The few months I have interned at Mountain Lake PBS have been incredible to say the least. As a Public Relations major at SUNY Oswego, the experience and information I have gained from interning here has been above and beyond what I imagined possible. I can say without a doubt, that when I return to Oswego in the fall as a Sophomore, I will be ready to tackle any task thrown my way. This is in part due to my work and the tremendous amount of effort everyone here at Mountain Lake PBS has put into The Great American Read.
When I first heard about a nationwide campaign to search for “America’s best-loved book”, it seemed daunting. Out of all the great titles out there, spanning centuries of writing, how could we decide on just one great book? A day of conversing with the Plattsburgh community and I had found the answer.
Our first stop of the day was the Koffee Kat, an espresso bar located at 104 Margaret St. The atmosphere immediately swept me off my feet. The vibrant colors radiating off the walls creates a welcoming retreat from the uncertainty of the world. The barista, who was more than happy to allow us to interact with the customers, even took some time to discuss The Great American Read herself.
The cafe discussions were a great start to the day. We discussed some favorites from the list; Gilead, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Grapes of Wrath just to name a few. We even talked about those that some feel shouldn’t have made the list (Fifty Shades of Grey being a theme throughout the day). After thanking everyone for there time, we continued our adventure throughout the city. Our next stop was the Plattsburgh Public library.
Greeted with a refreshing wave of AC, we made our rounds throughout the library, stopping and discussing wherever we were welcomed. One discussion in particular focused on the more modern favorites (the Harry Potter series being the ultimate winner of the discussion).
One final stop of the day was Bookburgh, a fantastic bookstore located in the Champlain Centre Mall. Here we were met by a display of local author’s work, proudly displayed for their accomplishments. We took some time to discuss the wide range of local works, from sports history to the founding of the City of Plattsburgh. Each topic molding its way into a new one, always with a rich tale to tell. Just from one conversation I gained a deeper understanding of an area I never knew too much about.
This is when I found the answer to my question: What is the best book?
There is none.
There is not one book, great and beyond the reach of others. The greatness of “The Great American Read” is the journey. When I first set out on that day in order to talk to the community, I had no idea what would be discussed (certainly had no thought of actually finding the answer). The conversations allowed me to interact with those I might not of met otherwise and develop pride, not just for Plattsburgh, but for the communities I have grown up around. Living in Tupper Lake, Plattsburgh has always been a place I visit whenever I get the chance. I have friends who live here, family in the area, and now through Mountain Lake PBS, a deeper appreciation.
To both Mountain Lake PBS, and those who support the work we do here, thank you.