Local Author Interview

by Brenden Bobby

Summer Reading
Summer is an exciting time. It’s the limited window where we get to enjoy things like cookouts, lake trips and hikes. It’s also a time when we quit reading in favor of other tasks. Work might ramp up and give us a precious nest egg to help us survive a long and unpredictable winter. Family might make an unexpected and lengthy arrival and limit the amount of time you have with your bookshelf. Social media also erupts with a deluge of vacation photos from everyone you know, leading to envy scrolling for cumulative hours on end.

Much as we’d like to think otherwise, social media doesn’t count as reading – not in any meaningful way. Think of reading a good book as giving your brain a nourishing and well-balanced meal, while social media is like snacking on popcorn and candy. It’s just not the same thing.

Summer Reading Isn’t Just For Kids
Many of us have fond memories of summer reading from childhood. Exciting prizes and knick-knacks awaited us at the library for every book we read, but that may have faded once reading became less about having fun and more about mastering a subject.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that work is its own reward, making it difficult to justify reading for the sake of reading. This year, summer reading isn’t just for kids – the Library wants to reward you with something tangible for your efforts. Adult book bingo gives you the opportunity to complete objectives and claim prizes from the library in the process. Sometimes, it’s easier to grind your way through War & Peace if you know that a delicious candy bar is waiting for you at the end.

The Benefits of Literacy
Reading is important for people of all ages. It exercises your brain in the way that pushups, squats and running exercise your body. Reading gives you better comprehension, a developed sense of empathy and the ability to accurately separate fact from fiction. Substituting social media for reading causes an even faster decay of these attributes, especially one’s ability to differentiate between facts and nonsense.

Just remember, on the other side of that smarmy Kermit the Frog meme is a computer that’s feeding you algorithmic interest in the name of profit.

Prizes for the Kids
Of course, Summer Reading programs still benefit kids for all of the above reasons. Kids also get fun prizes for hitting certain goals, including items that we 3D print here at the library. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities, and we’re leaning fully into that theme by offering printed sharks, piranhas, anglerfish and starfish that can be used as toys or decoration.

Additionally, simply signing up for Summer Reading will grant your child with a day pass to any state or national park in Idaho! This will let you skip parking fees for the day on one vehicle, at one park. Headed to Sam Owen to go swimming? You can use your park’s pass! Planning on heading down to the Craters of the Moon? You can use your park’s pass there, instead.

Sign Up!
On top of all of this, the library will be hosting a number of fun activities throughout the summer, including meeting with two local marine biologists that work in Antarctica! To stay updated, keep an eye on the library’s event calendar.

If you’re looking to get started and earn yourself a free Park’s Pass, stop by the information desk or the Youth Services desk at the Sandpoint Library, the circulation desk at the Clark Fork Library, or Michelle on the Bookmobile and the staff will be happy to get you signed up and out the door with a parks pass and a Summer Reading log.

We hope to see you soon!

By Brenden Bobby
Exploration Coordinator for Experiential & STEM Learning