads.com this fall and winter for updates and more information.