The (Batavia, N.Y.) Daily News; Sept. 17, 2009
By Ben Beagle
This story is not going to tell you what the next book will be for the annual “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project.
That’s a secret. But this story will tell you how to find out.
On Monday evening, four libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties will reveal the eighth title and author to be featured in the project organized by libraries in the three counties.
The simultaneous announcement is planned for shortly after 7 p.m. at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., and Alfred C. O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd., both in Batavia; Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, 620 West Ave., Medina; and Perry Public Library, 70 North Main St, Perry.
The informal gatherings are open to the public. Each library will feature themed decorations and treats that may provide hints for savvy readers. Als planned are giveaways and a promotional video about the book. Hardcover and paperback copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Each year, Tale organizers —who represent public libraries and Genesee Community College —look for a work of fiction that they think will have a wide appeal to area readers. They also consider the story’s location, what kind of reviews the book has received and any awards the book may have won, among other criteria.
“We’ve chosen a book that’s a little different than past selections,” said Leslie DeLooze, the Richmond Memorial librarian who started the Tale program in 2003 with other public librarians in the three counties.
“It’s told from a unique perspective, compared to the other Tale books,” she said. “I think readers will find the themes very different and yet, at the same time they’ll find the themes have a lot to say about, for example, family life.”
The 2010 Tale selection was finalized in mid-summer and as word spread that a book had been picked, some of the project’s regular participants have been pressing libraries for clues and conducting Internet searches looking for the tiniest hints from the haystack of information available online.
“A Tale for Three Counties” started in 2003 with Leif Enger’s debut novel Peace Like a River. He was followed by books from Howard Frank Mosher, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Jennifer Donnelly, Mark Spragg, Thomas Mullen and P.L. Gaus.
The project includes book discussions during January and February, and visits to each county by the author in March. In some years, additional events such as historical talks and film screenings have been included.
As Tale has grown in both interest and stature, announcing each year’s selection has become an event on its own with luncheons, receptions and return visits by previous authors part of the ceremony. All of those programs, though, have been at Richmond Library.
This year, DeLooze said, Tale organizers hope to reach more of the Tale audience — and possibly reach new readers, by making the announcement at several locations that may be more convenient than a cross-county trip.
“Every year we try to do something a little different,” DeLooze said. “I think people who have followed the Tale events look forward to having a big splash.”
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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation