One Book One Family

Thank you to Mary Lettieri-Strenchock, an HTFL customer, for sharing her story!

My 14 year-old niece and goddaughter lives in Virginia.  Since I live in Havertown, we were looking for ways to stay connected.  We decided a good way would be to read the same book at the same time.
I had picked to read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because my mother first gave it to me to read when I was fifteen years old.  I had re-read it several times and felt the story would resonate with my niece.  It was a book that could be shared despite our age difference and has meaning to both of us.  We picked July 13 -through  August 13 to read the novel since this was during her summer vacation and she did not have other school work to complete.
When other members of our family learned that we were planning on reading Pride and Prejudice they wanted to join us.  What started as two increased to ten members of our family ranging in age from 14 to 69 reading Pride and Prejudice from three states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia).  Some of our family members chose to listen to Pride and Prejudice as a book on CD.
As the leader, I would send weekly updates with information about the author, background information of the book and other tidbits and how it influenced society through movies or other venues.   This would lead to discussion among our family readers.
One Book, One Family showed us how reading a book can bring us together despite age, distance and time.   Our family became stronger and closer for it.  During that one month all of us were sharing our experiences as we read Pride and Prejudice as first time and repeat readers.  We were able to draw parallels to some events that were occurring in our own lives and gain new insights on the novel.
One Book, One Family was so successful, that as a family we are going to do it again this summer.  This summer will have new family members who want to join us as we read another timeless story, Anne of Green Gables.  Our new and youngest reader will be 8 years old.  Her mother is planning on reading it to her as a bed time story.  
In addition, One Book, One Family will be going INTERNATIONAL.  One of my nieces will be an exchange student this summer in Africa.  In addition to email, this year we will also be using Facebook. 
Haverford Township Free Library was essential to the success of One Book, One Family.  The librarians helped me to obtain copies of the book (audio and print) on loan from other libraries.  The librarians were excited for our family and very supportive throughout our reading of Pride and Prejudice.  I am a regular library user and will be seeking the library's assistance again this summer for Anne of Green Gables.