Thursday, June 6, 2013


For the past few years I've been participating in my local library's summer reading program. I do a lot of reading in the summer and this is a fun way to keep track of some of the things I read, not to mention there are prizes awarded! To participate, I need to log six steps in each of three rounds, plus a bonus round. I earn a prize for completing the round. Round prizes are books, candy, small gift certificates, etc. For each step completed in the round, I get to fill out a raffle ticket. The big overall prize this year is a Kindle Fire. Other prizes are a set of luggage (This year's theme is a travel one.) and greater value gift cards. Since each round has six steps, on the outset it would appear I could log 24 books for the program.

But there are some 'cheater' steps. At least in my mind. The first step in each round is to watch a DVD or listen to a CD. The third step in each round is to watch a World Language DVD or another non-fiction DVD. To me, I'm not sure why these are included in a reading program. My husband teases me because I'm disappointed with these requirements. It's just that I'm a purist, and if I'm participating in a reading program, I want to read! It's not like I won't read 24 books anyway, but it seems like the easy way out to include CDs and DVDs as part of the program. I kind of feel like I'm cheating. The fifth step is my choice of a CD, DVD, or book, and of course I'll pick the book. The sixth step is an optional audiobook step. Okay, this is a bit closer to reading, but not quite. At least in my mind. My hubby and I tried listening to an audiobook on a trip once. We figured we had a lot of traveling time to kill, and unfortunately, I get car sick if I read in the car, so this seemed like a good solution. But we had trouble following the story. Too many distractions around. Maybe we'll give it a try again this year.

Maybe the program needs to be called a summer media program. Or a summer listening/watching/reading program. But with half of the steps having nothing to do with reading a book, it seems like a misnomer to be calling it a summer reading program.

Just my two cents.

And it's not like the set up discourages me from participating. It's still fun, and I do love filling in my log. There's something deeply satisfying about that. And I try to challenge myself to complete the program by the end of June instead of the end of July when it officially ends. Because reading program aside, there's no better time than summer for curling up with a good book on the porch, or on the patio, or out by the pond, or next to the creek on vacation, or...anywhere! I just love being a book nerd!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Debra, do many others participate? Children? I think getting children to read is very important.

  2. I'd love it if my library did a summer reading program for adults. We do one for kids and it's terrific, but there's nothing for adults. My husband listens to audio books in the car during his commute (actually, I think now he's moved onto podcasts). But we do audio books when we go on vacation. The trick is to pick a simple enough book so you can drive, but one that's interesting enough to hold your attention. Mysteries work well for us.

  3. Sounds like a great challenge, although I do agree with you that watching DVDs or even listening to an audio book are not really 'reading'. I'm not aware of our local libraries doing anything like this. I must remember to tell a librarian friend about it!

  4. There's always been a summer reading program for kids and teens. I think the adult one just started about three years ago. Or at least, that's when I became aware of it and started participating.

    Whenever I go to turn in my raffle slips, the container is always full (and they empty it each day) so I think they do get a lot of participants. The first year I didn't win anything, but last year I won a gift card, so that was cool!

    I do need to give the audio book another shot. A mystery would be fun.

  5. If you do, try to find a "light" one with lots of short chapters. That way, it's easy to stop at an end-point and it's not hard to remember what was going on. Just my two cents.

  6. Thanks, Jen, that's great advice.