ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — LeVar Burton will stream his LeVar Burton Reads podcast on Twitter, reading adult and children’s stories for families self-quarantining at home. The first book he'll read is Neil Gaiman's 1989 short story We Can Get Them for You Wholesale, which Burton describes as Gaiman's "best" [work].
Burton, who starred in The Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, will host three weekly livestreams, doing what he loves most: reading. For a week, he contemplated ways to contribute during COVID-19 pandemic, searching for accessible stories to read aloud.
"I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families," Burton tweeted.
When he expressed concern about copyright issues, several authors, including Gaiman, granted him permission via Twitter to read their short stories and books.
Children’s fiction will be read on Mondays at 9 am PT/12 pm ET, followed by young adult stories on Wednesdays at 3 pm PT/6 pm ET. Fridays are for adults.
"I would like to believe that this is a short-lived effort,” Burton tells Forbes. "In the sense that there wouldn’t be such a need once life gets back to normal or more resembling normal than it does now."
For more than 20 years, Burton hosted PBS' The Reading Rainbow, encouraging children's literacy. The show won over 200 awards, including Emmys for Outstanding Children's Series. The show was canceled in 2006 but revamped by Burton as an app years later.
The first live-stream of LeVar Burton Reads begins today at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET.
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