Whether you are new to the Big Read Lakeshore program or need more reasons to help convince a friend to check us out, we invite you to consider some good reasons to join us this year!

So, what is the Big Read, and why should you get involved?

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest created the Big Read program in 2006. Their focus was on shared reading experiences that would lead to discussions, connections, and responses in every community they touch. While NEA’s Big Read exists nationally, our section, “Lakeshore” started in 2014 and is currently in its 10th year of programming. Each year we apply for a grant, and NEA gives us the support that allows us to distribute books, put on events, and find creative ways to get our communities involved in reading these great books. 

That is where you, the community, come in. You are the center of all we do here at the Big Read. We are constantly thinking of new ways we can help you get more involved and get the most out of the program. From the books we choose to the interactive programs happening all around the community, we are focused on you.

If you are still looking for reasons to get involved in the Big Read, here are a couple to consider:

  1. To be introduced to a fantastic new book:

At the very least, our program this year might introduce you to a great new book. It could be one you’ve never heard of before or one that you have been eyeing for a while but haven’t had the opportunity to read yet. I am always looking for a great new book to read, but don’t always know where to look. If we are dedicating a whole month to talking about this book, you can bet it will be pretty good.

  1. If you have always wanted to dive deeper into books but didn’t know where to start:

I wish there were whole college courses on the books I chose to read. Sometimes I will finish a book and know there is so much there but don’t know how to figure out what it is on my own. Groups like Big Read can come in handy for that. Throughout November, we will have events that help us understand the background of this book better, as well as things like guests on our podcast and our blog giving out additional tools as you read. 

  1. To have deep conversations with others in our community about themes and issues brought up by these books:

Finding other readers to talk about the book you are reading can be challenging. Since everyone in the Big Read will be reading the same book, there will be many opportunities to talk to others about what you see. One of my favorite aspects of having a community-based program is the discussions that get started because of these books. We chose these books knowing that these topics are some that we should be addressing in our community. We love to hear your thoughts on these books and issues as you begin to read them! 

  1. To gain a new perspective:

 One of my favorite aspects of reading is the growth my mind goes through with each new perspective I can take on for a while. To quote from our very first Big Read book, To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” If you want to grow, there are few ways that are better than reading a good book and having healthy conversations with others.

  1. If you are looking for a program that is flexible for you:

One of the best parts about Big Read is that you can commit as much or as little time and energy to this program as you would like. If just reading the book we chose is your style, go for it! To get the most out of the program, we encourage you to get involved in at least one other way. Our blog will release material all summer to help you in your reading and could be a great addition to your personal journey or subject material for a book club. Social media is another great way to stay involved in what is going on, and if you still need to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, check us out! We will also have in-person events throughout the fall program, and we would love to have you stop by for those as well!

We love hearing from the community, so if you have any more questions about the Big Read or how you can get involved, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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