by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
This year’s adult winter reading program has begun, with the theme “Snow is Falling, Books are Calling.” Our winter reading program is intended to encourage and reward reading by adults during this cold and snowy time of year, like we do with the kids during the summer.
Sign up between now and March to participate, and you’ll get a red and black buffalo plaid-accented book bag while supplies last. You’ll also get a stack of book review forms and a card for keeping track of the reviews you turn in.
When you turn in a short book review for something you read between the day you sign up and the end of March, library staff will stamp your card. When you’ve turned in three, you can choose a small prize. When you’ve turned in three more, you can choose another prize, plus we’ll put your completed card into a drawing. The Friends of the Litchfield Public Library sponsors three gift certificates to local businesses for that drawing. The program can be completed only one time per person.
The small prize choices this year include a mug, a book light, a phone charger adapter for the car, a large candy bar, buffalo plaid earrings, and a mouse pad. As always, these are the choices while supplies last – although we won’t run out of candy bars.
You can read anything you like for the program. It doesn’t have to be a library book or something new. You choose what you’d like to read. It can even be an ebook or audiobook – that’s still a form of reading!
The book review forms are short, with no spot for a name, so they’re anonymous once you turn them in. We set them in a basket at the front desk, and you are welcome look through them to find out which books our library users recommend or don’t recommend.
So once you sign up, what should you read? I have a list of the most popular books in Pioneerland Library System last year, which is almost like a recommendation from the thousands of people who use the libraries in our region. The most popular book of the year was “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. That novel about a girl abandoned to grow up alone in the marshlands of North Carolina was published in August 2018 and is still in high demand in our library system and around the country.
The other top adult novels of the year were “Wolf Pack” by C.J. Box, “Neon Prey” by John Sandford, “The 18th Abduction” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah, “Every Breath” by Nicholas Sparks, “Someone Knows” by Lisa Scottoline, “Long Road to Mercy” by David Baldacci, “Holy Ghost” by John Sandford, and “The Boy” by Tami Hoag.
The adult nonfiction books with the most checkouts in Pioneerland in 2019 were “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “Educated” by Tara Westover, “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, “Love Thy Neighbor” by Ayaz Virji, “The Pioneers” by David McCullough, “A Woman of No Importance” by Sonia Purnell, and “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean.
There’s no risk to signing up for the winter reading program. We won’t call you to see if you’ve finished your books yet. Why not challenge yourself to a goal of reading a few books this winter? Reading books can help you be more creative, focused, and empathetic. And in case you’ve forgotten, which many of us do when life gets busy, reading can be fun. Like the winter reading program slogan says, books are calling to you!