Posters encourage residents to read

February 22, 2011

By Laura Geggel

With hectic lives filled with chores, errands, work and school, who has time to sit down and read a good book?

Aware of the constant time crunch, the King County Library System developed a time coupon through its Take Time to Read program.

“Chores can wait,” the coupon reads, “Take Time to Read.”

“I flash that one at my family and say, ‘The dishes are going to be there 10 minutes from now,’” Issaquah Library Site Manager Philis Bodle said. “You don’t need a great big block of time to read — five minutes here, 10 minutes there.”

The reading coupons are only one facet of Take Time to Read. It also includes the Winter Reading for Adults program, in which adults 18 or older can tell the library how they took time to read and win prizes for their submissions.

Enter the contest before March 31 at www.kcls.org/taketimetoread for the chance to win gift cards to local stores, including Starbucks, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Barnes & Noble and University Book Store.

Participants can also enter on Facebook by searching for Take Time to Read.

“The kids have all the fun in the summer, so we thought, ‘Let’s let adults have some fun, too,’” library system public relations specialist Marsha Iverson said.

Librarians are also venturing into the community and awarding people they see reading for fun in public places, including cafes and parks. The library system has facilitated the reading process by posting quick reads across its coverage area, including at swimming pools, hospitals and YMCAs. In Issaquah, the quick reads are located at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Writer’s Cottage, at 420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite. 2.

“The KCLS foundation generally makes people more aware of the option to read, particularly to read for fun,” Iverson said.

PNWA President Pam Binder said the cottage has a reading nook, filled with leather chairs, a quintessential rocking chair and a wide selection of books.

“We promote reading because in 1955 we were established to help writers get published,” Binder said. “We find that writers are readers. The more people read, the more writers there are.”

In 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts studied American reading habits, and published its findings in a report called “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence.” The report found that, “On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.”

For its last push to inspire people to Take Time to Read, the library system is hanging eight gigantic book cover posters across Issaquah to remind people of all of the good reads waiting for them. Books including “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages” and “Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey – The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World” will show up on the sides of buildings, such as Boehms Candies, The Issaquah Press and the Issaquah Train Depot.

Each poster will have a number people can dial to get an audio guide about the book.

“Kind of like you pass by a billboard and it jogs your mind about some kind of advertised products,” Bodle said. “This is just to remind people about books.”

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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