Now, I like reality tv as much as the next girl, but when I joined a book club this fall, I was reminded why reading feels so good. Sure, it’s especially easy to curl up with a good book now that the weather is showing its autumnal face (a cup off coffee, with a side of pumpkin spice candle sweeten the deal) – but there are actual scientific-based reasons to read. Diving into a page-turner offers benefits like an increase in intelligence and empathy, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, better sleep, and even the benefit of contagion – more than 40 percent of frequent readers ages six through 10 were read to out loud at home.
Furthering the cause to increase health and happiness is a little project called Tower Free Library. Started by residents of the Tower District, this group is behind the “little free libraries” found outside of homes and businesses in the Tower neighborhood. Their sole mission: to bring more reading into our community. Thumbs up.
In October, Tower Free Library launched a new, monthly event called Blind Date with a Book. Intrigued? Here’s how it works:
- Attendees pay $2 for one book/$3 for two books/$5 for three books.
- You won’t know the title/author of the books – each book is wrapped paper, with a short, catchy description written on the outside.
- Sticking with the blind date theme…readers are asked not to unwrap their mystery book until they leave (if you don’t love your book, returns are OK!).
- Inside each book is a Rate Your Date bookmark; fill it out and return it for $1 off (per bookmark) your next event admission!
Sounds great, right? Oh wait, the plot thickens! A perk parents will love is the free library filled up with children’s books, for those book-loving kiddos. The children’s books are free to read and/or take (also a hidden agenda to occupy the kiddos while parents/guardians browse their “blind dates”).
Want to hear the surprise ending to this blind date story? Proceeds from each monthly Blind Date with a Book event go to a reading and/or literacy program in the Central Valley! October’s event proceeds went to the Head Start program at the Ted C. Wills Community Center, November’s proceeds go to Storyland, December’s proceeds go to Kit’s Kits backpacks for the homeless, January’s event benefits the Valley Arts & Science Academy (VASA) library and reading programs. The community love is strong with this one.
“Many attendees said they had never seen anything like Blind Date With a Book in Fresno, so we are so excited to bring this to our little neighborhood,” said a rep from Tower Free Library. “We are hoping that other Tower District businesses see how successful these events are in drawing in a lot of foot traffic. We were amazed with October’s turnout and positive feedback, we nearly sold out of over 100 books!”
So, check out Tower Free Library on Facebook, sign up or show up to the next Blind Date with a Book event on Sunday, November 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Gazebo Gardens Nursery, and go on a blind date that’s actually good for you!
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