"October is National Reading Group Month" (NRGM) is the innovation of sisters Martha Burns and Alice Dillon, authors of Reading Group Journal: Notes in the Margin (Abbeville Press). A few years ago Martha and Alice approached the Women's National Book Association to join them in starting up the new commemorative month. Mentored by Susannah Greenberg, WNBA's Publicity maven, we are now launching our second year.
Susannah had worked on National Poetry Month, so we knew we were in good hands. Last year, according to Susannah's firm, NRGM had several hundred thousand exposures which translates into 'lots of interest!" This year the month will kick off even stronger with our newest WNBA chapter, Seattle, hosting a "Read Around the Sound" event. Mary Harris, co-owner of Parkplace Books (and WNBA/Seattle charter member) has helped to organize over a dozen independent bookstores and public libraries in the Seattle area to host NRGM events.
All of this is to say: WNBA supports authors and readers. To quote myself from our NRGM Press Release: “Reading groups are to the literary world what slow food is to our fast food nation. They encourage people to slow down and think deeply about themes, characters, and plot. They encourage discourse in a culture where most communication is by text message.”
And, we are grateful WNBA's NRGM Committee Chairperson, Jill Tardiff (of Bamboo River Associates)and to our sponsors Random House, Harper Perennial and Hyperion Books who have helped make NRGM a reality.