Read-a-Thon Wrap-up October 23, 2009Posted by Galaxy in Book news, Local Happenings, Store Events.
Tags: community events, event, fundraiser, Read-a-Thon
add a comment
For our first Read-a-Thon, in 2008, we had prepared by talking with other booksellers who had hosted Read-a-Thons in the past. We had no particular expectations going in. We were bowled over to have 38 participants, mainly ages 12-17, raising around $830 for Hardwick Head Start.
This year, we’d been through the whole process and had a good idea of what we were getting into. We recruited extra volunteers to chaperone and set some new ground rules to make sure everyone was on the same page as far as what was expected and what was off limits during the 24 hours we’d be spending together in the bookstore.
Yet again, our expectations were blown away–we had 53 participants (including chaperones, many of whom found time to do some reading of their own) and, as of five days later, have raised $1040.98 for Hardwick Head Start and Early Head Start! According to several phone calls, emails, and drop-in visits, we are expecting to reach over $1,100 when all is said and done.
And what did the Read-a-Thonners do to honor the pledges they raised? Reading, of course, played a big part. Just from the participants who chose to keep logs of the books they read, we had a count of 14,063 pages read. In visual terms, that’s the equivalent of a stack of 18 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–in hardcover! Our winner for most pages read logged over 4,000 pages in her 24 hours here!
Of course, these voracious readers also had an appetite for food, and this is another way in which our community showed generous support for the Head Start programs. Hall’s Market donated several bags of fruit; Patchwork Farm & Bakery gave us a discount on delicious pizzas for Friday night’s dinner; Connie’s Kitchen delivered some fresh baked muffins and cinnamon bread for breakfast on Saturday; and Grand Union gave us a gift certificate that we used towards lunches and snacks.
We also wanted to give people a chance to take breaks from their books from time to time, and activities such as storytelling and Literary Jeopardy were popular diversions. Susan O’Connell–the children’s librarian at Jeudevine Library–created a special “library annex” here at the store for anyone who ran out of reading material, and at midnight led a Raid on the Library that let people stretch their legs and stock up on additional books.
A 5 a.m. scavenger hunt through the bookstore found very few takers (two, to be exact), since nearly everyone else was fast asleep.
In the morning, however, they were awake and ready to hit the books again.
Wallace Stegner Weekend September 11, 2009Posted by Galaxy in Local Happenings.
Tags: community events, events
Robert Gray–a bookseller at Northshire Books and columnist for Shelf Awareness–wrote a great article last week about the upcoming Wallace Stegner Centennial weekend at Highland Lodge. With his permission, we’re reprinting the article here.
Vermont Foliage Season with Wallace Stegner
A sound like a big crowd a good way off, excited and shouting, getting closer. We stand up and scan the empty sky. Suddenly there they are, a wavering V headed directly over our hilltop, quite low, beating southward down the central flyway and talking as they pass. We stay quiet, suspending our human conversation until their garrulity fades and their wavering lines are invisible in the sky.
They have passed over us like an eraser over a blackboard, wiping away whatever was there before they came.
“Oh, don’t you love them!” Charity says. “Sometimes when we stayed late in Vermont, or went up late for the color, we’d see and hear them like that, coming over Folsom Hill. Someday you’ve got to visit us there.”
Maybe it’s just the time of year, but I recalled that passage from Crossing to Safety (not word-for-word, of course. I had to look it up for the exact quotation) when I heard about the upcoming Wallace Stegner Centennial. This “literary weekend” will be held during foliage season, September 25-27, at the Highland Lodge, Greensboro, Vt., a town where Stegner often summered and the model for scenes in his celebrated novel. Featured speakers include Philip L. Fradkin, author of Wallace Stegner and the American West, and Stegner’s agent, Carl Brandt, of Brandt and Hochman.
Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., is one of the co-sponsors and will sell books at the event. Owner Linda Ramsdell notes: “Stegner’s works, especially Crossing to Safety, do still sell well, and better because of the local reference points. An earlier novel, Second Growth, also has many local reference points. Wallace Stegner was a great supporter of the Galaxy Bookshop, and in an earlier iteration of community collaboration, we were fortunate to sell books at the Greensboro Public Library when they presented him with an award.”
Anne T. Molleur Hanson, organizer of the celebration, explains that the genesis was “threefold.” Four years ago, the inn hosted a Reading Greensboro weekend, with a focus on Crossing to Safety and the belief that “acknowledging the many writers like Wallace Stegner who have summered or spent time in Greensboro (or even live here year round, like Anne Stuart) would be a wonderful way to celebrate Greensboro’s literary legacy.” In addition to Stegner, John Gunther and Margaret Mead are among the noted authors who called this village of fewer than 1,000 people their Green Mountain home away from home.
“Our Crossing to Safety night was well attended, especially by folks from here,” Hanson adds. “After the event, many people–several from afar–remarked on their hope that we would do another such event sometime.”
About six months ago, Hanson and Willie Smith, one of the Highland Lodge innkeepers, discussed hosting another literary weekend focusing specifically on Stegner, “who is known as a Western writer, but who had a clear fondness for the northeast, particularly Greensboro, to which his and wife Mary’s friends Peg and Phil Gray (portrayed as Charity and Sid Lang in Crossing to Safety) had introduced the Stegners in the late 1930s/early 1940s. My interest in hosting a Stegner event was in part due to my nearly 20-year long regret that although I grew up here, I never attended a Wallace Stegner reading, which he offered during many of the summers he was here.”
The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when Hanson learned that Philip Fradkin, “who had stayed here while researching his biography on Stegner, was, like me, a graduate of Williams College. I e-mailed Philip and asked if he would join us for a literary weekend celebrating Wallace Stegner. Philip agreed. He suggested we find sponsors to help us with the event. At that point I contacted our friend, neighbor, and favorite independent bookseller Linda Ramsdell, to ask if the Galaxy Bookshop would like to co-sponsor. Linda was enthusiastic and immediately on-board.”
Ramsdell adds that the “Hardwick area is becoming a model for ways that businesses and organizations work together to do things that no one entity can do alone. Attention has focused on the agricultural economy, but there are many examples outside of that sector too. Especially in this economy, the importance and benefits of collaborating are extremely tangible. The other aspect of the Galaxy area, which differs from many cities with local alliance organizations, is that it is a small place where people know each other and are friends. We have a vested interest in each other’s viability and success. It is very easy to see how money stays in our area and benefits accrue when we work with each other.”–Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)
Cycling for a Sustainable Future April 13, 2009Posted by Galaxy in Uncategorized.
Tags: bicycling, community events, non-book
add a comment
Linda ran into a couple of bikers at the post office today and found out that they’re in the area to present two very interesting workshops (see below). The two events are part of a state-wide tour called Cycling for a Sustainable Future: 350 People Powered Miles.
Tonight (Monday, April 13), Jim Merkel, Susan Cutting, S. Tyler Durham, and Ross Scatchard will be at Hazen Union from 6:30 – 8:00 presenting “Your Money or Your Life*: 9 Steps to Transforming your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence.” This event is sponsored by Buffalo Mountain Co-op.
*If you click on this link, a description of the workshop can be found near the bottom of the page.
Tomorrow, April 14, catch the group at Sterling College (Simpson Hall) at 6:30 p.m., presenting Radical Stimulus, a workshop about reducing spending and ecological impact.
Both programs sound very cool, so think about checking one or both out if you have the time!