Something to look forward to after the National Year of Reading 2012 is over: the Adelaide Festival’s Writers’ Week in March 2013. Laura Kroetsch, the director, spoke to us in the library last night ; her passion for reading and her enthusiasm for Writers’ Week were contagious.
Next year we will get the chance to read, see and hear an eclectic range of authors in Adelaide. Laura Kroetsch spoke about her ‘stars’: Dennis Lehane, Edward St Aubyn, a m homes and Tom Holland. She also mentioned themes like Biography, History (‘that attracts more men to Writers’ Week’), Kids’ Day and Food & Wine. Australian writers will include Tom Keneally, Geordie Williamson and Ramona Koval.
As you would expect in a director of a literary festival, Kroetsch is a passionate and dedicated reader. She has a personal library of ‘over 4,000’ volumes and usually reads between 2 and 5 books a week. Her comments on the art of reading well were enlightening: ‘Reading is as creative as writing – you’re doing imaginative work.’ Asked about the future of literature and reading, she suggested that ‘Gutenberg will win’, that books (print as well as electronic) will continue to be part of 21st century lives. She did question the viability of the bookshop’s role, however, particularly in Australia where we pay inflated prices for books (‘$60 for 2 books’, that’s ridiculous.’)
Her closing comment was a memorable one:
The love of reading … is an extra dimension of a love of life.