MARQUETTE COUNTY — March is National Reading Month. One local nonprofit that is centered on reading and literacy all year long is participating in some community events this month to promote that cause.
Melissa Derby is the owner and president of the Read UP Bookmobile. A self–proclaimed bookworm, Derby collects books that are no longer wanted. She checks them for quality, cleans them up, and redistributes them at local events for free.
Her goal is to keep books circulating in the community rather than have them being thrown out.
“I don’t like to see books being thrown away,” said Derby. “It started when I lived out in Sawyer. One of the thrift stores out there was going to throw away their books. And I said, ‘Don’t do that. I will find a home for them.’ I always say I’m a book re–homer. So I went to the VA and the nursing homes, and once they were filled a surplus more. So I put them out on a table out in my yard and posted to Facebook, ‘Free books! Stop by my house.'”
Derby says that literacy is a key component to success. National Reading Month is a great opportunity for everyone to pick up a book, especially if they haven’t done so in a while.
“I believe that’s the foundation for anybody to even build yourself up,” Derby said. “If you can understand the English language, you can build yourself from the bottom up. It’s a foundation. So National Reading Month is a good reminder to pick up a book and read a few pages or read a chapter, or maybe even the whole book if you get a chance, by the end of the month.”
The Read UP Bookmobile will be at the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum on March 12, a craft and rummage sale at Aspen Ridge School on the 14th, and Silver Creek Church Ladies Night on the 21st.
More information on those events can be found on the Read UP Bookmobile Facebook page.