I don’t know about you, but after this year, I’m really ready for a good escape.

Unfortunately, public health experts don’t recommend the usual escapes like vacations and parties at this point. But I’m one of those people who can use a book to find some release from a crummy situation.

However, a book doesn’t give you some of the human interaction other types of escape can. And as an extrovert, I’m missing that.

Fortunately, Pikes Peak Library District has a program this fall that provides books, community interaction and learning opportunities all in one.

May I present All Pikes Peak Reads, PPLD’s annual program geared toward celebrating literature, improving community connection, and fostering dialogue across social, cultural, and generational lines.

All Pikes Peak Reads is returning this year in a fully virtual format. The way it works is our staff select titles for three age groups — adults, young adults and children. Then, we turn our entire community into a giant book club by hosting programs about the books for you to attend!

This year’s titles explore themes of hope and resiliency, poignant subject matter as we navigate the pandemic both individually and together as a community. By reading them, you’ll experience some incredible in-book adventures and be able to get the most out of our county’s largest book club.

Our selected adult title is “The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue. For young adults, we selected “All the Impossible Things” by Lindsay Lackey (a former PPLD employee!), and for children, “The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA” by Brenda Woods. Simply check the books out (as a physical book, eBook, or audiobook), experience the stories, and join us for some fantastic programs — including book discussion groups, visits with each of the authors, and more.

While it won’t be quite the same as attending a book club or author visit in-person, I still look forward to the virtual format this year. Everyone’s schedules are so hectic and I hope that offering these events virtually will allow more of you to join us for these great conversations.

The author visits, in particular, are events you don’t want to miss. Each author will give a brief presentation, then open it up to a group Q-and-A. The first one takes place on Thursday, Oct. 22, so you still have plenty of time to read or listen to the book before the event! Although, I know forgetting to read the book before the book club meeting is a tale as old as time, so please feel free to join even if you haven’t gotten the time to read.

Our All Pikes Peak Reads format will be new this year, but the program will be just as valuable as it has been in years past. Learn more, find a link to check out the books, and register for the programs by visiting ppld.org/appr. I hope you’ll join me in enjoying this brief escape from reality.

Kayah Swanson is director of public relations and marketing for Pikes Peak Library District. She’s a former journalist turned nonprofit communicator. Reach Kayah with any questions at kswanson@ppld.org.

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