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Book in Common

Remember when we used to have a lot more in common?

Feather River College has selected the 2019 Book in Common — “A Fire Story” by Brian Fies. It’s hoped that as many community members as possible will read the book, discuss it and then participate in related activities throughout the year.

This is the sixth year for the program and we encourage our readers to pick up a copy. It’s billed as a quick read with timely subject matter, but what we like most is the idea that a large number of people will be on the same page, in this case quite literally.

While there is much to appreciate about the abundance of entertainment options and access to information that we all enjoy today, we can’t help but think that there was something special when those choices were more limited. What do we mean by that?

Remember when you turned on the TV and could only choose from a handful of stations? Remember when those channels signed off at 2 a.m. with the National Anthem? With limited options, people watched the same programming and went to work or school the next day with a certain commonality of experience. Programs aired once (until summer reruns) and there were no DVRs.

Saturday night meant Lawrence Welk and Sunday Night meant the Wonderful World of Disney. Who could miss “Pollyanna’?

After school meant reruns of Gilligan’s Island and Dark Shadows.

We could go on, but you get the picture. Okay so maybe we are waxing a bit nostalgic, but the point is that those are all viewing experiences that we shared in common. In a country as diverse as ours from urban to rural, with a wide array of cultures and ethnicities, those hours each week served to transcend those divides.

That’s why the Book in Common appeals to us. In our fractured society, even experienced here, we could all use a little jolt of having something in common. So let’s give this book a read and then see what happens!

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