MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Looking for a good book to read?

Misawa’s Overstreet Memorial Library is giving away 100 paperback copies of Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” this month.

Overstreet is one of only 10 military libraries overseas and 127 stateside libraries to be selected to participate in The Big Read, an initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, according to Tami Rosado, the Misawa library director.

“The idea is to get people reading,” she said. “Very few people read for fun. This is fun reading. We want people to know that reading is fun.”

A 2004 report by the NEA found that literary reading in America is declining rapidly in all age groups, but especially among young readers.

The Big Read “provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities,” the NEA says on its Web site,

Rosado said Overstreet’s reference librarian, Mark Wylie, applied for The Big Read grant. Selected libraries could choose from 16 titles — from Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” to Rudolfo Anaya’s “Bless Me, Ultima.”

“The Joy Luck Club” tells the stories of four Chinese immigrant women and their American-born daughters. Along with Amy Tan’s first novel, Overstreet is also giving away a 16-page reader’s guide to “The Joy Luck Club” and a CD audio guide containing interviews with celebrities and authors about the book.

The books are going fast, Rosado said. As of Friday, less than 20 were left. For those who miss out, the library has a copy of the novel for checkout. And there will be two showings of “The Joy Luck Club” film at Overstreet on April 16 and 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room. Reservations are suggested. Call the library at DSN 226-4083.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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