Leading letter to lovers of literature

I take it as a given that readers of the Alameda Sun enjoy reading and literature, so I wanted to share this idea of an Island-wide project or event, the sole purpose of which is to get folks to read and celebrate reading. Here’s what I have in mind:

It wouldn’t be a a “one-city, one- book” thing, which is cool, too, but a day each month — maybe a Saturday — when we all agree to take a chair, beanbag, bench or rock, and everyone sits outside and reads for half an hour.

Imagine what that might look like: neighbors sitting side by side, chairs along Park and Webster streets, people at the beach, in the parks — everywhere — sitting down at the same time to just read, to themselves or maybe aloud to kids. 

Let’s say this happens at 11 a.m., or whenever seems best, month after month, sort of like how everyone takes a seat to watch the parade on July Fourth, imagine how that would feel, to be a community of readers. We could make T-shirts, buttons, banners, get the word out to other communities, who knows!

So here is what I’m asking you all to do: think about this, put your positive, optimistic minds at work on this, ponder how each of you can support this idea, make it huge, a celebration, something we can feel really good about.

Then, maybe later this summer, before school kicks back in, we meet, talk about this, get the city involved, the mayor, the governor, any other people and agencies, and then we do this! Let’s get Alameda reading together! Maybe that’s a good name, Alameda Reads Together. Let me know what you think at genekahane@gmail.com.

Gene Kahane Alameda Poet Laureate