A Novel Idea… Unveiled!

(Photo | Courtesy of Deschutes Public Library)

What will the next community read be in Deschutes County? If we’re approaching December it means Central Oregonians are about to find out.

The Deschutes Public Library Foundation will unveil the 2020 A Novel Idea selection at a public celebration on Friday, December 6, at the Downtown Bend Library. Door to the lobby open at 5:30pm, with everyone moving upstairs at 6pm for a silent auction, light appetizers and a no-host bar for attendees. The book reveal is at 6:30pm, with copies available for sale and for check-out immediately following the announcement. For the first time in the program’s history, the unveiling will also be live-streamed on the library’s Facebook page.

The unveiling has become an annual celebration of literature and community, with hundreds gathering to be the first to know what the book will be. Once the title has been reveled, the popular community read program inspires thousands of Central Oregonians to read, explore and discuss the same book.

“It’s amazing to be going into our sixteenth year of ‘A Novel Idea,’” said Deschutes Public Library Programs Supervisor Liz Goodrich. “We’ve built on the program’s success year after year, and each new selection seems to bring new readers into the discussions. We’re very fortunate to have a community so committed to gathering together around the themes and ideas of one book.”

A Novel Idea began in 2004 with David James Duncan’s The River Why. From 400 participants that first year, the program has grown by leaps and bounds, with nearly 6,000 people taking part in 2019. It is the largest community read program in Oregon, bolstered by nearly a month of free programming that enhances the chosen book’s themes.

Goodrich said more than two dozen cultural programs are in the works; they’ll build on and expand the themes of the book for deeper discussion and understanding. Continuing from last year, the library will provide book club bags to local book groups throughout Deschutes County. The bags include 10 copies of the A Novel Idea selection as well as discussion questions; the bags are available for three-week check-out. Book club representatives can call Paige Ferro 541-312-1063 or email paigef@deschuteslibrary.org to reserve a book club bag.

Programming for A Novel Idea begins on Saturday, April 4, 2020, and culminates with the author’s visit to Central Oregon on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at Bend High School. All programs, including the author’s presentation, are free of charge thanks to the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation. Tickets to the author presentation are available online and at all library locations beginning April 18.

People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 541-312-1032.


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