CAMDEN — October 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the Camden Public Library’s “Friday Explorations Read-Aloud” weekly series with Joseph Coté. Every Friday at 11 a.m., on the library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page, listeners can stream a new recording of Coté reading aloud selections from a wide variety of enthralling books of fiction and non-fiction.

“We record and post a lot of our programs on the library’s YouTube Channel, but the Friday Explorations readings are among the most popular,” says library Programs Coordinator Julia Pierce. “Joseph’s reading from ‘Travels with Charley in Search of America’ by John Steinbeck has received 1,797 views so far! His flair and talent are earning him devoted listeners.”

Listening to Coté’s program is quite different than listening to an audio book. Coté curates insightful introductions to each book—informing the reader about the writer’s background, and frequently incorporating personal anecdotes and his connection to the book. The rich prologues are followed by thoughtfully selected passages that sample the book’s plot, characters, and overall feel. Coté reads for an hour and hopes to inspire listeners to seek out the book to finish on their own.

Originally from Old Town, Maine, Coté traveled the world for 34 years working in the international five-star hotel industry. He now lives in Camden, teaches senior college courses, and can be found performing in theatrical productions throughout the Midcoast.

Past readings can be found on the Camden Public Library’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Page in the “videos” section. Visit the “What’s Happening” adult events calendar at librarycamden.org to learn about upcoming programs. Coté encourages suggestions for books to be emailed to friday-explorations@usa.net.