September marks a return to school and as the kids are hitting the books so too is the county of Haliburton.
Aiming to bring together book-lovers from across the county the winner of this summer’s Haliburton County Reads challenge Fifth Business by Robertson Davies has been named this year’s One Book One Community selection. The book was successfully defended by Greg Roe on the program which aired weekly beginning in July on Canoe FM.
Erin Kernohan-Berning branch services librarian for Haliburton County Public Library says this year’s One Book One Community will begin with some smaller activities designed to bring people together around the book and a love of reading. The events will begin Sept. 1 and end with a large event at Baked and Battered in Haliburton in December. That event will feature live music and other entertainment.
Kernohan-Berning says although the Canadian book was written in 1970 its themes about the oddities of small town life still ring true; something which may contribute to the book’s enduring popularity.
“The other books were a lot newer and I wasn’t sure Robertson Davies would be chosen because it’s not a new book” she said. “For such a short little book he packs a lot into a sentence.”
Kernohan-Berning said the compelling plot twists still have an effect on readers.
The library has been having trouble getting enough copies of the book from its suppliers to help with the project as the popular book is about to get a new reprint. Still selling out runs of the book speaks to its enduring quality according to Kernohan-Berning.
“Just because a book was written 45 years ago doesn’t mean it’s not going to stand up to the test of time” she said. “We weren’t really sure how popular it was going to be but all the copies we had have holds on them.”
While looking for available copies of the book Kernohan-Berning picked up used copies at local book stores and will be using them for a new program as part of the festivities.
Each of the four copies of the book have been labelled with an ID number created through Book Crossing a tracking service to see where shared books go once they are released into the wild. The books will be left in various locations to be read or taken home for free with the hope that the reader will track their location on the Book Crossing website and leave them somewhere to be borrowed by another reader.
The books don’t have to be returned to the library but Kernohan-Berning said if they make their way home it would be a fun way of seeing how far they got.
“It might be nice if we got them back just to see where it’s been.”
She will be tracking them on the website via the ID tags and letting users know where the books get to. Two of the books will be starting at the Dysart and Minden branches of the library and two of them will be starting in cafes in Haliburton and Minden. The books are labelled with explanations of how readers can register their copy’s location and what to do with it once they are finished reading all or part of the book.
Other activities will be happening throughout the fall including a book map available at the library to help readers find books with the same themes as Fifth Business.
“The point of One Book One Community is getting everyone to read the same book” said Kernohan-Berning who hopes readers will discuss the book while engaged in other non-book related activities in line at the grocery store or around the water cooler at work. “But also the point of One Book One Community is just getting people to read.”
The book map will let readers explore other titles available at the library and discover great literature as well some lighter reads.
The map this year is special because it also features all the books that were competitors in Haliburton County Reads.
“All of the Haliburton County Reads books ended up on the map in some way.”
Planning is continuing for the One Book One Community events and more updates will be released throughout the fall. Drop into a Haliburton CountyPublic Library branch for more information or check out the library’s website.