New ‘Pottstown Reads’ Spreads A Book Lover’s Passion

"Pottstown Reads" is the newest website created by local resident Mo Gallant, who says she wants to spread a passion for good books

POTTSTOWN PA – Maureen Gallant is once again out to surprise people.

Maureen Gallant

Gallant, a long-time Pottstown PA resident, offers her opinions several times daily on a variety of topical subjects at what she calls Pottstown’s Blog. She writes about whatever strikes her fancy, including her take on local issues. During the past week she’s discussed homelessness in the borough, a gun give-away on Black Friday at the Cabela’s sporting goods megastore in Hamburg PA, her favorite area places to shop, and the recent Occupy Pottstown event.

Readers who regularly follow Gallant (she prefers to be called “Mo,” thank you) say they do so because she’s surprisingly, refreshingly candid about almost everything. She tells readers what she thinks, and then invites them to do the same. Some of her chats with readers and other bloggers have turned into entertaining but nonetheless no-holds-barred affairs.

This month, Gallant started a new blog with an entirely different theme and purpose. It’s called “Pottstown Reads,” and features videos of children’s books being read by their authors or other celebrities.

“This is a blog about reading,” Gallant wrote (this time as “Miss Mo”) when the site launched Nov. 10 (2011). “I like to read. I like hearing other people read. I like all kinds of books. Here are some of my favorite books. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them just like I do.”

The featured readers recite the books’ text without commentary. The camera pans over their pages so they can be easily seen and enjoyed. None (yet) are original productions; most are embedded from other websites. For parents who want to spend time with their young children, and use a computer as a learning tool, the stand-alone videos are worth the time – usually between 2 and 8 minutes – to watch. They become even more effective when a child has in hand the book being read, and can follow the printed words along with the reader.

“These stories are up-to-date children’s stories,” Gallant explained in a separate Nov. 16 post. “Most … other collections are made up of ‘unique stories’ which are creations of unpublished authors.  I don’t have a problem with unpublished stories but I’m going to post the stories that children will see in their schools, or in their local libraries.  That alone is exciting for a young reader.  When they recognize a book there is a good chance they’ll want to hear it again and again!”

Thirteen books are already online at Pottstown Reads. More are being added at the rate of about three a week.