For the past two months, thousands of people in Pierce County have been reading, talking about and sharing the same book at the same time during the second annual Pierce County READS. At Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood on Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m. people may attend a free event and book signing to meet award-winning author David Oliver Relin, co-author of best-selling “Three Cups of Tea,” this year’s Pierce County READS book.
“Pierce County READS is a community one book program with thousands of people coming together to share the same book at the same time,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library System, the co-presenter of Pierce County READS. “We are very pleased with the overwhelming response to the community program. It truly is a buzz and people are interested and engaged!”
Since launching the program Jan. 5, people have checked out copies of the best-selling book nearly 4,300 times from Pierce County Library. Also, 500 people have participated in the more than 50 free programs offered by Pierce County Library and some of its 20 community partners.
“Three Cups of Tea” has been a #1 New York Times bestseller for two years. It is the story of Greg Mortenson’s mission to promote peace one school at a time. The book chronicles the real life story that transports Mortenson, 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.
Relin is a graduate of Vassar College. He has spent two decades reporting about social issues and their effect on children around the world. He has won dozens of national awards as an editor and investigative reporter. Relin is currently working on a documentary film about Sherpa mountain climbers. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
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.