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Library makes reading social

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad Reads Together, a communitywide reading program launched by the city’s beloved library, will celebrate its sixth year by reading “Travels with Charley” by John Steinbeck this April.
Coinciding with National Library Week, the program was launched to encourage Carlsbad residents to read and dissect the book — which details the author’s cross-country trip with his poodle Charley — as a community. Free events will be held at the library’s three branches to allow residents the opportunity to do just that.
“Libraries have always been about connecting people with ideas,” Library Director Heather Pizzuto said. “Carlsbad Reads Together gives us an opportunity to show how the library can make a difference in our lives.”
Residents participating in this year’s reading are invited to meet at the library’s scheduled book club meetings and other events, including a travel writing workshop and a presentation of the “Grapes of Wrath” by the Carlsbad Playreaders. Not only will readers have an opportunity to gain insight into one of America’s best-loved authors, they will also have the chance to learn from each other.
“Carlsbad Reads Together presents an opportunity to gain new perspective on a single book,” she said.
Although the program just launched, the library’s patrons have wasted no time in getting behind this year’s reading. Several have already submitted pictures of their own cross-country travels to the library, while another has graciously loaned several different printings of the book for display, Pizzuto said.
The culmination of this year’s program will be the highly anticipated Steinbeck Celebration, featuring an appearance from someone who knew the author best — his son. Thomas Steinbeck shares the same knack for writing possessed by his father and will speak about both of their work on April 24 at the Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, 1775 Dove Lane, Pizzuto said.
Steinbeck expert Dr. Susan Shillinglaw will also speak as part of the Steinbeck Celebration to provide even more insight into the Nobel-prize winning author’s life and work as part of the program’s ongoing events. She is a Scholar-in-Residence at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.
While all the events are free, readers should secure tickets to the Thomas Steinbeck event as seating is limited and expected to fill up quickly. For more information on the Carlsbad Reads Together program and related events, call (760) 602-2026 or visit