Act Locally Waco “Books Matter” Project to Promote Reading In Waco Community

Press ReleaseMarch is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! 

The Act Locally Waco blog and on-line newsletter are beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” The purpose of the blog series is to spark the urge to read by sharing stories about books that matter to Waco residents.  “We hope to share a story a day every day throughout National Reading Month,” says Act Locally Waco founder and blog editor, Ashley Bean Thornton.  “I can’t tell you how much I love this project!  I have edited 23 of the posts so far, and every single one of them is a beautiful tribute to reading.” 

Thornton worked with Amber Adamson from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media to create the blog series.  Journalism students from Professor Adamson’s classes interviewed a wide variety of Wacoans about books that have mattered to them. “The students did a fantastic job,” says Thornton.  “Some of the posts are quite moving.”

The list of interviewees ranges from Mayor Kyle Deaver, and County Commissioner Patricia Chisolm-Miller, to WISD Teacher of the Year Ashley Toscano, and legendary Baylor football coach, Grant Teaff, among many others.  From children’s books to self-published books, each post explores the interviewee’s personal story of why books matter.

“It was an effective way to pull together a list of powerful books read by influential people in our community,” Professor Amber Adamson, who helped coordinate the series, says. “How cool is it to know what’s on the mayor’s bookshelf, or to know what our local nonprofit leaders read to inspire them?”

“To take people around the community and say, ‘This person loves this book and you might love it too’ puts a really nice personal connection to a specific title,” Community Services Supervisor at the Waco-McLennan County Library, Jessica Emmett, says. “For a lot of people, especially in a smaller town, it’s a great way for them to explore the world.”

The blog posts will start being released on March 1 and will continue until the end of the month. Visit to read the posts, and visit Waco-McLennan County Library or Fabled Bookshop & Café to read the books.

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