POINT PLEASANT — Sometimes a book can be the perfect escape from a reality that is full of trying times.
For many who are living at the homeless shelter in Point Pleasant, their lives have taken a turn of crisis and uncertainty that, at times, doesn’t let up.
On Wednesday, members of the Avalanche Community Educational Outreach Service Club brought free books to the shelter — new books that were obtained by member Marilyn Clarke.
Clarke happened to read about “World Book Night,” which was April 23, and has a mission of giving out a half-million free books across America on that day. “World Book Night” is a campaign to give these new paperbacks to light or non-readers to promote reading in the community. Books are being shared in places across America like hospitals, mass transit, nursing homes, food pantries, underfunded schools and more.
The ladies from Avalanche CEOS were giving out books to not only those at the shelter, but residents at Pleasant Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” was the title chosen to be distributed to the shelter and nursing home by members of the Avalanche club. It’s a novel that tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island. The story is told through a combination of narrative and vernacular photographs from the personal archives of collectors listed by the author. This book has been a New York Times Bestseller and the copies the Avalanche Club distributed were brand new, complete with bookmarks celebrating “World Book Night” which just happens to fall on Shakespeare’s birthday.
Clarke, who is an avid reader herself, was inspired to give the gift of books with help from her club members. She said she hopes the gifts will help others learn to enjoy reading.
Teresa Gleason, who is part of the senior staff at the homeless shelter, said any gifts are appreciated and used. She said as of that day, there were 11 adults and two children living at the shelter.