ReRead sets the stage for the first-ever author’s festival


CHESHIRE – For those who love discovering new books and learning new ideas, ReRead Books & More has become a popular place in town.

Located in the Watch Factory Shoppes since 2020, the bookstore is operated and funded by the Connecticut Community Empowerment Foundation, and the store’s books come from community donations. Although a person can find the latest bestsellers at deep discounts, the promotion of reading is not the only thing that drives the organization.

As Chair of the Fundraising Committee and Board Member of ReRead, Kimberly Gentile explains that “ReRead Books’ mission is to provide professional training and skills development to young adults with special needs and providing the community of Cheshire and beyond with a second-hand bookshop that serves as an outlet for the community.

To help achieve this goal, while raising awareness of its mission, ReRead is hosting its first ever Author Festival from Thursday to Saturday. It will take place within the cozy confines of its location at 104 Elm St. and under a tent outside.

The idea for an event that features authors came from ReRead director Hope Reinhard, a former English teacher who wanted to focus on ways the bookstore could better serve the community.

Events kick off tonight with a team quiz from 7-9 p.m., with cash prizes for the winning team. Friday activities will include live music starting at 6 p.m., featuring an acoustic duo and an upcoming band. Accompanying the music will be a wine tasting, sponsored by Mount Carmel Wine & Spirits.

On Saturday, nearly two dozen Connecticut authors will be on hand for a full day of discussions, readings and signings.

“In addition to something for the community, we wanted to give local authors an opportunity to connect with their audience,” says Gentile.

Events begin at 11:15 a.m., with broadcaster and resident Prospect Larry Rifkin. His recently released memoir – “No Dead Air” – tells the story of his career as programming director for Connecticut Public Television, including his involvement in introducing singer Barney’s purple dinosaur to the world, as well as his radio work.

Meteorologist Ashley Baylor of ABC New Haven affiliate WTNH will be on hand to discuss her New England-themed children’s book, ‘Storms and Snow, Skis and Sox,’ published by Guilford-based Globe Pequot . The illustrated book introduces young readers to the wonders of northeast weather.

Also scheduled is author and historian Tony Renzoni, whose latest book, “Historic Connecticut Music Venues,” delves into Connecticut’s musical heritage. From the New Haven Arena to Willimantic’s Shaboo Inn, the book describes the buildings and captures the stars and near-stars who filled their stages. Renzoni has also published on notable local women, such as softball star Joan Joyce and infamous bootlegger Nellie Green.

For local interest, there will be speakers such as Sylvia Nichols from Cheshire Nursery, speaking on the subject of tulips; Ron Gagliardi, author of ‘Pictures of America’ – which focuses on Cheshire; and Alan Bisbort, a blogger and historian who will discuss the history of beatniks.

Others are expected to appear, including young adult author and publisher Loan Le, whose critically acclaimed book ‘A Pho Love Story’, and romance novelist Kristan Higgins, a New York bestselling author Times.

The festival ends on Sunday with a book sale, with inventory discounts from ReRead.

All attendees will be encouraged to donate $10 to ReRead, which will be used to fund store initiatives.


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