People in and around Gloversville are following the path of a man who overcame stressful times in his life and found peace in the mountains with his dog.
The Gloversville Library on Friday announced Tom Ryan’s “Following Atticus” is the subject of Gloversville READS! 2013, a six-week event that will bring people closer not only to reading but to mountain adventures and pets as well.
Since the book was published, Ryan has drawn a following of more than 12,000 people to his blog, and Gloversville Library Director Barbara Madonna said his book won by more than 80 percent in final voting.
After the book was chosen, Madonna said it was clear the Gloversville event will be drawing guests from outside the area.
One of several events planned to celebrate the community reading effort is an April 20 visit from Ryan and Atticus, a visit people from out of the area are planning to attend.
Madonna said people started posting their intentions on Friday when the winning book was posted to the library’s Facebook page, some asking whether there are any pet-friendly hotels in the area.
“It’s generated some interest outside the community,” Madonna said.
Since dogs are a primary theme, this year’s event is bringing on the Brennan Memorial Humane Society and Regional Animal Shelter as partners.
Up until the end of April, the Gloversville Library is waiving fines and instead asking patrons to donate new items that can help the shelter’s occupants. These include bleach, cat toys, dish soap, disinfecting cleaners, dog treats, dry dog and cat food and others.
The schedule includes a “drawing animals” day for kids at the library, book discussions, and a presentation on hiking the Adirondacks by the Foothills Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. A presentation by Broadalbin resident Doug Hill, owner of a champion schnauzer, will highlight the world of show dogs, and a Saturday Craft & StoryTime event will focus on dogs as a theme.
“I think we’ve got a lot of different programs that are going to be of interest to different people,” Madonna said.
The READS program, she said, not only brings people closer to reading, but also to their community and activities. “I think instead of just reading a book and putting it back on a shelf, it gives you a lot of different ways to explore similar themes,” she said.
Reading “Following Atticus” may prompt some to explore the mountains of New Hampshire, like Ryan and Atticus, or just the mountains virtually in their backyard, the Adirondacks. But for now, those participating have a single task: read the book.
Mysteries on Main Street, located at 144 W. Main St. in Johnstown, is carrying the book for those interested in buying it and copies are also available for loan at the library.
The library is also carrying copies of the children’s companion book, “Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle” by Major Brian Dennis, so young citizens can join in on the reading activity.
A full calendar of events for Gloversville READS! 2013 can be found on the library’s website, www.gloversvillelibrary.org.