Alameda County Reads brings community together

Reading a good book, some fun recipes to try with your family, and creating community bonds? Well, that sounds like the perfect way to start out 2021! This can all be done through the library. 

The Alameda County Library is currently holding a county wide literary event, where all participants read the same book, “Eat Joy.” This book is a collection of personal essays and recipes, as writers cronolog the struggles and tough times they’ve faced and the recipes that they associate with those times. Let’s be honest here, it is food that gets us through the bad times. 

The current pandemic inspired librarian Chris Selig to choose this book, as well as expand the event from Castro Valley Reads to Alameda County Reads. Moving virtual has allowed this event to expand from just Castro Valley to all of Alameda County. In these tough times it is important to find comfort in the simpler things that we have in life, and that was what Selig was hoping this book would help people to realize and understand. 

“All of us have been going through challenging personal experiences this past year, and, all the while, our society is very polarized and going through much-needed changes. We all need to find comfort and joy and to make connections right now,” said Selig. 

Alameda County Reads is a wonderful way to bind the community together as participants bond over one extremely lovable thing, food. There is something extremely special about connecting with people about shared recipes and personal stories. Discussion groups and events circling around this book allow for Alameda County to bond over this book and discuss their struggles to the community.

“Meeting in a group to discuss the books enhanced the experience and it was great to hear others’ insights and reactions and to compare those to my own,” said Alameda County Reads participant Kay Wetherwax. 

Wetherwax has been participating in this event since it began, and has positive thoughts on how it has broadened her horizons and introduced her to books that she wouldn’t have read otherwise. Having discussion groups has allowed her to see new insights.

Selig is hoping that while also discussing the different experiences of the authors, people will also discuss the unique experiences of the people of our community and realize that not everyone is experiencing the pandemic and life currently in the same way. She thinks it is important that people talk about the various endurances of the county and reading about the struggles of other people can help people to gain a more empathetic outlook. 

So what are you waiting for? If you go to the Castro Valley Library and get your free copy of “Eat Joy” and join the event before the finale on March 25. You can spend the first part of the year indulging yourself with a good book and delicious, new recipes to try as well as making connections with the community over literature. It’s the most perfect way to start the year. 

Schedule of Alameda County Reads events: 

Essay opportunity for high school students:

One thought on “Alameda County Reads brings community together

  • February 21, 2021 at 11:34 am

    I love this! I think this is a great way to bring the community together considering these tough times. It’s great that people are discussing over books and I love the “Eat Joy” book.

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