Go by the library and help buck a disturbing trend

The Friends of the Library gang, along with the Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library staff, kicked off the summer reading season with a bang, despite the nation's weak economy.

They hawked $300 worth of books on the streets of Rockdale Saturday morning and managed to earn enough money, with the help of generous and bookish Rockdalians, to fund half of the Texas Reading Club the library staff puts on in the summer for the youth of the town.

They got rid of nearly 400 used books donated by many in Rockdale and books that were out of circulation in the library. And believe it or not they still have more to sell for 50 cents and $1.

In case you missed it the Texas Reading Club began June 2 and ends June 29 with a big bash. Elementary school students can still register. Best of all, this program is free.

The club meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the month of June.

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders meet upstairs Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m.; Pre-K and Kindergarten students meet Wednesdays at 10:30; and first, second and third graders meet Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.

Come in and sign the kids up for the program and then stay a while and check out some books. Help buck the national non-reading trend.

A poll conducted in 2007 found that a typical person claimed to have read just four books in the last year—half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.

Women and older people were the most avid readers. The most popular choices were religious works and popular fiction. At the book sale Rockdale residents were on target with the nation snapping up religious works and popular fiction. However, there was also an eclectic group of readers buying children's fare, selfhelp, biographies and westerns.

In the Associated Press- Ipsos poll, the Bible and religious works were read by twothirds in the survey, more than all other categories. Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels. Every other genre—including politics, poetry and classical literature— were named by fewer than five percent of readers, stated The Washington Post.

The most disturbing part of the poll found that one in four adults claimed to have read no books in the past year. None, zero, nada. As an author and book lover I nearly cried reading that sad fact. A third of men and a quarter of women fit that category and they tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, less religious and from rural areas.

I would love to prove those statistics wrong here in Rockdale, especially the last one about rural area residents not reading. Drop by our well-stocked library and get a library card then check out a book. The staff can help you make your selection.

If reading is a chore then get a book on tape or CD and play it while you're in your car, at work, or at home doing chores. I hate to mention this but our library also has movies.

If your child is a reader and is opinionated, I'd love to get him or her to review books for us right in the pages of this newspaper. The neat thing is that with the cool new website their work will be online for out of town friends and family to enjoy as well.

Email me at christine@rock if you know or are an opinionated reader.

With the economy being what it is and people saving their pennies there couldn't be a better time to hang out at the library. It's air-conditioned and free entertainment.

You can travel any place in the world at the library and do it without breaking your budget.

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2009-06-11 digital edition

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