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HR Reads: ‘Something to Hold’ and ‘Ricochet River’ are books to share

Hood River Feasted, now it’s time for Hood River Reads.

The large turnout for Saturday’s Hood River Library Foundation “Feast of Words” was an encouraging sign for the fledgling Library District.

More than 250 people crowded into the library Saturday for an event that out-of-town visitors said was unique: holding a “gala event,” as it was billed, among the stacks of books.

It’s a case of “local style” in the cause of literacy and community.

Funds raised at the event will pay for the redesign and repurposing of the library atrium, which is one of the more beautiful rooms in the city. Those changes include creation of an area designed for, and by, teens.

Library Director Buzzy Nielsen tipped his hat to his predecessor, June Knudson, saying that a teen section was one project Knudson had always hoped to see happen in the library.

It is a comment on how highly the Library District rates the need to invite young people into the library that the Board is planning to set aside part of the highly visible area and provide programs and services that meet the needs of youth.

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Meanwhile, another library tradition, Hood River County Reads, started March 3, and the chance to sit at this literary table is still open and available.

The goal of the Hood River County Reads project is to encourage readers of all ages to read and discuss books.

The books are free and available at the Hood River, Parkdale and Cascade Locks branches.

This year’s books are Robin Cody’s “Ricochet River” for adults and “Something to Hold,” by Katherine Schlick Noe, for young people. Noe is the daughter of Mary Schlick of Mount Hood, historian and longtime Hood River News columnist.

Numerous Hood River Reads events are planned, including public reading sessions March 21 in Cascade Locks and Hood River, at 6:30 p.m. Cody will sit in at the Hood River event, and the author will also speak in Hood River on April 14.

Also part of Hood River Reads is this Sunday’s event, from 2-4 p.m.: “Friendship: Reviving, Surviving, or Dying?”, an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project discussion with Courtney Campbell and Lani Roberts, at Hood River Library.

Hood River County Reads gives participants the chance to join in a shared literary experience, and the related events also tap into personal as well as political questions, making the entire series one that can appeal to a variety of tastes.

We encourage people to give the books a try, and sample the “Reads” programs where you can, even if you don’t read the books. On any level, the community reading experience is one small way to connect people.

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