We are pleased to be participating in our second year of our partnership with the Sno-Isle Libraries in bringing The Big Read to all of Snohomish and Island Counties. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture—to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
This year the book selection is Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War tour de force, The Things They Carried. Comprised of short stories O’Brien wrote over a period of years, this book has continued to receive critical acclaim since it was published. In fact, this year the book has been re-released in hardcover in recognition of its 20th anniversary.
The Big Read answers a big need. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.
We hope you will join us, in reading and experiencing this book during the month of May. To enhance your experience, we have many great programs on offer including a documentary film series that includes titles that were once unavailable to the American public. We also have a display in the main library of “Things” that guest speaker and Veteran Jim Pace himself carried in the War. (Pace will speak at the main library on May 8.)
A very special event, a “Book-It”-like verbatim performance of Things will be presented, free of charge, at Everett High School’s Little Theatre at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.
For information on all of the programs and events throughout Snohomish and Island Counties, visit our Big Read website.