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Any way you slice it, LO Reads is a success

It would be difficult to say that the inaugural Lake Oswego Reads event, put on by the Lake Oswego Public Library, was anything other than an undeniable success.

'It's amazing. I knew people would enjoy it but this community took to it like ducks to water,' said Cyndie Glazer, volunteer coordinator for the library.

Organizers estimated that nearly 5,000 people read 'The Shadow of the Wind' and many others who didn't, still participated in the numerous events that took place in the city during the month of February.

At the kick-off event, 800 free copies were given out by the library and its 130 available copies have been continuously checked out during this time. Grahams' Stationery also sold a few hundred copies.

'We will be interested to compare the gate count from February of last year to this year, but a number of our librarians commented that they can't remember it being this busy this time of year,' Glazer said.

Not only were the copies of the book checked out, but the library also found that its collection of books on Spanish travel, music and cooking were also hot commodities.

Glazer personally attended the majority of the events that took place all over the city at various establishments, checking out the various discussion groups, the Sangria Saturdays and the concerts and speakers that took place.

'I really appreciated it when the speakers would relate their topic to specific instances in the book or when the Millennium Concert Band would introduce a song by talking about how it was the type of music that these characters would have listened to,' Glazer said.

Glazer and others received an overwhelming positive response from those who read the book, making it virtually a foregone conclusion that the library will put on the event again next year.

'People loved getting into the Spanish culture. I think the question now is 'what country will we do next?'' Glazer said.

Currently, on the library's Web site, individuals can click on the Lake Oswego Reads Evaluation Form and give a suggestion for next year's book.

The event's closing party took place Wednesday at Lake Oswego High School and, just days before, Glazer received an e-mail from the book's author, Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Zafon said that he was 'overwhelmed by all the wonderful events you have organized around 'The Shadow of the Wind.' It is truly an honor that you have chosen one of my novels as the stepping stone of this great project.'

'It was my dream to have him come and appear at the closing event but to get an immediate response from him was fabulous,' Glazer said.

To nominate a book for next year's Lake Oswego Reads, visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/Library.

'I really want to thank our librarians who we were lucky enough to have host our book discussions and to thank the community for its participation,' Glazer said.