Citywide Reading Program Returns with Support from Friends, Kiwanis

After a successful launch last summer, the Canby Reads program is back.

The nonprofit Friends of the Canby Public Library launched the citywide reading program last year, offering a free copy of the 1978 Ivan Doig memoir This House of Sky to community members who wanted to connect with their neighbors by reading the same book at the same time.

It was quickly followed by a similar initiative aimed at Canby teens and featuring Long Way Down by Black author Jason Reynolds.

Now, organizers are again reaching out to enrich community life by reading and discussing a book at a time when more traditional cultural and educational programming is not possible. The Bluest Eye by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison is this winter’s Canby Reads selection.

The book was also Jenna Bush Hager’s latest book pick for her “Read with Jenna” book club.

Over the course of the program — about four to five weeks — participating readers will be asked to respond to thought-provoking questions and send in their responses to the library using words, pictures and sketches, if they wish.

These will be printed and posted anonymously in the windows of the Canby Public Library to share with the community as part of a “visual conversation,” walking through Morrison’s masterpiece — together.

A limited number of free copies of the book will be available at the library starting Jan. 28 and can be picked up during curbside service hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m.

Additional free copies will be available at local Canby merchants starting Jan. 28. The list of businesses is still being finalized, but those who are participating will post flyers on their doors indicating they have copies available.

Each book will include a discussion guide with questions for readers to respond to. Organizers said a date for a Zoom discussion for those who want to participate will be announced at a later date.

Canby Reads 2021 was created in partnership with Canby Public Library and is being jointly funded by the Friends of the Canby Public Library and Kiwanis Club of Canby.

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