2017 Marathon Reading highlights 'First Books' by notable authors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and community members will again take turns reading excerpts from notable works during the 2017 Marathon Reading, a 24-hour event beginning at noon on Thursday, Sept. 7 on the lawn in front of Paterno and Pattee Libraries.

Members of the Penn State and local communities are welcome to attend and enjoy as much of the Marathon Reading as they like. Visitors can even bring appropriate equipment and camp on the lawn as the event continues overnight.

The 6th annual Marathon Reading, sponsored by the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and several of its departments and sponsors, is free and open to the public. Event sponsors will provide pizza on Thursday evening, and coffee and doughnuts on Friday morning, for attendees.

This year’s Marathon Reading, titled “First Books,” focuses on the first book or first book in a series published by notable authors. Works slated to be read include "Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger; "Black Swan," by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon; "Ready Player One," by Ernest Cline; "Black Heralds," by César Vallejo; and, "Love in a Fallen City," by Eileen Chang.

Each title will be available for reading in English and the original language in which it was published. Organizers also will have translations available in Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian for those versed in any of those languages.

“By showcasing first books, this year’s event celebrates everyone who has ever started a creative project,” says Eric Hayot, Penn State distinguished professor of comparative literature and Asian studies and one of the co-organizers of the Marathon Reading event. “We want to honor the spirit of invention and bravery that causes someone to take the first step on a long path, and to recognize its presence in all of us.”

Select readers will take turns reading aloud for anywhere from two to five minutes throughout the event. Penn State Distinguished Alumna Sue Paterno will be the first to read at noon on Thursday. Other guest speakers will include Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts; Russ Rose, head coach of the women’s volleyball team; and various additional Penn State and community leaders.

Individuals can volunteer to read by emailing marathonread@psu.edu; however, it is not necessary to make a reservation in order to read.

Sponsors for the 2017 Marathon Reading include the College of the Liberal Arts; the School of Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; the Center for American Literary Studies; the Center for Global Studies; the Department of Asian Studies; the Department of Comparative Literature; the Department of English; the Department of French and Francophone Studies; the Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures; the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese; the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; the Max Kade Institute; and the Paterno Fellows Program.

Additional information can be obtained by emailing marathonread@psu.edu.

Media Contacts: 

William Hessert

Work Phone: 
814-865-9988

Lead Writer, College of the Liberal Arts

Last Updated August 28, 2017