Linda Ann Duggins in love with the world of books and serving her community

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 4/19/2012, 4:28 p.m.

make myself feel good."

Could it be the yoga, the Pilates, the massages and the retreats? "Yes," she said, "I love life.

I'm a keep-it-real sister. Don't get me wrong now, I am not shy. If I need to step up and say something, I say it, but I am mindful of being a lot more compassionate and respectful. When I was 25, I was afraid of myself!

I really work on staying mindfully upbeat. It's a part of healing. If you are

constantly telling yourself a bunch of negative stuff, you will have repercussions in your outlook, in your spirit, your body and how you interact with people."

Duggins has a broad vision for people. "I come from the Queensbridge

Housing Project, the biggest housing project in the United States.

It was built in 1939. When I was there, there were 7,000 people. It was like a big little village. Duggins proudly asserted, "I am a product of the Queens- bridge Houses.

It was a very powerful place and still is. The demographics have changed.

When I was coming up, there was some of everybody, Black, white, Puerto Rican. But it was always a vibrant community, like one big crazy family."

Giving back is a huge part of Duggins' personal philosophy. "I am on the Queensbridge Scholarship Fund board, and members on the board are former and current residents of Queens-bridge Houses and Ravenswood


Our goal is to raise money to help some of those college-bound young folk pay for books and give them a stipend.

We have a responsibility to give back to where we come from."

To this end, Duggins will be celebrating World Book Night with folks from her old stomping ground at the Jacob Riis Community Center.

There are World Book Night givers who are volunteers and will be handing out a set of books. I'll be giving out 'Kindred' by Octavia Butler--one of my favorite books.

There are adult, young adult and children's books. The only qualication is that you are going to share your love of reading and your love of a particular book in whatever community you deem to be underserved, and

the community I come out of is one of those communities."

For more information, visit www.worldbooknight.org