Waukegan library handing out Bradbury's copies of 'Fahrenheit 451'

Ray Bradbury fans have a chance Friday to bring home a piece of his estate if they attend a festival in his honor hosted by the Waukegan Public Library.

The first 100 guests at the library's eighth annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival will receive copies of “Fahrenheit 451” that were found in Bradbury's garage in Los Angeles.

The festival will be held at the Genesee Theatre theater, 203 N Genesee St. in Waukegan. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and there will be preshow entertainment before three storytellers take the stage at 7:30 p.m. to read from banned books, including “Fahrenheit 451.” Tickets are $17.

Rena Morrow, marketing, programming and exhibits manager for the Waukegan Public Library, said 19,300 pounds of Bradbury's personal collection of books, manuscripts and other items from his estate — which the library was named a beneficiary of in January — arrived Wednesday morning.

Bradbury died in 2012 at the age of 91. He was born in Waukegan and spent much of his childhood there.

Morrow said Bradbury had stacks of his books sitting in his garage to take to signing events. She knew the library would be receiving the 100 copies of “Fahrenheit 451,” but she wasn't sure if they would arrive in time for this year's festival.

“It was so exciting for me that it all came together so well. It's almost like Ray wanted it to be that way,” she said, adding that other items of Bradbury's, like the last typewriter he used and posters from his home, are still being organized and will eventually be on display for permanent and temporary exhibits at the library.

For more about the festival, call the library at (847) 623-2041 or visit

Copies of “Fahrenheit 451” lined the shelves of Ray Bradbury’s home in Los Angeles in June. The books will be given to the first 100 people attending the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival at the Genesee Theatre on Friday evening. Courtesy of Waukegan Public Library
Ray Bradbury in 2009 Associated Press
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