Cannon Lanes, library team up for reading

Freedom New Mexico: Eric Butler Nahume Mosby, 9, selects a book from the shelves at the Cannon Air Force Base Library.

By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico

Reading and bowling generally don’t seem to fit together, but it’s apparently a good combination for approximately 300 kids this summer at Cannon Air Force Base.

The Cannon Library and Cannon Lanes have teamed up to offer a little extra incentive for both activities. A program called “Book Over To Bowling” rewards participants with a free game of bowling every time five books are read.

It started on May 26 and will continue until August 14.

“We were looking for things to do for the kids in the summertime and we came on over to the library, because they always have lots of things.” said Sharon Mosby who moved with her family to Cannon at the end of last summer.

Mosby’s nine-year-old daughter Nahume, who said her favorite books are the “Baby Mouse” series, is taking part. Exactly how many books have been read is something Nahume Mosby couldn’t answer, but she has gone bowling twice to redeem her library-issued punch cards for free games.

“I really don’t know, but I’ve read a lot,” said Nahume, who added her high score at the lanes was a 126.

“Especially with all this technology, this texting and all this stuff going on, they still need to read,” Sharon Mosby said. “A lot of times, when they get on computers and these little hand-held gadgets, they don’t have to read to just figure it out.

“But reading is still one of the fundamental things — I like to see them read,” she added.

Melissa Haraughty, head librarian at Cannon Library, said that 280 kids enrolled for the summer reading program but added that she felt more were involved in Book Over To Bowling.

The majority of participants are between six and 12 years old, although teenagers have also signed up.

Haraughty said that the teens this summer are particularly interested in vampire books as well as those categorized as science fiction. And for the young ones?

“You’re always good with bugs and magic,” she said.

As for verifying that the kids actually have read the books they’ve checked out, Haraughty said there’s no good way to do that.

“It’s an honor system,” said Haraughty, who added that she believes, “for the most part,” the kids who say they did their reading.

The librarian said she’s pretty certain that kids have checked out five books one day and returned them all the next to get their free game of bowling. And, yes, she still believes certain kinds of material can be plowed through en masse during a single evening.

“If you’re reading a 20-page picture book, it’s perfectly possible,” Haraughty said.