Readers Hall

American Writers Museum
Written By American Writers Museum

The American Writers Museum celebrates American writers through innovative, state-of-the-art exhibitions and compelling programming.

Readers give writing its import

Readers have constantly played a major role in the story of American literature. What is a written work without a reader? Along the periphery of the space is "What Americans Read", a series of 10 vignettes representing key moments in “reading history.” How has the act of reading diversified since 1640, when the first book was published in America?

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The life-sized illustrations of figures that flank the Readers Hall are dressed in period clothing. In addition to being from different historical periods,they also represent different backgrounds, ages, and genders. Yet they share one important thing: they are all reading. Some read political pamphlets. Others magazines, newspapers, or books. Still others thumb through comic books, or listen to a book on tape (or disc or on a smartphone). Together, they represent milestone moments in the history of reading in America.

Feel free to grab a book and enjoy the comfortable reading spaces in this room. You can also rank your favorite books alongside other museum visitors and Goodreads users using the Reader's Favorites kiosks near the bookshelves. Make sure to also create your own bookmark that you can email to yourself and print at home. If you love this space as much as we do, and want to host an event here, visit our website to learn more.

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading." – Ray Bradbury
A gift of S. Leigh Pierson & Douglas R. Conant

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