Used book sale starts Thursday

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Arts

We just passed 250,000 hours for our Read City goal. That leaves 200,000 hours to go by the end of April. And 650,000 hours for the year. So, if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still plenty of time. The prizes for all ages are better than ever, but the real reward is helping Knox County become the best-read community in America.

Being the best is always a fun thing, but the purpose behind Read City is dead serious. In the best of times, 60% of Knox County students were not reading on grade level at the end of 3rd grade. And those were the best of times. Since Covid-19 reared its head, that number is even worse. The great news is that developing better reading skills is mostly a matter of practice. Just picking up a book and reading can help. Making a habit of reading every day for 15-20 minutes can make the difference in a child’s life. If you don’t have kids in your house, don’t worry. Read City is for everyone. When adults read, kids notice. The message we’re sending to our community is that we value reading and education.

The best news is that this weekend, you can build your own library for pennies. The Friends of the Library’s Spring Book Sale kicks off this Thursday at Central United Methodist Church in Fourth and Gill. They are offering thousands of books, most for $2 and less. Proceeds from the sale benefit programs at the library.

And if you like to read and discuss your books, there’s always a book club at the library. Check out our new calendar on our new website for book and author programs. While you’re at it, make sure to check out the rest of the new website. You may just find your next great read.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library. She writes a Wednesday feature for

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