Hope replaces hard topic in reading event

Kitsap Regional Libraries invites the community to join together through the power of story and conversation with its annual One Book, One Community initiative.

But this year it’s going to be a more positive experience.

“In considering One Book for 2021, the selection team recognized that the community has already experienced a great deal of hardship, with recent events bringing unprecedented disruption to our lives,” reads a news release from the library.

In the past, the library has challenged the community to read books on hard topics and to begin to have the hard conversations that come with them. Last year the book was ” Evicted” by Matthew Desmond, a story that inspired discussions about housing insecurity. In 2019 the topic was immigration with readings from Imbolo Mbue’s “Behold the Dreamers.”

This year, rather than focus on problems, the library is focusing on a theme of resiliency and encouraging folks to read one of three titles, “Light of the World” by Elizabeth Alexander for adults; “Piecing Me Together” by Renee Watson for teens; or “Clean Getaway” by Nic Stone for kids.

KRL has been participating in the One Book initiative since 2008 after being inspired by its originator Nancy Pearl, a librarian at the Seattle Public Library.

“One of the things that were happening, that continues to happen today, is that we all live in our own silos. The friends we have, think the same way we do. The news we listen to is what we agree with. I thought that one of the things we need in society is much more civil discourse,” Pearl said. “I hoped we could choose books that had something important to say about what it means to be human and live in the world we live in.”

Outside of reading the recommended books, those interested in the initiative can participate in other ways, such as through special events and activities hosted through the library, which will be going on throughout in September and October.

“The path ahead is not always clear, but you don’t have to journey alone. The library welcomes you to come together with your community, support one another, and learn from each other’s unique experiences,” reads the end of the release.