When I was younger I had a dear friend who was an avid reader and very much one who lived by the rules. She could never understand how I could not finish reading a book. In the first place, I preferred non-fiction titles and read for information and facts that I could use to drive people crazy. Second, not all books spoke to me and I found many genuinely uninteresting. I could not understand why she would insist on finishing a book that bored her to tears. I would always argue that she could try reading it later, but she never adopted that argument. So, we agreed to disagree.
I wonder if the Monroe County Library System's Online Book Club could have provided a middle ground between our positions. Have you discovered it? Each day you can read book samples from any number of genres. In a week, you can read two to three chapters from a given book. If you like it, stop by a library and pick up a copy. If not, try another title. New books in a variety of genres are offered each week. Fiction, mystery, horror, romance, science fiction, business, teen reads, non-fiction and even audio books --- all are yours to try through the magic of email and your local public library. Check out the Online Book Club at http://www.libraryweb.org.
--- Carolyn Schuler
Arts in Action for Tweens Aug 16-20. For 10- to 12-year-olds, Hochstein School, 454-4596, www.hochstein.org
Brighton Memorial Library Drop-in storytimes: Mondays, toddlers, 10:30 a.m.; Mondays, preschoolers, 11:30 a.m., Thursdays, families, 7 p.m. | Movie matinee, Fri, Aug 6, 3:30 p.m. | 2300 Elmwood Ave. 784-5300
City Summer Kids Club Mon-Fri through Sept 3. For ages 6-10, various recreation centers, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $50 per week. 428-6767, www.cityofrochester.gov
Cool Kids Thurs, Aug 5: Joe Caruso Variety Band, 7-9 p.m. | Fri, Aug 6: Belly Laugh Revue, 7-8 p.m. | Sagawa Park, Main and Erie Sts, Brockport. Free. 637-3984
Double Dutch Fun Jump Fri, Aug 6. Girl Scout Program Center, 1020 John St, W Henrietta, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 292-5160
Environmental Careers Outdoor Camp Mon-Fri, Aug 16-20. For grades 6-8, Tinker Park, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $50. 461-1000
Fred Costello Baseball Camp Tues-Wed, Aug 10-11. For kids ages 8-12. For applications: 381-2144
Henrietta Public Library Summer music concert, Wed, Aug 4, 2-2:45 p.m. | Cooking with Sandra, Wed, Aug 4, 7-8:30 p.m. | Preschool storytime, Thurs, Aug 5, 10:15-10:45 a.m. | Movie, Fri, Aug 6, 2 p.m. | Jumbles, Tues, Aug 10, grades 1-3, 10:30-11:30 a.m. | Toddler storytime, Wed, Aug 11, 10:30-11 a.m. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7093
Girls Sports Festival Sat, Aug 7. For girls ages 8-14, ESL Sports Centre, Monroe Community College, 1000 E Henrietta Rd, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $15. www.monroecountysports.org, 428-3830
Kids Café Mon-Thurs through Aug 19. Meal program for kids up to age 17, Church of Love Faith Center, 700 Exchange St, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Kids Club Mon-Fri, Aug 9-13. St. Mark's and St. John's Church, 1245 Culver Rd, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $25. 654-9229
Quad A for Kids Day Sat, Aug 7. Edgerton Park and Rec Center, Bloss and Backus Sts, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. www.quada.org.
RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium 657 East Ave. A Trip to Saturn and Pluto: 1 p.m. Mon-Sat; Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey: 2, 3, 4 p.m. Mon-Sat; 11 a.m. Tues-Fri; 8 and 9 p.m. Sat; I See the Sky: 9:30 a.m. Sat; The Sky Tonight: 10:30 a.m. Sat; The Beatles in Laser Light: 10 p.m. Sat. Reserve seats. Tix: $4-$7. 271-1880
Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005. | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006. | Live Science! demos and theater, 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m. Mon-Fri. Wed 2 p.m. show sign-interpreted. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door. | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org.
Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Bob Romanet, Hammer n Picks, Sat-Sun, Aug 7-8, 3 p.m. | BugZoo, through Wed, Aug 18. Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org.
The Stinky Cheeseman Sat, Aug 7. Storytime, ages 6 and up, Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 7 p.m. Free. 586-6020
Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Summertime musical fun, through Fri, Aug 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700
Seussical the MusicalFri-Sat, Aug 6-7. Aquinas High School, 1127 Dewey Ave, 8 p.m. $10. 234-5636
Summer Food Service Program Free lunch and breakfast for kids under 18, Mon-Fri, various sites. Call for registration and info. 428-7872, 325-1440
Vacation Bible Camp Mon-Fri, Aug 9-13. Ages 4-11, Guardian Angels Church, 2061 E Henrietta Rd, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 334-6412
Volunteers of America Universal Pre-K Programs Openings available, for 4- and 5-yr-olds, free to city residents, 100 State St or 214 Lake Ave, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 647-1344, 263-3103
I well remember bedtime stories shared with our two young daughters. They would snuggle next to us, sweet-smelling from their bath, tuckered out from a full day of play. We'd pull the stack of library books to us and dive in.
As our children learned to read themselves, our family reading sessions became fewer until they stopped altogether. I missed that family time when we came together for a short while after a busy day not only to read, but to catch up with each other.
After a hiatus of a few years, we began our family reading times again, sometimes fiction --- the Harry Potter books are fantastic for reading aloud --- and sometimes non-fiction --- Bill Bryson is always hilarious. Instead of mom or dad doing all the reading, we all take turns.
A recent Newsweek Magazine article declared that fewer people are reading as more turn to electronic entertainment. But I know we aren't the only family in Rochester that reads together. Several of our friends with children in the 10- to 15-age range say they do as well.
We aren't able to do it every night. During the summer, with its long days, we hardly read together at all. But I am looking forward to the days becoming shorter and cooler, when we will gather around one of these books again and pick up where we left off a season ago.
--- Marjorie Sangster Rolleston