Voting Opens for America’s Best-Loved Book

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    The two-hour premiere of PBS’ The Great American Read aired on Tuesday, May 22, but booksellers who missed it can catch up by watching the full episode on the PBS website.

    Carmichael's Bookstore
    Carmichael's Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky

    The eight-part series, hosted by TV personality Meredith Vieira, aims to begin a national conversation about reading by inviting readers across the country to vote for their best-loved book.

    During the premiere episode, notable American figures, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Morgan Freeman, Gabrielle Union, Chelsea Clinton, Gayle King, Margaret Atwood, and more, discussed their favorite books and how they shaped their lives. Viewers were invited to visit the PBS website to cast their vote for their favorite book from a selection of 100 titles.

    Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
    Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

    In celebration of the premiere of The Great American Read, Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky, created displays at all three locations and is planning “book brawls” for impassioned readers who want to debate the merits of nominated titles. This fall, the stores will host watch parties and prepare literary-themed snacks for customers. “Should be big, geeky fun!” said Samantha Miller.

    Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon
    Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon

    A number of other indie bookstores — including Appletree Books, Beach Books, and pages: a bookstore — shared photos on social media to drum up excitement for the premiere and encourage voting.

    pages: a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, California
    pages: a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, California

    Booksellers are encouraged to spread the word and get customers involved in voting for America’s best-loved book in the coming weeks. Here’s how:

    • Visit the PBS website to watch the premiere
    • Stock and display America’s 100 best-loved titles, which were announced April 20
    • Share the link to PBS’ voting page
    • Check out ABA’s May Red Box mailing, which included The Great American Read buttons, stickers, bookmarks, and an easel-back
    • Take advantage of PBS’ folder of downloadable assets, which includes the list of 100 featured titles as well as logos, shelf-talkers, bookmarks, and posters
    • Follow the hashtag #GreatReadPBS on social media

    Booksellers are also invited to share anecdotes, photos, and stories about their store’s celebration and promotion of The Great American Read with BTW for future coverage by e-mailing editorial@bookweb.org.