‘One book, One community’ a great shared event

THERE WAS A TIME – hard as it may be for some to believe – when the printed word was the primary means of communication.

It was a time when a book was the easiest way to connect to the world outside your own community and to share common experiences and knowledge within your own community.

Actually, that time is not necessarily days long gone or just a distant memory – it will be re-created next month here in Plymouth with the “One book, One community” program, a joint venture between the Plymouth Public Library and the Plymouth School District Community Education and Recreation Department.

Lawn signs promoting the event have sprouted all over the city, inviting those viewing the sign to “Join Us.”

This first community book read focuses on Harper Lee’s recently-published novel “Go Set a Watchman,” Lee’s prequel/ sequel to her acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “T o Kill a Mockingbird.”

Events will take place beginning Monday, Oct. 12 and run through Friday, Nov. 13. Activities will include presentations and panels on various topics related to the book, discussions of the book and several screenings of the 1962 film adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” - widely recognized as one of the greatest films of all time and a regular on various top-100 movie lists.

Copies of “Go Set a Watchman” are available for purchase at the Book Heads store in downtown Plymouth, and multiple copies are available at the Plymouth Public Library, with plenty of time to finish reading it in time for the start of activities in


“To Kill a Mockingbird” became an instant classic at its publication more than half a century ago because of its frank, open and compelling treatment of timeless issues of both community and individuals. “Go Set a Watchman” is another compelling treatment of those same issues from the viewpoint of 30 years later in time.

Both novels have a universality that have won them praise and respect, and universality is the goal of the “One book, One community” events.

“The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony,” Mary McGrory of the Washington Post said of the “One book, One community” events, which have taken place in numerous cities across the country over the past several decades. It’s a noble goal and a laudable idea.

The Plymouth Public Library is to be commended for making “One book, One community” a centerpiece of its year-long centennial celebration, marking 100 years of serving Plymouth’s needs by bringing the community together.

The Community Education and Recreation Department is participating in “One book, One community” as part of its praiseworthy ongoing effort to share and make available the resources of the school district to all residents of the district, not just those attending grade school, middle school or high school.

Attend one, attend several or attend all of the events of “One book, One community” and you’re sure to gain something that’s as true today as it always has been – a sense of community and a sense of sharing.

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