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King County Libraries unveil giant book covers

Scott Schaefer
B-Town blog
A 6 foot tall poster for the book "Appaloosa" by Robert B. Parker is displayed outside the Tin Theater movie house in Burien.

They say you can’t tell a book by its cover.  But maybe coming face to face with one that towers over you will entice you to read a little more.  At least that’s the hope of the King County Library system.

Huge, 6 foot tall posters of book jacket covers have been placed next to coffee shops, paint stores, law firms and other small businesses on main streets in Burien, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Renton, Issaquah, Kirkland and on Vashon Island.  It’s called the Book Cover Walking Tour.

Call the number listed on the posters and you’ll hear snippets from the books. The information is also available online. The walking tour was dreamed up by a King County Library staffer who was inspired by a museum exhibit in London that featured large reproductions of literary classics.

Library spokeswoman Marsha Iverson says the goal is to make library books a visible part of the community.

“It’s a way for people to encounter books and reading in surprising places,” she said.

The walking tour project is part of the King County Library system’s year long “Take Time to Read” campaign. A lot of reading efforts focus on kids, but this one is aimed primarily at encouraging adults to check out library books. The idea is that we can all steal little bits of time to read, whether we’re sitting in a ferry line or waiting in the dentist office.

The big book covers will be on display through May.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.