Read Across Memphis (Cont.)

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“Yes, our Twitter and Facebook lit up when we announced the event. Hopefully, people are as excited about reading a book as they are about the good weather. We’re excited! There's nothing like a side of vitamin D to go with a good book.”

That’s Kevin Dean, executive director of Literacy Mid-South, writing by email, and the forecast for Saturday, March 15th, calls for temperatures in the mid-60s — warm enough to celebrate “Read Across America” Month out of doors with a flash mob at the Greeensward in Overton Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Your job: show up along with family, friends, and pets. (Whole book clubs welcome too.) Bring a picnic if you want. And while you’re at it, do some reading. (Special prizes for those seen reading Literacy Mid-South’s 2014 Books of Choice: Neversink and Life Is So Good.) Make it, in short, a real mob scene.

“Every year in March, we have tried to top ourselves with bigger, better, funner ideas for families and friends to get together to have a shared reading experience,” Dean wrote. “The Reading Flash Mob came from the staff bitterly walking to lunch every day in the cold. As we walked, someone on staff said, ‘I can't wait until I can read a book in the park.’ A light bulb came on above all of our heads.

“We’re hoping for as many people as possible on Saturday. We will be giving away about $6,000 worth of kids’ and adult books and giving away more than $2,500 worth of reading-related T-shirts from our Bookworm store. We’ll have a tent set up too, so people can stop by and learn more about the programs Literacy Mid-South offers. If we have a big success this year, we are going to try to get in the Guinness Book of World Records next year when we try it again!” •

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