York-area libraries dig in with One Book pick on farming, family


More than 80 libraries across York and neighboring counties are stocking their shelves with the same book in preparation for the One Book, One Community book discussion and events.

The memoir "Gaining Ground" by Forrest Pritchard, which was listed along with three other novels in a variety of genres, received the most community votes and will be the featured book for the regional book club.

The selection is a coming-of-age story about Pritchard's efforts to save his family's farm, from his start as a know-nothing farmer to one who offers locally raised products that are still sold at farmers markets in the Washington, D.C., area.

The vote: One Book, One Community, now in its 13th year, began the voting process as a celebration for the program's 10th anniversary, according to a library system news release.

After receiving an exceptional response during the initial voting process, board members decided to continue allowing the community to give input on the selection.

In August, after reading hundreds of potential books, the panel released a short list of books for the six-county community's consideration.

Bookstores, colleges, schools and book clubs also participate.

This year's winner, "Gaining Ground," was up against "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd, "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel and "Warriors Don't Cry" by Melba Pattillo Beals.

Together: This winter, thousands of people will settle down after a long day in their respective reading nooks and turn the pages of the memoir in preparation for free programs and discussions to be held at public libraries throughout February, which is both Library Lovers' and Book Lovers' Month.

For last year's book, "Orphan Train," York libraries partnered with the Steam into History train attraction in New Freedom to further explore the novel and to give readers an enhanced perspective of the historical fiction book they had selected.

Now that this year's novel has been selected, members of the One Book, One Community board are planning upcoming events. A Readers' Celebration, scheduled for spring, will honor those who participated in this year's campaign.

For more information on One Book, One Community, visit the group's website at To learn more about Pritchard and his memoir, "Gaining Ground," visit

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at