2022 Adams County Reads One Book Announced

“That’s why I liked the idea of footprints. Their light touch leaves behind a path for others to follow – a sense of the way forward and, perhaps more important, a means to find our way back.”

The above quotation comes from this year’s Adams County Reads One Book selection, a memoir that invites readers to take a year long journey throughout the United States to witness some of the most majestic scenery in the country. It is my great pleasure to announce this year’s title, “Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey through Every National Park,” by Conor Knighton.

Knighton, a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, chronicles his year-long adventure into the national parks. Along the way, he finds deep meaning in the habitats; the environments; the impact of humans on the parks; and the people who tirelessly work to help alleviate the constant dangers to the parks, as well as those people greatly impacted by the national park system. As Knighton says, “…I quickly realized, there’s no such thing as an average national park.” Throughout his journey, Knighton nurses a broken heart and learns to become inspired by the beauty that surrounds him.

A New York Times bestseller, “Leave Only Footprints” has been called “Upbeat, observant…[and] engaging” by the New York Times Book Review. Says Book Page, “Entertaining, informative and inspirational.” Comedian and nature enthusiast Nick Offerman writes, “A delightful sampler plate of our national parks, written with charisma and leavened by a healthy dollop of humor.”

Personally, I find this book an inspiring tale of the national parks and the impetus needed to get out of the house and explore everything the National Park Service offers and more. Trust me when I say that it takes a lot for me to get outdoors – I enjoy my modern comforts a bit too much! Yet, there is a magic to the national parks, and I still fondly recall visits to Acadia National Park years ago with my family. “Leave Only Footprints” is like a love letter to national parks, and I loved some of the personal stories Knighton includes of those he meets on his travels. If you enjoyed Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” and Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book,” take a look at this one. I felt the same emotional connection to “Leave Only Footprints” as I did to Strayed’s and Orlean’s remarkable books.

“Leave Only Footprints” was selected out of four finalist titles by the Adams County Reads One Book Committee for its readability and the uplifting appeal of Knighton’s journey. The Committee consists of Adams County Library staff members, volunteers, and community members who have a love of reading. The selection is a two year process, with the first year focused on selecting the title from an initial list of thirty to forty titles and the second year devoted to program planning. Thank you to the One Book Committee for their hard work!

Copies of “Leave Only Footprints” are available at each Adams County Library location, through cloudLibrary, and can be placed on hold. Programs and book discussions will take place in October; look for program announcements in September. We hope you will join us in our journey through this book and that it will also inspire you to get out and explore Adams County and its natural beauty!

Submitted by Jessica Laganosky, Branch Director
Trone Memorial Library