PLYMOUTH — Every year, the Plymouth Public Library encourages patrons to read one book as a community.
The “One Book One Town” program is similar to a giant book club — one that everyone is welcome to.
“The idea is to promote lifelong literacy and to share ideas — so we read one book together,” said Anna Liechty, a Friends of the Library member and the leader of the upcoming community book talk.
This year’s book is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a memoir by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
“This particular story is about a young man whose life was changed by a library of donated books,” said Liechty. “We chose it because it’s set in Africa and it’s about the importance of sharing books to third world countries. Also, a large number of Malawians live in the South Bend and Niles area and we knew the author of the book would be speaking at Notre Dame in March.”
The book follows the life of William Kamkwamba, who was born in Malawi, Africa. Kamkwamba, inspired by donated science textbooks, undertakes the task of building a windmill to bring electricity and running water to his small village.
“It’s a very gripping story and gives people a lot to think about,” said Liechty. “It’s tempting when we read a book about another culture to think that it doesn’t really relate to our culture. I see my job as helping people realize that (the book) is more relevant than they might think.”
A book discussion guide created by Liechty is available at the library, along with copies of the book for checkout.
The book is also in stock at City Center News and Books in downtown Plymouth.
Liechty will be speaking at the community book talk March 17 at 2 p.m. There’s no signup required to attend, and Liechty said there will be a place for everyone’s ideas.
“I try to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone gets a chance to share their thoughts,” said Liechty.
The author of the book will be speaking at the University of Notre Dame March 18 at 7 p.m., and the library is running a carpool for those interested in attending. Sign up for the trip is available at www.plymouth.lib.in.us . With questions, call 574-936-2324.