Stay home and read? Absolutely!

Thanks to hundreds of book lovers, reading enthusiasts and homebodies, the 2012 Stay Home and Read a Book Ball has received nearly 300 gifts and raised $40,000! From If You Give a Moose a Muffin to The Club Dumas to How to Clean Practically Anything, Los Angeles Public Library supporters enthusiastically touted their book choices and made generous contributions to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ 24th annual signature “non-event” on March 23, 2012. Chaired by Jonathan Lethem and supported by the voices of Pico Iyer, Attica Locke, Mona Simpson, Common, and Susan Orlean, this year’s Stay Home and Read a Book Ball embarked on a multi-faceted campaign to raise funds to support the many free educational and cultural programs that are offered through the Los Angeles Public Library. In the weeks before and on the night of the event, participants went viral—taking to Twitter, Facebook, and the Foundation’s website to show their support for the cause.

People shared pictures; what they were reading; the places their books, stories and imaginations were taking them; and, even what they were planning to eat, drink and wear. Marcia Terry dined on beet greens and tofu with author Tess Gerritsen.  Diane Forte spent the night at home by the fire, wine in hand with Middlemarch by George Eliot.  Merle Mullin read The Hare with Amber Eyes.  Library Foundation Board Co-Chairs Carla Christofferson and Jeff Brown read Don’t Let the Penguin Drive the Bus and If You Give a Pig a Pancake, respectively.  Even Dawn Coppin’s cat read The Hidden Life of Dogs (pictured right.)

Equally amusing was the long list of “guests” with whom people wanted to be seated.  As they enthusiastically sent in their donations, they were just as excited to let us know that they wanted to dine with the likes of Raymond Chandler, Zora Neale Hurston, Jack Kerouac, Willa Cather, Truman Capote, Christina Rossetti and even George Clooney.

One Young Literati member, Howard Fulfrost had the creative idea to have a group of friends over to his home for the event and sent out a Facebook message encouraging them to donate.

Library Foundation Board Member and Chair of the Young Literati Rachel Small was so inspired by Howard that she decided to host a party of her own – this one all about the kids. To kick off spring break, she invited family and friends over for food, drinks, and a book swap.  Each child was given a library tote bag that he or she could fill with books and take home as a nice gift.  As part of the celebration, Rachel’s brother read to a room full of 17 kids and their parents, and then the kids took turns reading a story out loud to the entire room.

Donor Linda Bradley summed it up best when she described her love and enthusiasm for the Los Angeles Public Library and books: “I’d rather stay home and read than go to a ball!”

In acknowledgement of the absolute pleasure and privilege to stay home and read just whatever we’d like, we invite you to observe your very own Stay Home and Read a Book Ball at anytime, whenever you’d like. It’s never too late to join us. We welcome your contributions and will continue to accept your gifts that honor the pleasure of reading. You can mail your donation or make a gift online at by clicking on the Give/Now button (simply let us know that it’s for the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball).

ALOUD Curator Louise Steinman

Thanks again to all our donors and Los Angeles Public Library supporters for taking the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball and running (or lying) with it!

– Posted by Erin Sapinoso

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