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One Book, One Bedford

Annual Community-wide Reading Event

A Bit of Background


What is 'One Book, One Bedford' and how did it start?

The idea for a community-wide reading program began in 1998 at the Seattle Public Library in answer to a simple question: "What if everyone read the same book?"

But it was when Chicago started a its own city-wide reading program with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in 2001 that it became popular across the country.

In 2004, Bedford held its first 'One Book, One Bedford' event, after being awarded an "On the Same Page" mini-grant from the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners.


Bedford's selections by year:

2013: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

2012: You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon*

2011: Homer & Langley by E. L. Doctorow

2010: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout*

2009: The Orchard by Adele Crockett Robertson

2008: Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup*

2007: Digging to America by Anne Tyler

2006: 1776 by David McCullough

2005: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2004: Plainsong by Kent Haruf*


*denotes author event


All programs and funding for One Book, One Bedford after 2004 made possible by our Friends of the Bedford Free Public Library.

Artwork for One Book, One Bedford has been designed by Bedford artist Sing Hanson through 2012.

Handouts and flyers for 2013 were created by Janel G. Ranney, Executive Assistant and Office Manager at the Bedford Free Public Library.