I'm really excited that the tenth anniversary of Get Caught Reading is this month! Now that, I thought, is something people really want to hear about. Founded by former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder when she headed the Association of American Publishers, Get Caught Reading partners (don't you just hate verbified nouns or visa versa?) with celebrities, real or imagined, to promote literacy. Mainly, this seems to involve creating posed posters of celebs like "Laura Bush, Drew Carey... or Donald Duck" (I quote the AAP website) reading books. This is very similar, identical actually, to the American Library Association READ posters campaign which features celebs, r or i, reading b's.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Librarians love literacy. And books. And stuff like that. But wouldn't it be cool if the paparazzi would chase down celebrities and really catch them reading whatever it is they really read besides scripts? News flash: Joe Famous-Person caught exiting a nightclub's back door trying to hide a well-thumbed copy of War and Peace, begging for some space to finish the last 700 pages, throws the heavy tome at a photographer. The photographer sues for mental anguish and assault with a deadly book . Now that's a poster that would promote reading!
And since I'm imagining the impossible here, let's imagine a world where professional library organizations don't feel the need to come up with these dorky, embarrassing campaigns to promote reading and libraries. Or maybe ALA and AAP would promise to cease and desist if the American people promise to check out ten books a week from their local libraries. Is it a deal?
Picture: What is Joe Alexander reading?