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Spreading holiday cheer through books

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Collection boxes are up and Silverdale Barnes & Noble staff hopes to bring the joy of reading to the children of military personnel.

The holiday book drive at Barnes & Noble began Nov. 1 and the bookstore has already collected around 700 books for preschool children up to teenagers.

“It’s doing great, spectacular,” said Ruthanne Devlin, Barnes & Noble spokeswoman. “We’ve already collected more than 700 books donated by our customers.”

Books collected during this year’s holiday book drive will be donated to the local Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. The free books will be dispersed to the children of Kitsap County parents deployed overseas in all branches of the uniformed services.

“It’s our way to give the gift of literacy and show a little appreciation for the local community of service personnel,” Devlin said.

Devlin said there was “no contest” when it came to selecting this year’s beneficiary of the holiday book drive. Many Barnes & Noble employees are from military families and wanted to support their peers.

“When I put it to the staff there was really no competition,” Devlin said. “It’s absolutely amazing, the whole staff is just so jazzed about it.”

The store has collected nearly 450 books in previous book drives, but has already exceeded that number and is leading the district, which includes 11 Eastern Washington and Idaho stores.

“We know we’re leading our district, so we’re really trying to keep the steam up,” Devlin said.

Customers can select any children’s book in the store and after purchasing it, drop it in the donation box. People can personalize their donations by writing messages on a bookplates to be attached to the books. Customers also may purchase gift cards to be used to purchase hardcover picture books and may donate DVDs between now and Jan. 1. Books will later be delivered to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

The Barnes & Noble stores in the Western region are competing to see which store can collect the most books by the book drive’s conclusion on Jan. 1. The store that collects the most books wins a $500 cash donation to give to their recipient organization.

“We can win this for Navy Relief,” Devlin said. “We are one of the larger Barnes & Nobles and we have a motivated staff. We just need to cross our fingers for luck and get the word out to all our neighbors.”

For more information about the holiday book drive, call Devlin at (360) 698-1668.

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