Pull up a chair, it’s storytime


For adults, reading is normally a solitary act. A time to steal away from reality, spellbound by a good
But if you think back to younger years,  it wasn’t always so private. Remember the thrill of storytimes?
Sitting crosslegged on the floor, barely able to stand the suspense of waiting for the page to turn.
Sharing the horror, joy, sorrow or surprise with a roomful of other rapt listeners.
Bowling Green area residents are being invited to a grownup storytime of sorts. You have to turn the
pages and do the reading yourselves. And you don’t have to sit on the floor.
But you can share the secrets of the story with your neighbors, who are all reading the same book.
For 11 years now, Wood County District Public Library has invited readers to join in the Community Reads
program, which was modeled after a similar project in Seattle.
"It’s a community building process, when folks are reading and discussing the same thing,"
explained Mary Callahan Boone, public relations coordinator for the library.
The Community Reads program takes a solitary act and expands it to friends, neighbors and strangers.
"It’s like sharing a meal," Boone said.
Each year, a committee of community members helps select the book to read.
This year’s book is not light reading. "The Yellow Birds," by Kevin Powers, paints a portrait
of the Iraq War and those whose lives were changed fighting it.
"It’s been a while since we’ve read a book like this," Boone said.
But that’s important for a community to do together – deal with somber topics such as war.
"It’s not always an easy book to read … but it’s an important book to read," Boone told the
library trustees last week.
The book is intended to get ideas percolating.
If you build on Boone’s shared meal analogy, it becomes a community potluck of feelings stirred by the
Several events are planned to serve up those ideas. On Oct. 7, "Letters Home," written by Wood
County residents during wartimes from the Civil War and Operation Desert Storm, will be read aloud.
On Oct. 14, a "Home from the Wars" community discussion with veterans will be held.
And on Oct. 22, the author of "The Yellow Birds" will speak about his book and experiences as
an Iraq War veteran.
So curl up on the couch, read in silence, then join your community and feast on all the ideas brought to
the table for a grownup storytime.

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