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Friday February 12th, 2016 7:24AM

Hall Book Exchange reads around the clock for literacy

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - For the fifth year in a row, avid readers kept their books open and their reading glasses on for 24 hours straight, all to raise awareness for the need for increased adult literacy in Hall County.

The read-a-thon is the brainchild of Hall Book Exchange owner Myra Meade. This year's event took place Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26.

"We've had a lot of readers, a lot of authors-15 authors-this weekend," said Meade. "We're very thankful for all the people who care about adult literacy in Hall County."

Meade stayed at her bookstore on Thompson Bridge Road for the entire 24-hour span, but she said she kept busy and that kept her energized.

Children's author Elaine Birchfield made the trip from North Carolina to read her two books aloud.

"I've done a lot of events for children in schools and libraries, but this really goes for a good cause, and I'm proud to be part of it," said Birchfield.

While this year's event didn't raise quite as much cash as previous events, it still met the goal of raising awareness of the county's problem with adult literacy, according to Dorothy Shinafelt, the Executive Director of the Gainesville-Hall County Alliance for Literacy.

"In 2010, census figures show about 25% of adults in the area have a literacy level below high school proficiency," said Shinafelt. She said the numbers could be greater, since the census is not always an accurate barometer because it a document that is voluntarily completed.

For those who did not have an opportunity to participate in the read-a-thon, Shinafelt said donations can be made to the Alliance at any time. See the link to the website below for further information.
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