Spending a Maine Summer in the Library

Curtis Memorial Library 061915 #2Kate Flora here, probably making you wonder why on earth, if summer has finally come to Maine, anyone would want to be in the library. Well, there are many surprising reasons. First, of course, is because Maine libraries are where you’ll find plenty of authors giving fascinating talks about their work. This is a chance to hear your favorite authors talk about their process, how they research and how they plot, or discover writers you may never have heard of before.

Pretty obvious, yes, but also a good reminder. An author talk can answer those questions

At the Vose Library

At the Vose Library

you’ve always wondered about. Where do we get our ideas? How do we shape our series characters and keep them interesting to ourselves and our readers? What kind of research do we do–and the surprising answers you’ll get. How do writers find our experts, so we can know what we’re talking about, and make our stories feel authentic? What are the writers reading themselves?

There is also the fact that librarians and library volunteers put a huge amount of work into making their events interesting. At Jesup in Bar Harbor recently there was a fabulous display of my work, complete with microscopes and magnifying glasses. In Liberty, a week ago, Dorothy Cannell, Lea Wait, and I were the guests at a Death and Desserts party, complete with a chalk outline of a body outside the front door (a tracing of Dorothy’s delightful and handsome grandson, Jack), the building was draped in crime scene tape, and the desserts were both horrifying and delicious.

The Vose Library, in Union, sometimes does an author event called “Soup and Suspense,” where the library volunteers make delicious soups and homemade bread and the author brings the suspense.

It’s not only author talks, though. When I visit a library, the librarian usually prefaces my introduction with a listing of other events the library is conducting and I want to attend them all. Garden tours? Check out the Raymond Village Library: http://www.raymondvillagelibrary.org/

Knitting groups? Writing groups? Knit your boyfriend? http://jesuplibrary.org/events/

How about a magician? A talk about raising chickens? Maine’s Poet Laureate Wes McNair? That’s all happening at the Orrs Island Library, along with the world’s greatest book sale starting on August 5th. http://oilblogcom.com/events/

Wine tastings? Gardening classes? Fundraising cruises? Kids programs? Arts and crafts? The list of events Maine libraries are putting on this summer for your enjoyment are endless, and endlessly creative.

Maine Crime Writers and alums at Books in Boothbay

Maine Crime Writers and alums at Books in Boothbay

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And while not at a library, the Boothbay Harbor library is actively involved in Maine’s annual summer book fair at the Boothbay Railway Museum on July 13th, where you can meet many of your favorite authors.

So the next time you drop in to use the internet, grab a book or a movie or an audio book or music CD, take the time to look around and see what else is going on. You just may find yourself spending your summer at the library.

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2 Responses to Spending a Maine Summer in the Library

  1. John Clark says:

    And I can tell you that an author visit has positive and lasting impressions.

  2. Anne Mosey says:

    The library is also a great way to meet new friends & neighbors. Wells Public Library has a fiber arts group where people get together to work on projects, a monthly gardening program & a monthly Lunch & Learn program among many other fun & interesting programs. Oh, we have lots of books, too!

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