MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – Recovering from surgery in a hospital bed, and tired of watching television, Grace Ring’s mother eventually brought her some books from the hospital library. The books, however, were grossly below Grace’s age level. Ring's mother, Anne, is senior associate publisher at Main Street Connect, publisher of 32 daily Westchester news websites. It was her Mom's misstep that was the driving force behind the creation of her book-giving charity, RecoveRead.
“What we mainly want is teenager books, but between the ages of 10 to 15, or 16,” said Grace Ring, "But we do get anything,” she added. Last year, during the first RecoveRead book drive at Barnes and Noble in Mohegan Lake, 2,500 books were donated to the Yorktown-based teen’s organization.
Now 14-year-old Ring says her favorite book series is “Pretty Little Liars” and that, "Nothing brings a smile to your face like a good book, especially when you don't feel so great," Grace said. "It's such an easy way to make a difference in someone's life."
Once collected, the books are donated to the libraries of area hospitals, including the Hudson Valley Hospital Center, White Plains Hospital, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, where Ring recovered from her brain tumor surgery.
The book drive actually takes place through register transactions, where employees of Barnes and Noble ask patrons if they would like to donate a book to the RecoveRead program. Although some books cost as little as $3, people can also bring gently used books to donate. Used books should be in good condition and dust-free.
The drive runs until Dec. 31. Ring said that books geared towards boys would be especially appreciated, as they are less often donated.
She's hopeful this year's drive will be a big success. "It's actually 3,500," wrote community relations manager for Barnes and Noble, Nick Tapalansky, about this year's book goal. "We want to increase by 1,000 books over last year." When last year's book count was 2,499 on the last day of the book drive, Tapalansky bought the final book himself, to reach the 2,500 goal.