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Book Club Flash Mob Makes Mark On Arch

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - According to Chinese proverb, `A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.` If that`s true, you might call this a gathering of gardeners under the Gateway Arch.

'Not too long ago I said I wanted to take a part in a flash mob,' says book lover Linda Mitchell.  'One of those bucket list type things.'

Tonight is the second annual World Book Night. So, to celebrate, a bunch of book lovers and independent book store owners gathered for a group picture.

'This is the first year here so we decided to kick it off with a read mob which is going to be about 140 folks spelling out `Read books` on the steps of the Arch,' says Jarek Steele co-organizer and Left Bank Books employee.

'Are you going to be a particular letter?' asks Patrick Clark.

'I am,' says Mitchell.  'I'm going to be a letter `R` and `R` stands for reading.'

Linda Mitchell brought a copy of her book 'Love Me Always' to read alongside the 140 other individuals sitting on the steps under the Arch.

'Reading just does so much for a person's life you can find solace and answers to questions it's entertaining,' says Mitchell.

'Even in this digital day and age of E-readers, Kindles and iPads there's nothing that beats a good old fashioned page turner,' says Patrick Clark.

'If your device runs out of power you can't read your e-book but you can read one of these,' says James Erwin Co-owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles and author of a new book `Guerillas in Civil War Missouri.`  'If you meet the author and you want to have it signed you can have the book signed and you can talk to the author about it.  You can't sign your Kindle.'

Today`s `Read books` message was best viewed by barge or riverboat, but organizers say an event like this involving the community is something you can`t get from ordering online.

'I think that's what is a main reason people come into a brick and mortar store like Left Bank Books, to browse and smell and touch and feel and actually get the tactile sensation of being around people who love books,' says Steele.  'Cause there is a community we serve.'

This community knows that a book is the quietest and most constant of friends and sometimes, you just need to remind others of the good that happens when you `Read books.`

Patrick Clark, News 11.