The Tacoma Library Set Me Up on a Blind Date!

For me, reading a new book is no less a thrill than hiking a new mountain trail. In both there is the thrill of discovery and wonder. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest is rich not only in outdoors action, but also in its literary culture. Tacoma, specifically, has an excellent book scene—so much so that I often forget that reading has fallen out of favor in many parts of the country.

Whether it’s independent stores like the Tacoma Book Center or any of the excellent public libraries, Tacoma is a great city for the book-inclined. I was reminded of this recently when I visited the main-branch of the Tacoma Library and discovered a table full of gift-wrapped books.

My first assumption was that it was some sort of donation program, and I asked one of the librarians if this was, indeed, the case. Turns out I was wrong.

The books were actually part of their Blind Date With a Book program, which is running right now and will continue to July 29, 2017.

I selected a book and unwrapped it in my car. I was excited to find Sue Armitage’s Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest, published by Oregon State University Press in 2015. I say “excited” because history in general—and Pacific Northwest history in particular—are two of the Northwest Nomad’s favorite subjects (I’m also occasionally fond of talking about myself in the third person).

The book is a good read, covering its subject from 10,000 BCE to the current era. My intent with this post is more to highlight the library’s Blind Date program than to do a full review of the book itself, but suffice it to say that if the subject interests you, I highly recommend you reading it.

I discovered many brave, interesting women and stories in the pages. Reading about people overcoming hard odds has always left me inspired, and this book was no different. For that reason alone it’s worth reading.

But my pick was only one out of dozens, and the rest of the books waiting in the eaves are a complete mystery to me. That’s the fun part.

I encourage fellow Tacoma readers to give the Blind Date with a Book program a shot. You just may find something you wouldn’t have found otherwise, as was my case.

Besides, what can really go wrong? Unlike a blind date with a human being, you can just shut the book and put it away if you don’t like what it has to say.

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