Brace yourselves

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Winter Reading Challenge is coming


For its sophomore effort this January, the Suffolk Public Library wants citizens to set their reading goals even higher and bring home another victory at their local library.

The library will compete in the second annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge this January, but this this time with a tech prize on the line, according to the Thursday press release. The challenge is once again held by software company Zoobean and “Shark Tank” billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

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This year, Cuban will challenge 250 schools and libraries nationwide to meet a collective goal of reading for at least 5 million minutes and 75,000 books in January. That’s more than double the number of school and library challengers last year, according to the press release.

“Now, more than ever, we are distracted by screens and don’t take the time to simply read. But research shows the power of reading for as little as 6 minutes a day, and I personally make time to read every morning,” Cuban stated in the press release. “This Winter Reading Challenge gives us the opportunity to inspire people around the world to read more.

“What better resolution to have than to start the New Year with a good book!”

Cuban has pledged to donate $35,000 to the top-performing libraries and schools if this goal is achieved. Last year, Suffolk Public Library was one of the finalists for being one of the top book-logging libraries and received $1,500 from Cuban and Beanstack to support library programming.

Suffolk blew past last year’s goal of 3,000 books by logging a staggering total of 8,588 books.

“We’re kind of like a reigning champion coming back for round two,” said Community Relations Coordinator Angie Sumner.

Participating libraries will use Zoobean’s web and mobile application Beanstack to log reading time and books in January. Paper logs will also be available at each Suffolk Public Library location for those that don’t wish to log electronically.

Suffolk Public Library will raise the stakes by setting its goal to 8,000 logged and read books this January, and will offer an incentive for readers with help from Friends of the Suffolk Public Library.

If the January goal is met, Friends of the Suffolk Library will donate $1,000 for the library to purchase “awesome new tech” for use by members of the community, according to the press release. This new tech will be unveiled at the “Flip the Switch” event on Jan. 26 at North Suffolk Library, but only if the goal is met by Jan. 25.

Also, community members will receive an entry into a grand prize drawing for every book logged. The grand prize will be a shopping spree at the Friends of the Suffolk Library bookstore.

There will be a total of three winners, one from each of the following age groups: kids ages 6 to 11, teens ages 12 to 17 and adults ages 18 and older. Children ages 5 and younger will be eligible to win a tech-themed literacy fun pack.

Library staff hope to see another outstanding performance by Suffolk readers this January.

“I hope that we can carry that enthusiasm into this year — with all the prizes on the line — to really show that Suffolk knows how to read and compete in this challenge,” Sumner said.

Visit for more information on the challenge, prizes and how to register and log books.