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What is everyone in Pierce County reading in 2009?

During the second annual Pierce County READS the goal is for thousands of people to read, share and talk about the same book at the same time during the free community one-book program, Jan. 5-March 28, 2009.

Pierce County Library System selected the best-selling “Three Cups of Tea” by nationally known award-winning authors Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin as the Pierce County READS book for 2009. This is the story of one man’s mission to promote peace one school at a time.

“Pierce County READS 2009 builds on the success of our first community one-book program where thousands of people came together to read the selected book and meet the best-selling author,” said Neel Parikh, executive director of Pierce County Library. “Community unity is a key goal of the program. Now, more than ever, the Library is here to bridge gaps and bring people together as a community.”

“Three Cups of Tea” has been a #1 New York Times bestseller for nearly two years. Pierce County Library offers the book in paperback, audio downloads, audiobooks and other formats.

The book chronicles the real life story that transports a mountain climber into a school builder/fundraiser to help children, especially girls, in significantly impoverished, illiterate and uneducated Pakistan and Afghanistan villages. The premise of building the schools is to replace bombs with books, guns with pencils, and rhetoric with reading, to gain an educated society that can help itself.

During the three-month program, people may participate in more than 40 free programs and events on topics including literacy, mountaineer search and rescue, mount climbing and volunteerism. The program concludes with David Oliver Relin giving a free presentation and book signing at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood on Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 7 p.m.

Pierce County Library System and The News Tribune present Pierce County READS, sponsored by Key Foundation. Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Pierce County Library Foundation with a grant to support the program.

Many community partners are participating: Associated Ministries, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Clover Park Technical College, Fort Lewis Library, Garfield Book Company, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, King’s Books, Lakewood Historical Society and History Museum, McChord Air Force Base Library, Mostly Books, Pacific Lutheran University, Pierce College, Pierce County Library Foundation and donors, Pierce County Library Friends organizations, Puyallup Public Library, Roy Public Library, Sumner Arts Commission and Waldenbooks.

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