Those looking for reading material for the beach, a lounge chair by the pond, or wherever one goes to read in a resort of international renown, found exactly what they needed at the East Hampton Library's fund-raising Authors Night on Saturday.
The event, in its fourth year, is an increasingly popular summer tradition on the East End. The cocktail hour was spent under a tent next to the library, where 75 scribes signed copies of their books; afterward, the authors became guests of honor in private homes.
The poet laureate of Suffolk County, David Axelrod, offered not only his poems but also assistance as a poetry doctor. Architect Robert A.M. Stern had a near-constant stream of visitors at his station, but he also had the most natural clientele: the people for whom he has designed homes in the Hamptons.
"He did our house, and I've hated it ever since," Jane Maynard said as she scooped up her freshly signed edition of Mr. Stern's shiny silver tome "Buildings and Towns."
Entertainment executive Edward Bleier talked up his book "The Thanksgiving Ceremony," a collection of readings to be recited during the holiday dinner; his wife helped sales by reading aloud the blurb from Steven Spielberg on the back cover.
If one listened closely, there were hints of what books to read once summer ends. Publishing legend-turned-agent Lawrence Kirshbaum recommended "Amberville" by Tim Davys, coming in the winter from HarperCollins.
Asked to describe the book, Mr. Kirshbaum deferred to the publicist from HarperCollins standing next to him.
"It's teddy bear noir. The characters are stuffed animals, and it's dark and edgy," the publicist, Tina Andreadis, said.
Authors aside, the most notable aspect of the event was the big enthusiasm for the library, a one-story facility with a country, yet dignified atmosphere just a stone's throw from the town's fancy boutiques. Its wireless access, quiet cubicles, and its Long Island collection, including ships' logs and early maps, were all referenced as winning traits, but for most of the people I talked to, the best part of the library is its children's facilities.
So many grandparents kvelled about taking their grandchildren there, it was frustrating to learn that the plan to build a children's wing, started five years ago, has not yet come to fruition, due to disagreements with town officials.
"It's where kids get their start," the executive vice president of the library's board, Bruce Collins, said. "We'd really like to see the children's wing built."
The library has indeed influenced children who grew up with it. Kathleen Doyle, who summered with her family down the street from the library, noted that one daughter, Carrie Karasyov, became an author, and her other daughter, Liz Carey, is now on the library's board. Their librarian, Jane Reutershan, is still on the job.