Celebrate with Books: March is National Reading Month

By: Amber Ogden | March 18, 2015

March is National Reading Month, and that means it’s time to crack open a new book. Put down your e-reader for now, give your eyes a rest from that glaring screen and indulge in the best thing there is: getting lost in a good book.

While plenty of Detroit area schools have been celebrating Reading Month in order to excite children, there is plenty for Metro Detroiters of all ages to be thrilled about when it comes to reading. Whether it’s a local bookstore, book club or literacy program, there’s plenty to read in the D.

Local Bookstores

Nicola’s Books, 2513 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor, is an independent bookstore with what seems like limitless options. Nicola’s often holds events, such as this one coming up on Saturday, where you can bring your child to practice reading with Rikki the Golden Retriever. There are also author meet and greet events at Nicola’s—I had a hoot watching Jen Lancaster read an excerpt from one of her books here a few years ago. Note that one of Nicola’s staff select books from 2014 is “Bird Box” by Detroit’s own Josh Malerman!

Next Chapter Bookstore & Bistro, 141 E. Main St., Northville, combines two of my favorite things: literature and food! At the bookstore, you’ll find titles for all ages, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, the friendly staff will special order it for you. The bistro offers everything from coffee to gluten free treats to sandwiches and crepes.

The Books Connection, 19043 Middlebelt Rd., Livonia, and Read it Again Books, 39733 Grand River Ave., Novi, are two additional bookstores worth checking out whether it’s National Reading Month or not!

Donate Books/Volunteer

What better way to celebrate National Reading Month than by giving a book to someone who perhaps can’t afford one? Bookstock is a used book and media sale that takes place at Laurel Park Place, 37700 Six Mile Rd., Livonia, at the end of April. Before the event can be a raging success, donations are needed! Since all of the books at the sale are donated, that means it’s up to you to make it a hit. Additionally, if you’d like to volunteer, you can help sort books every Wednesday through April 8 at the Jewish Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Book donation drop-off sites can be found here.

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan is aiming to raise $40,000 to purchase 13,000 books for local children. You can help reach this goal by donating any amount of money to the cause online.

Like many local libraries, the Northville District Library, 212 W. Cady St., Northville, accepts donations of gently used books to benefit the library. You can also give directly to the library through a monetary donation.

Local Book Clubs

If you want to make lifelong friendships, why not start with those who share the same interests as you? If you’re a book aficionado, join a group of fellow book readers! There are plenty in Metro Detroit, such as The Book Club of Detroit. The group meets most every month beginning in March of every year and going through December. Stay tuned to upcoming events by keeping an eye on the Book Club’s Facebook page. Become a member before the Bacon Memorial District Library Tour in Wyandotte on Saturday, April 18!

Find additional Metro Detroit book clubs via this handy meetup site that allows you to find local book clubs close to your city.

Literacy Programs

Perhaps you or someone you know struggles with reading. If that’s the case, there’s no better time than National Reading Month to get some instruction. The Detroit Public Library offers a Detroit Reads! program for adults that provides one-on-one tutoring, computer skill training, reading practice kits and more.

Detroit Literacy Coalition and Pro Literacy Detroit are two additional organizations that provide excellent reading programs.

No matter how you celebrate National Reading Month, be sure to walk into a bookstore and page through an actual book. Set your phone, tablet and computer down and allow yourself one of life’s most simple pleasures: relaxing with a book!