Dear Diary

Tonight we’re hosting a read-aloud from teenage diaries at RiverRun Bookstore in support of The Big Read in Portsmouth. I got the idea from an event held often in New York City. I’ve been paging through my high school diary and can’t help but laugh at myself. I guess that’s a sign that I’ve grown up.

I’ve always loved to read books that feature diary entries from real people, or imagined ones. It’s one of the only forms of writing in which people are often completely uninhibited. There’s not an inner editor telling you to scribble out what you wrote and start over again. We write for ourselves and not for others, which is why it’s going to be so difficult to share those teenage words with an audience.

There’s a book called Cringe inspired by the New York-based diary read-aloud series. I love books like this, Post Secret, and others that share people at their core, private moments. Props to anyone who is willing to read about their narcissistic years when crushes, grades, and getting picked first for teams in gym class mattered more than anything else. (I was never picked for any teams in gym class. The gym teacher always had to assign me to someone! Yay for nerdom and hating sports.)

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7 Responses to Dear Diary

  1. Marie says:

    I love the Big Read idea. The teen years are all about insecurity and I bet it means a lot to kids to share and get validation from their peers. And to be told that what they have to say is worth saying out loud!

  2. Michele says:

    I’m not even sure how many teens will be showing up. They may not have enough distance from their personal writing. I’m guessing more adults will be sharing their diaries from years ago.

  3. Becflies says:

    When I first started reading I was imagining that you were asking teens to read from their own diaries, and my gut tightened and squirmed as I was thinking “I could NEVER do that!!!” BUT, I see you mean adults reading from their journals when they were teens, and I LOVE that idea… I am always on the prowl for good program ideas. I’m at a painfully small branch of the Houston Public Library and I am new to bookish programming, not to mention the lack of precedent set here for good programming 😦
    Anywho, I would love to hear how it goes. Do you flickr? I would love to see pics too!

  4. El mundo de Fran says:

    Hi! Like your blog! And have read that you leave a dream job for another dream job, but more humble one. Very admiring.

    Also I wanted to tell you that I tried to contact river run through a little message in the “contact us” section, but havent receive any reply. Its sort of a request…

    Can I just post my message here? Cause I guess you check your blog more often.

    Have a nice day!

  5. Halahblue says:

    Sounds like a blast. I’d love to participate in a Big Read type of evening.

  6. Michele says:

    I should open a flickr account and post photos from the event. It was REALLY fun. I highly recommend it. Especially combining the reading with live musicians improvising music with the authors. We had about 18 people there and most people shared from their teenage diaries. I think in NYC they host the event at a bar and that might help people feel less vulnerable while sharing their teenage anxieties. I know I for one could have used a nice glass of wine to go with my entry about a high school dance and a boy who clearly was not into me.

    Becflies, you should definitely host one at your library!

  7. El mundo de Fran says:

    Oh, too bad I find things like this too late… I have a very particular diary too (with drawings and ink and collage and other dangerous substances), about one of my strangest years, not worst, just rare. And yes… I’m a guy who once wrote a diary. Ha.

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