Whatcom READS is a county-wide program that encourages everyone to read and discuss the same book. It is organized by all the public and academic libraries in Bellingham and Whatcom County and us, their community partner. They receive significant funding from Friends of the Bellingham Public Library and Whatcom County Library Foundation, and support from other local businesses and organizations. Your purchase with us helps to support the Whatcom READS programming since Village Books donates 10% of every sale of Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk to Whatcom READS.
Each year, a new book is selected by Whatcom READS organizers. Community members are encouraged to read or listen to the book, share it with family, friends and neighbors, and participate in programs and special events that follow the book’s themes. Each series culminates with a visit by the author of the selected book, who makes numerous free-of-charge public presentations at locations throughout the county.
Through all the books explored and authors hosted, their goal has been simple: creating an annual literary happening that gets people talking about great literature and sharing the joy of reading and discussing books.
Whatcom READS was modeled after the highly successful Seattle Reads program, which began in the late ’90s and became a national phenomenon. Communities large and small across the country now host similar programs to wide acclaim.
Thanks to the dedication of their partners, the generosity of contributing business and organizations, and some really excellent visiting authors, they have become the premier literary series in our area.
The Whatcom READS selection for 2023 is Red Paint: An Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe.
An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home.
Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She received a double MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.
We have an exciting line-up of Whatcom READS events! Keep an eye out here to see what we have planned!