While most people think of television when they hear PBS, the Public Broadcast Service is doing its best to shine the light on books and the Scotland County library is hoping to take advantage of the publicity.
On May 22nd, PBS launched a special program entitled the Great American Read. The eight-part series explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey).
While the television programming investigates how and why the writers created their fictional worlds, how readers are affected by these stories and what these 100 different books have to say about a diverse nation and shared human experience, Scotland County Memorial Library is doing its best to make sure its patrons have access to the literary works.
“The library now has a Great American Read display featuring books in our collection that are featured in the Great American Read by PBS,” said librarian Melissa Schuster. “PBS has created a list of 100 books included in the Great American Read. Copies of the list can be picked up at the library and people can check off titles they have read.”
The PBS television series, which is set to start up again on September 11th, with the final seven episodes airing weekly on Tuesday evening s at 7 p.m., features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country.
The two-hour launch episode, which originally aired May 22, but can still be viewed on demand at the PBS website, revealed the list of 100 books.
The following one-hour episodes will examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, such as the September 25th episode entitled Heroes or the October 2nd show called “Villains and Monsters”.
The Grand Finale episode scheduled for October 23rd will announce the results of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.
Schuster said the library is encouraging patrons to check out the Great American Read, get into as many of the books as possible and to be sure to go to PBS online to vote for their favorite.
PBS representatives echo those sentiments, noting the series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.
A public opinion survey performed by “YouGov” for PBS helped identify the 100-best loved fiction novels from among 7,200 participants, with a panel of 13 literary industry professionals assisting PBS in narrowing the final list to 100.
The list includes a wide variety of listings from 20th century American classics, thrillers, young adult novels, sci-fi/fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, and romantic stories, published as recent as 2016 to all the way back to the 1600s.
Voting opened May 22 and will remain open until October 18, 2018. Readers can vote online at the PBS Great American read website, or can do so on Facebook or Twitter using the official hashtag for the voter’s favorite book, which can be found on the PBS approved list at the website or the Scotland County Library.