The Need to Read Book Drive netted 1,279 books for the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

The drive, inspired by a conversation Marc Isaac had with a LPCC trusty, began early February.

"It was great. It was wonderful," says Isaac. "There are so many nice people in Lafayette."

Isaac, owner of Marc Isaac Salon, says the Lafayette Public Library System's Friends Book Sale also contributed to the drive after its event concluded recently.

"The library provided about half of those," says Isaac. "It ended on the 10th [of March] and at five minutes to 2, I had my crew with a couple of trucks and we gathered up books.

"And they were sitting in my shop since the 10th and I finally got them out of here today," he says, adding with a laugh, "and now I can clean my shop. You can imagine how much space 1,279 books take up in a shop my size."

Isaac says he plans to have the Need to Read book drive around the same time of the library's sale which is March and September.

"So I'm going to do it twice a year and I'll continue to gather books for them," he says, adding that in the meantime, the Sheriff's Department will have someone drop by to pick up the books. "So I don't have to worry about it."

While the drive is technically over for now,will continue to accept books [preferably soft cover] at his shop in downtown Lafayette at 736 Jefferson St.

"It's going to be a year-long thing. The emphasis will be twice-a-year," says Isaac. "But I'm certainly not going to turn away books."

Call 267-4555 for more information.

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