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Summer reading takes off

It was hard to pinpoint the precise moment at which Suffolk readers completed their 8,000th book for the summer, but it was sometime Monday evening.

It might have been a toddler listening to a reading of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by their dad. It might have been an elementary schooler experiencing “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for the first time. It might have been a high-schooler devouring “The Fault in our Stars.” It might have been an adult reading nonfiction or re-reading an old favorite.

Whatever it was, it was a milestone in a monumental challenge that Suffolk readers took to heart, delivering a win well ahead of the deadline.

The Camp Suffolk Public Library Summer Reading Challenge began June 16 and had a goal of reading 8,000 books by Aug. 4. But thousands of page turns later, readers beat the challenge exactly a month later — nearly three entire weeks ahead of time.

Readers tracked their progress with Beanstack. There were 538 readers registered in the challenge, and the under-5 set were the most voracious readers — or, in their case, being read to — according to library officials. Creekside Elementary School was the school with the most participation, they said.

Readers now get the reward of “sliming” three library staff members during the Grand Finale Carnival that will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the vacant lot at the corner of West Washington and Lee streets. Votes can be cast online for potential sliming victims.

Even though the challenge is met, readers can continue to log books. Each logged book is worth a raffle ticket for the reader’s choice among five nice, $500 prize packages.

We think it’s great that so many people in Suffolk are so excited about reading, and we can’t wait to see what the final total will be.