Our Voice: We're grateful for readers and lots of literary events

Let's read.

We're hoping that everyone got a book for Christmas (or a tablet or smartphone), that they have a favorite bookstore (or are Internet savvy) and that they make good use of the public libraries.

It's cold and gray outside.

This, of course, is no excuse for not putting on a coat and going out for a walk every day. However, when you get back from that walk, there is a certain allure during winter for a good, I-can't-put-it-down book and a cup of tea.

We're fortunate to live in a community where reading is encouraged and supported on many levels.

Winter Reading Challenge

The Mid-Columbia Libraries are in the middle of their Winter Reading Challenge. The challenge runs until Jan. 31 and involves prizes. Register online at midcolumbialibraries.org.

It's similar to their summer reading event where you sign up and log your reading hours. It's a great motivator.

Cavalcade of Authors

It's not too soon to get excited about Cavalcade of Authors for middle and high school students and the Community Reads event for LitFest for youth and adults.

Cavalcade of Authors will bring 16 authors of young adult literature together with hundreds of young readers throughout the Mid-Columbia on March 14. It's a great event.

And there's a writing contest as well. If you meant to enter that, get busy ... the deadline is Jan. 18.


One of the Cavalcade authors is also the guest of honor for LitFest's Community Readers.

When S.A. Bodeen, from Oregon, is here in March, she will be pulling double duty.

Bodeen's book The Compound has been selected for the Mid-Columbia's Community Reads event and looks to be a real page-turner. We don't want to give it away, but here are a few teaser words to whet your appetite: "underground bunker," "cannibalism," "twin brothers" and "escape."

You can buy the book, get it from the library or try to get your hands on one of the hundreds of free copies that will be distributed throughout the community.

Read it. Pass it on. Discuss it in your book club. And then come meet the author and hear her speak in March.

Additional LitFest events have yet to be announced, but are already in the percolating stage.

If you're going to the hokey game on Friday, Kadlec Regional Medical Center sponsors a book and food drive at Tri-City Americans games several times during the season and this week is one of them. Fans are encouraged to bring new and gently used children's books and pre-packaged food items to benefit The Children's Reading Foundation and Second Harvest.

There's lots of reasons why you should be reading every day. It's a stress reliever. It opens your mind to ideas and builds empathy for others.

Reading as a community just makes it all that much better.