National Read A Book Day

Published 8:59 am Friday, August 31, 2018

A new month. September. The first weekend is the last of our long summer weekends. Near the end of the month, summer officially ends. And, by the closing of September, we will be into daylight savings time and have seen dozens of special days, interesting events, lots of football and overall a great month for the enjoyment of family and friends.

Among all these possibilities is something labeled “National Read a Book Day.” Not many of us will read a complete book in one day. But, most of us have some favorite books we might want to re-read, know of some authors we would like to become acquainted with, or remember an old book that we heard of in high school but never read.

And, we could start a book on September 6 with those thoughts in mind. Visit the library and learn about new books that are on the shelves. Think about books that might appeal to your children or grandchildren. Consider some best-sellers.

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, with more than 5 billion copies sold and distributed before the end of the 20th century.

“Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling is reported to be the best-selling book series in history. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” first published in 1865, sold more than 100 million copies.

Living here in the tri-state area practically in the shadow of Cumberland Gap, there’s great interest in the history of the Gap, of Middlesboro and of the region. And, there are lots of non-fiction books to interest both young and old.

Consider Ann Dudley Matheny’s book “The Magic City: Footnotes to the History of Middlesborough, Kentucky, and the Yellow Creek Valley,” for a starting point. Or read Martha Evans Wiley’s book in the Images of America Series, “Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.”

Two books that have been on recent national best-seller lists offer insights into our ancestors as well as our neighbors and friends here and throughout Appalachia. One is “Born Fighting” by former United States Senator from Virginia Jim Webb; the other is “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” written by J. D. Vance who grew up in Eastern Kentucky and Middletown, Ohio.

Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, and whether you read much or little, these are a few of many books not just for “National Read a Book Day” but for the days and months ahead.

William H. Baker, native of Claiborne County and former resident of Middlesboro, may be contacted at wbaker@limestone.edu