Book discussion to start in October

July 02, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

Oprah's done it. "The Today Show" is doing it. And now Washington County is going to do it, too.

Plans are being developed for a countywide book discussion, starting in October.

Washington County residents are being asked to read the book, "Pay It Forward," by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The book was turned into a movie starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt.

The hope is that there will be discussions of the book in various places throughout the county, including schools, library branches and businesses, organizers said Monday.

At today's Hagerstown City Council meeting, Florence Riedesel, a Hagerstown resident who suggested the local book discussion, is scheduled to ask the mayor and council to support the idea and participate themselves in the reading and discussion.


The book discussion is the first part of a series of reading programs sponsored by Partners in Literacy, Washington County Free Library and the Washington County Board of Education, on the theme, "Washington County is reading ..." Partners in Literacy is a group promoting county literacy efforts.

There will be reading programs from October through June, culminating with Washington County Reading Day on June 7, 2003, Library Assistant Director Kathleen O'Connell said.

Washington County Reading Day organizers are hoping there will be reading programs at churches, library branches and other places, O'Connell said. They also hope to bring in some authors for people to meet, and there may also be storytellers, she said. Details are still being determined.

"We want to make reading fun. We don't want people to see it as a serious business," O'Connell said.

Riedesel had suggested a citywide book discussion but Library Director Mary Baykan thought it would be even better to make it countywide, O'Connell said.

The discussions will be a way of both encouraging reading and bringing communities together, Riedesel said.

The book was selected by a committee that included Riedesel, O'Connell and Board of Education employees, O'Connell said.

Riedesel said "Pay It Forward," which was a bestseller, is an interesting, motivational book that was selected partially because it is not too difficult to read. The book varies in some ways from the movie version, she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles