By Rachel Shirey
JONESBORO—The Clayton County Headquarters Library brings the world of reading to life with its biannual Scholastic book fair.
Books are being offered for half price to bring more affordable books into the community and into the hands of local children.
Janice Arcuria, assistant director of youth services, said the book fair is a step toward encouraging life-long readers and life-long learners.
“The reading skills we’re trying to encourage here is reading for pleasure,” Arcuria said. “Not so much caring what a child reads, but make sure they like to read because a lot of kids and teens only read for school, and also they need to see the parents reading so there are things in here for the parents as well.”
The Clayton County Headquarters Library will host the book fair through Saturday, but will return in June.
Aside from trying to encourage the local youth to read for pleasure, the library is also struggling to earn books for their Summer Reading Program.
The Library will earn paperback books based on a percentage of gross sales from the books they sell to the community.
Last summer, 1,547 children and teens read at least 18 books, or for 12 hours, to qualify for a free book. More than 4,800 students participated last year, and Arcuria said the library officials hope more will participate next year.
The book fair is offering a range of fiction titles from “The Hunger Games” to popular cook books and cardboard books for infants.
Books are also divided into organized subsections such as African American interest, Christian interest, Spanish books, T.V. and movie tie-in books, and books by age group.
Arcuria said customers have been coming through at a consistent pace and that they aren’t necessarily shopping for their own families.
“A lot of people who have been coming in have been buying for charities type projects,” Arcuria said. “One lady was buying books for a school in Nicaragua so she bought the Spanish ones. We have people coming in who were buying books for like the Angel Tree kids and foster kids, so they came in to buy more so their money would stretch. And, of course, we have a lot of teachers buying for their schools.”
Items for sale range from 25 cents for pencils to $25 for book sets, but the majority of items can be purchased for anywhere between $2 and $10.