Reading Together
Fahrenheit 451
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Fahrenheit 451 Book Cover

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury.


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“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
—Ray Bradbury

What if the entire community read 
the same book at the same time?

The Kalamazoo Public Library and a large group of community partners plan to find out! On February 17, 2003, the Kalamazoo Public Library will launch Reading Together with funding from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation's BetterTogether initiative and support from more than 50 partner organizations, including every public library in Kalamazoo County. Modeled after successful reading programs all across North America, Reading Together invites people of all ages and from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a single book.

A community book selection committee chose Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 for this first Reading Together project based on several criteria: it deals with universal social issues; it appeals to both teens and adults; and it's available in many formats: large print, Spanish, audiobook, and the 1966 film on video.

How can you get involved?

  • Read the book!  
    Reading period is February 17-March 16.
  • Wear a button.  
    Get a Reading Together button when you borrow or buy Fahrenheit 451 from selected libraries or book stores.
  • Become a discussion leader.  
    Attend training on March 3 or March 8. Call 553-7913.
  • Organize or join a book discussion group.  
    Discussion groups are scheduled March 4-25. 
  • Participate in special headline events.
    Check the calendar for film, stage play, special panel discussions, and other event dates. Note that seating is limited for all special events. Groups should call 553-7913 for availability before making plans to attend.

Free copies of the discussion guide are now available at all libraries in Kalamazoo Country. The final discussion leader training session will be held March 8. Call 553-7913. Twenty group discussion events are already scheduled throughout the county; more are added every day. Special events include two screenings of the 1966 Francois Truffaut film at Kalamazoo College, two readers theater productions of the stageplay by Whole Art Theater, a panel discussion with the ACLU, and a talk by Ray Bradbury's authorized biographer and personal friend, Dr. Garyn Roberts. Check the calendar frequently for the growing list of discussion groups and special events.

Where can you get the book?

Fahrenheit 451 is available in many formats at libraries and bookstores throughout the county. Check the participant list. Several bookstores are selling some versions at a discount. Get a Reading Together button when you borrow or buy Fahrenheit 451!

Book groups from throughout the county can check out Fahrenheit 451 sets, which include 10-15 copies of the book and a discussion guide, from Kalamazoo Public Library. Call 269-553-7809 or drop by the Outreach Services office at the Central Library, downtown, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

 Questions about the Reading Together program? Email us. Or call (269) 553-7913.