America’s third president Thomas Jefferson was an avid reader. So much so that he owned between 9,000 and 10,000 books in his lifetime. If he were alive today, he would likely have August 9 circled every year on his calendar.
National Book Lovers Day is an unofficial holiday recognized nationwide. The concept of the day is simple: people are encouraged to put away their smartphones and every possible technological distraction and substitute that with a book.
The Salem Public Library is home to over a combination of 125,000 books, DVDs, audiobooks and more. Jerry Spinelli and Paulo Coelho are two of Lily Kilner’s favorite authors. Kilner, a senior at Salem High, says she uses the library’s resources at least once a week.
“I think reading is important because it is a great way to learn new information. I truly believe that solely focusing on technology as a way to inform one’s opinion limits intellectual growth,” she added.
Many parents, like Laura Biscotte, believe that reading provides a number of benefits. In addition to improving detail retention, she said, reading also helps with imagination and vocabulary. Biscotte’s two sons, Carter, a soon to be fifth-grader at West Salem Elementary, and Miles, a rising third-grader, read 30 minutes every night before going to bed.
“I love how this day encourages people to pick up a book a read, regardless of the genre,” Biscotte said. “I want my kids to be as well-rounded as possible, which is partly why we are Salem Library regulars.”
For the last three years, Emily Metrock has served as the local children’s librarian. She is responsible for purchasing all of the necessary items and organizing every program that involves kids. “I wanted to do something on August 9 that any kid could participate in throughout the day. It’s always great when people use the library for one of its main intentions,” she said.
Jessica Smith, a soon to be senior at Salem High, likes to read anything that is space related. She considers ‘Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe’ authored by J. Richard Gott one of her all-time favorite books because, “it delves into the realm of scientific possibility in a truly captivating way.”
Ann Tripp has served as the Salem Public Library Director since 2014. Having an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patrons motivates her every day.
“Our mission is to help our patrons connect with ideas, materials and experiences that expand their lives,” she said. “Events like this inject both a little fun and a little competition into something that many of our younger patrons already enjoy – reading.”