One of the most encouraging trends of the decade: Books continued to remain at the center of our lives, despite the noisy e-demands of TV, movies, iPods, video games, etc. If you have any doubt, wander over to the Baltimore Book Festival, where thousands of people crowd the Mount Vernon area each fall to celebrate books. Or visit the vibrant CityLit Festival, started in 2004,a great addition that has featured Pulitzer-winning writers such as Junot Diaz, Steve Coll and Edward P. Jones.

Some other ways to celebrate our vibrant book culture in the coming decade:

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-- Participate in the One Maryland, One Book program.

-- Read a book by a Marylander. Anne Tyler's latest, Noah's Compass, will be released in January, so that's a good place to start.

-- Visit one (or both!) of the festivals. In 2010, the CityLit Festival will be held on April 17, and the Baltimore Book Festival on Sept. 24-26.

-- Attend one of the many readings in the area, such as those in the 510 series, or the special appearances at the Enoch Pratt. (Check the Read Street calendar for a list of events.)

-- Join a book club.

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