The Ridgefield Library's six-month "Enjoying Joyce" program was a great success and is already spawning plans of the next reading series.
The James Joyce program, which boasted about 100 participants, concluded on June 16, or Bloomsday, an annual day of celebration of the Irish writer's life. The name is derived from Leopold Bloom, the main character in Joyce's Ulysses—June 16 is when the action in the novel took place.
The library participated with a nine-hour celebration that included readings from the novel and food the characters eat.
Fare included Better coffee than served at the Cabmen's Shelter, Hot Cocoa for Late Night Homecomings, Lemonade for Teetotalers, Scrumptious Currant Scones for Gibraltar Tea Parties, Marion Tweedy's Seedcake to Share and Cold Ham with Bread for Molly's imagined picnic.
The staff made the goodies using a cookbook called The Joyce of Cooking. Assistant Library Director Mary Rindfleisch admits that they may have bought the town completely out of currants to make the scones.
The library chooses its program subjects by discussing which classic books patrons want to read but have trouble doing so on their own. Joyce's Ulysses was a title that came up again and again.
The library is planning to do the next series in association with the Ridgefield Theater Barn with some additional help from the National Endowment of the Arts. Though the program is already in the works, it's being kept under wraps until early July.