Winter Reading Challenge 2022

Good morning and a happy Monday to you all! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t really known for great cheer, but we can find something pleasant to talk about, right? In my case (and many of yours) this very often involves books! Today is no exception, and as I type this, I’m still a little giddy about our local library’s Winter Reading Challenge for Grownups that I am participating in. I’ve also joined another challenge earlier in the year and will for sure be writing about this—it’s pretty fantastic for its own reasons.

Today, though, the library. As some of you also know, my son, now 18, has been going to the library since he was two weeks old – it’s practically been his second home. He doesn’t go now as often as he used to, trying as he is to figure out how to juggle his more adult responsibilities (university, work, friends and associated activities, etc.). But I was a little excited to see him get into the choices I’ve been working through for this library reading challenge, which is set up in the form of a bingo card. 

With five rows of five columns per, each box has a category and participants choose a book that fits,as you can see in the image above. My choices for the first row are:

The Spiritual Poems of Rumi

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)

The Year of Miss Agnes (Kirkpatrick Hill)

The Printer’s Apprentice (Stephen Krensky)

The Cricket in Times Square (George Seldon)

Each time you finish a row, you color it in, write down your titles and submit to the librarian, who gives you a small prize. (I believe they have bookmarks and a mug.) Naturally, your bingo can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Additionally, each completed bingo row also acts as an entry to a prize drawing. If you complete all twenty-five squares, you are also entered into the Blackout Drawing. (I have no idea what the prizes are for these two contests!)

Oh, did I mention that this is for books read in between January 24 and March 7? Ha ha! Yeah, I have most of my choices picked out, but this has already changed a few times and may change again. I really want to try to fill in all twenty-five squares but am not entirely sure this will happen. But I’m plugging away! I’m a bit bummed that my January book for my other reading challenge can’t count, as I finished it on January 23!!! Well, that’s part of what makes it a reading challenge, hey? I also had a slight delay as I didn’t learn about this until about a week or so in.

But! I have an advantage re: timing because, having recently been sick, I’m spending a lot of time at home resting after work, so the reading gives me something to do and the time is a bonus! So, maybe I can pull this off after all? Well, we have yet to see, but it will be fun anyway, especially as the Harry Potter book above is also part of a reading challenge between my son and me as we aim to read the whole series this winter. We also re-read it in 2020, which was something we turned to when the world was pretty much shut down.

Speaking of the world being shut down: I think most of us would agree it was not fun at all. With rare exception, people really need people, if on varying levels, and the shutdowns have really cast a pall over societies across the globe. They did a lot of damage short- and long-term. Our own library was closed for I think over a year. (I forget exactly how long, but it was a very long time.) So I am really grateful for this particular contest because it’s a fun way to get re-involved in a community activity at a pace – reading and meeting up – that works for each person. 

I’ll be writing more about the books I choose, where they are in my history and where they might lead me to moving forward. You can see the actual challenge here to see the actual details they lay out, as well as the three different bingo cards participants could choose. (I chose number one.) You may even be inspired to organize your own reading challenge!

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