Traverse City READS! is a community-reading event designed to bring people together by reading and discussing one great book each year.  TC READS not only encourages people to read, but strives to increase their sense of community by creating a common topic for conversation and an opportunity to engage in discussions on a variety of subjects inspired by the yearly selection.  2011 marks the 10th year of TC READS, making it one of the longest running “one book, one community” projects in Michigan.


TC READS celebrates the joys of reading and the common threads that unite us as a community by encouraging everyone to read and discuss a selected book each year.  This shared experience strengthens both area literacy and community ties.


Victoria Sutherland of Foreword Magazine and Richard Schneider, a Traverse Area District Library (TADL) librarian, founded TC READS in 2001.  Their goal was to create a community literacy program based on the successful “one book, one community” program begun by librarian Nancy Pearl in Seattle, Washington.  An important part of the initiative is to bring the author to town for a public presentation.  Since 2001, TC READS had brought 10 renowned authors to Traverse City to further engage the community in the reading experience.

TC READS is supported by generous gifts from the Friends of Traverse Area District Library and many local businesses and philanthropic individuals.  TC READS operates as a 501c3 organization, under the wing of the Friends of TADL.

 Book Selection Guidelines

The TC READS steering committee selects the book using the following guidelines:

  • A recent work by a major author who is available to visit Traverse City for a public presentation.
  • Reading level and content appropriate for upper grade level high school and college students and community members.
  • Themes and issues relevant to the Traverse City areas and suitable to group discussion and analysis
  • Topics that will appeal to both young adults and the general community.
  • Subjects that lends themselves to community-wide programming and special activities.