Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Find, read, pass it on: Free copies of Hunger Games in Rutherford County

The Hunger Games has been spreading across Rutherford County like Katniss’ mockingjay pin infiltrated all the Districts in Panem.

And if that doesn’t make sense to you, maybe it’s time for you to get a copy of Read To Succeed’s One Book selection for this year.

Each year, Read To Succeed’s One Book of Rutherford County program challenges residents to join together to read a chosen book. This year's selection is the bestselling adventure novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. One Book is a collaboration of Read To Succeed, Ingram Content Group, Linebaugh Library, Barnes & Noble, Greenhouse Ministries and United Way to promote reading and literacy in Rutherford County.

This year’s pick is a page-turner, and its appeal to multiple age groups is part of the reason Read To Succeed chose it for One Book.

And the book has already been passed around all over the county: Jennifer Smith, United Way Community Impact Coordinator, said that her co-workers have all been excited to share the book with each other (she read the book herself in nearly one sitting, unable to put it down). At Spring Valley Apartments, Learning Center Director Brenda Kerr said she’s passed her copy of the book on to the apartments’ office manager and several residents. Almost every day, she said, someone asks if they can borrow a copy. Andy Mitchell, a local postal employee, said he put a few copies in the post office’s break room and was surprised how quickly they were snatched up.

“So many employees read The Hunger Games with their families over the holidays,” Mitchell said. “People are reading this book who tell me they haven’t picked up a book in years.”

Laura Beth Payne, an English professor at MTSU and One Book co-chair, said she thinks the book has pulled the community together in remarkable ways.

“People of all ages are excited about reading,” Payne said, “and they’re talking about ideas from the book and their impact on everyday life. That’s exactly what we want to happen.”

Thanks to a donation from Ingram Content Group, Read To Succeed has distributed hundreds of free copies of The Hunger Games around the community. So if you see a copy lying on the table at your doctor’s office, coffee shop, or even in Linebaugh Library’s Bookmobile, don’t just pass it by. Pick it up, read it, and, then, pass it on.

These copies are free and will be marked with a One Book sticker on the front. Inside each book, readers indicate where the book was found, their name, and the date. The book then gets passed on or placed around town for someone else to find.

To make the exchange even more enticing, each person can log their book in at This will enter them to win one of two $20 gift cards to Barnes & Noble.

Payne said the Book Crossing is another way to keep The Hunger Games conversation going, and to allow fans of the book to share the experience of reading with someone else.

Read To Succeed chose to partner with Greenhouse Ministries to promote this particular novel. Greenhouse Ministries provides assistance with food, clothing, job skill training, adult education classes and counseling for thousands of Murfreesboro residents each year, serving a core local need that the characters in The Hunger Games are all too familiar with.

Through the late spring, Read To Succeed’s One Book and Greenhouse will be partnering on food and clothing drives, as well as Greenhouse’s landmark VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program, a free service that will aide qualifying local residents in claiming their tax refund dollars. For more information on VITA, please call Greenhouse Ministries at (615) 494-0499 or United Way at (615) 893-7303.

Read to Succeed press release, 1/18/2012

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