NORWAY — With their noses in books, more than 60 local high school students lay scattered on the front lawn of the Norway Memorial Library on Wednesday afternoon as part of a “reading flash mob.”

This is the second year the library has held the event, part of the national Teen Read Week sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Small groups of students took up positions stretched out on the lawn, leaning up against the library’s front colonnades or under a pile of fallen leaves to enjoy a little quiet reading time. 

Cynthia Riley, the teen services coordinator at the library, said the event is meant to demonstrate the importance of reading for pleasure.

“Taking time out of a school day or a work day to read has value,” Riley said. “We’re trying to send that message by showing these kids, out of their classrooms, enjoying books at the library.”

Although fewer students were on hand this year, Riley said they seemed more comfortable with the idea of reading in public. Last year, many seemed stunned to be taking part in a flash mob, she said.

Brewster Burns, the English department head for Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris, said his students were excited about this year’s event. 

“When I told them today that we were headed down to the library to read, about 80 percent of the kids said ‘yeah, that’s awesome,'” Burns said. 

In a world full of screens and mobile devices, it can be easy to assume that reading paper books is a rapidly declining interest among young adults. Part of the intention of the “reading flash mob” is to show the community that assumption isn’t all true, library director Beth Kane said. 

“It draws attention to the fact that kids still read,” she said.

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