Karen Bradley, coordinator of the One County One Book event at the Schenectady County Library, is remaining tight-lipped about the five books now considered finalists. County residents have been casting their votes during the past few months, throughout the county's five libraries.
The wait will end next week, when the five titles are announced on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
We are so excited. There was so much enthusiasm with our second read last year that when we opened up the nomination phase for this third community read, the response was overwhelming, said Bradley.
Bradley did reveal that two of the books chosen are non-fiction. The first two years had all fiction nominees. She also said that four out of five authors are still living, and that the book with a deceased author is a staple in school curricula. Bradley said the nomination of this book brought the committee to schools to talk with educators about the choice of this book.
"One of the nominated books is an older one that remains relevant to our times. We went to school officials to get their opinions on how they thought the title would relate to our readers," said Bradley.
Bradley said that the criteria for the selected books are simple; they must be in paperback, be available in large print and have the option of audiotape. She said while this cuts out some popular books, it is also allows everyone to participate.
"We take a lot of time to ensure that our selected finalists are books with wide appeal and accessibility. A successful community read connects with males and females, old and young," said Bradley.
The research for the book choosing committee includes talking with libraries around the country. Bradley said they seek out communities which have already chosen the particular title and they look to see what the response was. The library has already ordered extra copies of the nominated titles to encourage people to read all five before voting during the eight-week period. The winning title will then be announced in mid-October.