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READ Poster Shocker

It turns out we’ve been pronouncing it wrong the whole time.

The National Organization of Libraries surprised pretty much everyone today when they announced that the word “READ” in the famous posters that hang in libraries around the country is in the past-tense (pronounced like RED).

Via the N.O.L. press release:

“Our intention has always been that the word READ is past-tense. So when you see the celebrity or famous character on the poster holding a book, it’s like they’re saying “Yep, I’ve read this book.”

The statement went on to provide some clues toward why this unusual choice was made.

“With READ posters, it became clear early on that we weren’t going to entice celebrities like Fabio or Alec Baldwin to participate unless there was an element of ego stroking. READ in the past-tense made famous people eager to share that they read a book once.”

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this.

Click here to see the entire list of celebrity READ posters.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Travis. ?

  2. I am very glad I clicked the bottom link before sending this far and wide! You are a devious person…

  3. Kathy Ishizuka says

    Well done, Travis.

  4. MARY HOFMAN says