By Colleen Kopp
July 30, 2010
Remember story hour? A cozy place to listen and imagine, to be read to and to relax?
The Hartford Public Library offers a new experience this summer-- story time for adults called 'Water Your Mind...Listen!" part of the "Water Your Mind...Read!" summer reading initiative.
Marian Amodeo, Chief Public Services Officer, said adult summer reading is "to encourage reading for pleasure, to provide opportunities for life-long reading" and "to build a community of readers."
Story time will be held from 12:00-12:45 p.m. on two more Thursdays: August 12 and 26. A beverage and snack are provided for listeners.
Each session comprises of short-stories or excerpts of larger works.
Six listeners sat in the sunny atrium, looking out on Main Street during Thursday's story time.
"I love the fact that we're doing this," said Patton E. Doncan a physics and mathematics teacher at Capital Community College.
Doncan read "To Kill a Mockingbird" while growing up in Jamaica and enjoyed re-hearing the excerpt on Thursday.
"Good reading, sir!" he said to Anthony Bernardo.
"Hearing and engaging in differences of cultures forces us to look at the world through someone else's eyes," Doncan said.
The concept materialized when library CEO Matt Poland heard of successful adult story times held at a Seattle public library, Bernardo said.
"It's very relaxing and almost mesmerizing having a story read to you," Bernardo said. "It touches an inner child."
Bernardo hopes the passive 'Water your mind...Listen!' coupled with the active 'Water your mind...Read!' summer reading program gives people of Hartford a full experience with the written word.
"In a city with low literacy the challenges are great, but these kind of initiatives are rewarding, enjoyable and enriching," Bernardo said.
Around 100-200 adults are participating in the library's summer program.
During a hot summer, the 'water' book theme makes sense -- water, like reading, is life-giving and refreshing.