After four weeks of memorable and moving programs, The Big Read 2013 came to a successful close on Sunday, November 17. Four days later, the first planning meeting for The Big Read 2014, involving representatives from 18 partner organizations, was held at Adriance Memorial Library. The new book is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a tale of a future dystopian society in which all books are banned.  There’s a strong link between this book and The Shawl which was featured in this year’s Big Read. When Bradbury was asked, in 2005, about the inspiration for Fahrenheit 451, he responded, “Well, Hitler of course. When I was fifteen, he burnt the books in the streets of Berlin. Then along the way I learned about the libraries in Alexandria burning five thousand years ago. That grieved my soul. Since I’m self-educated, that means my educators—the libraries—are in danger. And if it could happen in Alexandria, if it could happen in Berlin, maybe it could happen somewhere up ahead, and my heroes would be killed.” Join us in October 2014 for Poughkeepsie’s eighth annual Big Read and help to keep books and reading at the center of American culture.