Fairy Tales and Fables: FSU celebrates storytelling at sixth annual Reading Marathon

The Florida State University community will come together for the sixth annual Reading Marathon to celebrate storytelling by reading aloud fables, fairy tales and myths continuously in a 24-hour time period.

Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the marathon that begins 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, and is expected to run until 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, on the main floor of Strozier Library just outside of Special Collections.

These tales, originally told orally and later collected and codified into print, have played a role in every culture and in every time period. Today, some of the oldest stories in the Western world are retold in children’s books, family films, television shows and Broadway plays. A revival of “Cinderella” opened on Broadway in 2013 and in March, the fourth film version of “Beauty and the Beast” will open in the US.

“These stories may seem simple, but they help us understand our world, ourselves, each other and what it takes to get along,” said Peggy Wright-Cleveland of FSU’s Office of Faculty Development and Advancement and organizer of the marathon. “Hearing and telling them aloud, in their older forms, will help us pay attention to the power storytelling wields in shaping individuals and communities.”

While the event is based at Strozier, readers can also participate from anywhere in the world. FSU students in London, Valencia, Panama City, Panama and Florence will be participating in the marathon.

Interested readers should select their favorite tale and sign up for a time to read via SignUp at signup.com/go/ozCEMJ.

Stories specific to regions beyond Europe are especially appreciated. Readings are welcome in any language.