The Austin Page Turners was formed in 2001 by then Austin mayor Bonnie Rietz. The initial planning committee consisted of community members who enjoyed reading and discussing books. Patterned after similar citywide reading programs in Seattle and Chicago, the committee decided to focus on choosing a Minnesota author’s work that would have broad appeal and bring the community together for a great discussion.
Each year the featured author comes to Austin for a series of activities culminating with a community presentation in the evening. The overwhelming popularity of the program is seen by the large number of book groups and individuals who read the book that is chosen for the annual event and who attend the various activities planned around the book. All events are free unless otherwise indicated.
The Austin Page Turners citywide reading program is supported in part by the Austin Public Library, Austin Public Schools, and Riverland Community College.