The South Pasadena Public Library is honored to participate in the First Annual Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon, a nationwide celebration of the Centennial of author Ray Bradbury’s birth. Readers selected by participating libraries and institutions across the country will bring Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451 to life for audiences across the country on August 22, 2020. Fahrenheit 451 is a cautionary dystopian tale about the cost of apathy and the power of curiosity. One of the most checked-out books at libraries throughout the United States, viewers of the Read-A-Thon will discover—or rediscover—this redemptive tale that is as powerful today as it was when it was first published in 1953.
Emmy winning South Pasadena-based actor James Reynolds will read on behalf of the South Pasadena Public Library. James, a four time Emmy nominee, won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Days of our Lives) in 2018 and became the 3rd African-American to win this award and the first in over 35 years. Along with his wife Lissa, James is the co-owner and the co-artistic directors of the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, which was the last home for Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre. James’ personal relationship with Ray Bradbury and his knowledge of the author’s literary works make him the perfect choice to represent South Pasadena in this special celebration.
About the Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon
On Saturday, August 22, 2020, readers young and old from across the nation will gather by their TV sets, computers, tablets, and phones to watch a virtual reading of Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451 streamed over YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram (local times to be announced). The recording will also be available via the Library’s website for a two-week period following the August 22 debut. Participating partners for this extraordinary event celebrating the centennial of Bradbury’s birth include the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, along with other public and university libraries nationwide. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, will provide the introduction to the reading. South Pasadena Library’s reader James Reynolds is in esteemed company, with additional introductions and readings to be given by John Szabo (Los Angeles Public Library), General Charles Bolden, Jr. (NASA), Ann Druyan (writer/producer/director), William Shatner (actor), Neil Gaiman (author), Marlon James (author), Marjorie Liu (author), P. Djèlí Clark (author), Brenda Greene (author), Alley Mills Bean (actress), Tananarive Due (author), Steven Barnes (author), and Rachel Bloom (actress). For more information, visit www.raybradbury.com.
About Ray Bradbury and the South Pasadena Public Library
In a career that spanned more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) inspired generations of readers in a wide variety of genres to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of more than four hundred published short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous essays, plays, operas, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury is one of the most widely translated authors in the world and one of the most celebrated writers of our time. He was also a life-long user of libraries as well as an outspoken and articulate public library advocate. Bradbury lived in Southern California for more than 75 years and in his later years many of his plays were performed at South Pasadena’s own Fremont Center Theatre. Given Bradbury’s significant contributions to public libraries and the South Pasadena community, in 2013 the South Pasadena Public Library’s Conference Room was renamed the “Ray Bradbury Conference Room”. The Library’s “Ray Bradbury Collection” includes ephemera, photos, first edition Bradbury books, and vintage paperbacks. The Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library are currently raising funds to enable the Library to commission a unique work of glass art designed by local artist Tim Carey that pays tribute to the author’s life and work. For more information, visit the Ray Bradbury Collection web page found under the Local History Collection web page: www.southpasadenaca.gov/localhistory.
The Library building is currently closed to the public for the health and safety of the community. As of June 15th South Pasadena Library is offering “Library Takeout”, a no-contact check-out and pick-up service. For more information, visit www.southpasadenaca.gov/librarytakeout.