SANTA MONICA— Santa Monica Public Library’s annual community reading program, Santa Monica Reads, will be taking place from Monday, June 22 through Monday, September 7. This year, due to COVID-19, the program will be organized virtually.

The Santa Monica Reads program is an 18-year old tradition in which community members read and discuss the same book over the summer. Books are chosen via solicitation from community members. This year, the chosen book is The Library Book by Susan Orlean.

The Library Book chronicles the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, while expressing an admiration for public libraries. The fire occurred in 1986, destroying 400,000 books and damaging 700,000 more.

Discussion events on the book will focus on local history, civil service, democracy, and wellbeing. They are free and open to the public. 

Discussions will be hosted by the trained facilitators. They will occur via Zoom on July 11 at 11 a.m., July 15 at 7 p.m., July 21 at 4 p.m., August 5 at 11 a.m., August 17 at 7 p.m., August 29, at 2 p.m., and September 3, at 4 p.m. 

Susan Orlean will also be discussing her book in a virtual presentation via Zoom on Saturday, July 25 at 2 p.m. It will occur live via BlueJeans at

The Santa Monica Public Library is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but library services are still currently available at SMPL Online.