Friends Share Books They Love

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If you’re a book lover, you know there’s a special kind of joy that comes from sharing a good book with a friend. I know that whenever I finish a great read, all I want to do is share it with others who will appreciate it as much as I did! Thanks to the Friends of the Richardson Public Library’s new Follow Our Reads program, sharing book suggestions among friends has become a whole lot easier for Richardson readers.

Follow Our Reads is an online community reading list that any member of the community can contribute to. The Friends of the Richardson Public Library (FOL) developed this unique program over the summer, and this month, they’re opening it up to the public.

“FOL created the Follow Our Reads program as a way to connect our community through a shared love of reading,” said Laurie Garvie, FOL president. “It’s interesting to learn about the books that have inspired the lives of our neighbors and a great way to build a reading list.”

Community members are invited to submit book suggestions to Follow Our Reads by using the FOL’s simple online form. Other Richardson readers can view their community’s suggestions on the Follow Our Reads website, where they’re compiled into an easy-to-access list. According to Rebecca Poynter, FOL board member, Follow Our Reads is one of the first-ever online community reading lists.

“Richardson is an innovative community, and I think that the library is the heart of Richardson,” she said. “Having a program where friends can share their book recommendations seemed to be the right idea for our community, and this innovative kind of program seemed to fit Richardson’s style.”

This online reading list is also unique because it’s more than just book titles and authors names. Each book suggestion includes the reader’s answer to two questions: What idea resonates in the book, and how that idea relates to Richardson. Board member John Moran thinks that this innovative reading list can be a powerful tool that will benefit the community.

“I hope the program becomes a catalyst for conversation in the community,” he said. “Ideas, concepts and storylines from both non-fiction and fiction books offer the opportunity to promote expanded thinking, agreement or civil disagreement, but most importantly, the opportunity to engage in dialogue and understanding that can bring the community together.”

Avid reader Chrissie Thornburg recently moved to Richardson from Waxahachie, and she says she enjoys being able to see what her new community is reading on the online reading list. Chrissie is using Follow Our Reads not only to share and receive book suggestions from her new neighbors, but to connect with them as well.

“I enjoy sharing books with fellow Richardson readers because, as a new resident to Richardson, it will better help me understand the community of readers that I am now a part of,” she said. “Also, as a person, it helps me connect to people in a very real way. You never know what book will inspire someone to change their life or bring them out of a deep life funk. I never want to miss an opportunity to share some of the books that have helped me along the way and hopefully get a recommendation in return.”

To celebrate the launch of Follow Our Reads, FOL is raffling off a bike with a basket full of books that were suggested by members of the community. The bike has community ties, too. It’s a Villy Custom Cruiser Bicycle designed by Fleetwood Hicks, the Richardson native who founded Villy Custom LLC. Each reader that submits a book suggestion to Follow Our Reads by Oct. 30 will be entered in the raffle to win.

The Friends of the Richardson Library is a nonprofit that strives to support the Library and enrich the cultural opportunities available to library users. Learn more about the Friends of the Richardson Library, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their events and programs.