PLEASANT HILL -- Everyone enjoys reading and talking about a good story says Heidi Dolamore, Pleasant Hill's senior community library manager. and there is no better way to share it than for everyone to read the same tale and talk about it.

For the second year, the Pleasant Hill Library is celebrating One City, One Book by inviting the entire community to read "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "The Lord of the Rings," trilogy, which became three Oscar-winning films.

"We chose 'The Hobbit' in anticipation of the movie coming out," said Dolamore. "It's a great book to read."

Dolamore and her fellow librarians expect that by mid-October everyone in the city will be talking about "The Hobbit." To help the discussion along, a couple of events are planned, including a Hobbit party on Oct. 9, when the library is transformed into Middle-earth.

"There'll be lots of games and activities," said Dolamore.

Among the planned activities is an elfish writing station to practice the artful craft. There will also be the necessary materials to make elf crowns and masks. And books will be available to lend to those who have not read "The Hobbit."

"We want everyone to come," said Dolamore. "It's so much fun."

Dolamore says those attending are being encouraged to dress up as a character from Middle-earth.


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The citywide reading event funded by the Friends of the Pleasant Hill Library and a grant from the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation will continue through Oct. 31.

Grant moneys are making it possible to get the book into the hands of children to read, says youth librarian Patrick Remer.

But getting a book to a child is only part of Remer's job. Getting the students to read is the other part.

"I hook them on the idea of the story," says Remer. "Books can really grab their attention and imagination."

After reading the tale of Bilbo Baggins' adventures through Middle-earth and the amazing inhabitants he encounters, some of whom will be represented at Tuesday's party, the discussions should begin.

"Reading is such a fundamental skill in every aspect of our life," says Dolamore. "It's used to balance a checkbook, buy groceries. Reading is a community value," she says. "It's important the community come together and say, 'We should read this. It's a good book.'"

Remer works with students and with teachers at some of the Pleasant Hill elementary schools encouraging them to read the book and then talk about it in class.

Families are encouraged to read the book together and talk about it, he says.

There will be an adult discussion of the book at the library Oct. 16.

There's still plenty of time to read the book and get in on the community buzz.

The library has many copies to lend.

"Our goal is to make reading fun," says Dolamore. "The more you read, the stronger your reading skills become."

if you go
What: Hobbit party for kids of all ages who can come in costume for crafts, games and fun from the land of Middle-earth
When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9

What: For adults, "The Hobbit" book discussion, or other J.R.R. Tolkien work or related subject on the author
When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16
Both events are at the Pleasant Hill Library, 1750 Oak Park Blvd., and both are free. For information on either event, call the library at 925-646-6434.