Winter reading goal met

Published 9:41 pm Monday, January 27, 2020

Readers can rejoice in reaching the Suffolk Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge goal for January — and they can also keep reading to once again make their local library one of the best for Beanstack’s annual challenge.

Beanstack’s third annual Winter Reading Challenge began on Jan. 1, and Suffolk Public Library’s goal this year was for readers to log 9,000 books they read before the end of the month. These were logged using the Beanstack platform, and also with paper logs that are available at each Suffolk Public Library branch.

On Saturday morning, Suffolk readers crossed the 9,000-book threshold, according to Suffolk Public Library Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator Angie Sumner.

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Readers show no signs of slowing down, either. According to Beanstack, 9,967 books have been logged for Suffolk Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge as of Monday evening, with four days still left to go.

“It’s just been great to see how many library members and members of our community are excited about this competition,” Sumner said on Monday. “It’s really exciting to see everyone, no matter their age — adults, kids, teens — all participating and coming together for this one goal.”

There’s still plenty of reasons to keep reading before the end of this year’s challenge.

Participants who read and log books will be entered to win a raffle prize. There will be three total winners, consisting of one from each age group: ages 0 to 7, 8 to 17, and 18 and older.

Readers will receive one entry per book logged, and the winners will select their prize from a list of items and experiences. This includes gift cards for Regal Cinemas, Virginia Symphony Orchestra or VISA; family zoo, Nauticus, or Children’s Museum memberships; Osmo and a Kindle Fire; or a “staycation package.”

Participants may log any books, audiobooks and magazines they have finished during the month of January. They are also encouraged to share what they’re reading on social media with the hashtags “#WinterRead2020” and “#SuffolkPublicLibrary,” and by tagging Zoobean and Penguin Random House in their social media posts.

Readers can also complete the “Diverse Books Challenge” in Beanstack by reading books outside of their usual genre, or books by diverse authors. They will then be entered to win a shopping spree at the Friends of the Suffolk Public Library bookstore.

Furthermore, participants are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to any Suffolk Public Library branch, which will help stock Suffolk Christian Fellowship’s food pantry.

Teachers can create group accounts for their class in Beanstack, or keep track of their reading on a print log and return it to the library by Feb. 3. The Suffolk class with the greatest number of books read and logged will receive a pizza party, a set of Magnatiles and a special appearance by “Tux,” an oversized penguin that is the library’s Winter Reading Challenge Mascot.

Furthermore, all paper logs for books read this month will be accepted through Feb. 3 and may be deposited in the outdoor book drops at each Suffolk Public Library location, Sumner said.

Suffolk Public Library was one of the top-participating libraries in the competition in each of the past two years. This year, Penguin Random House is donating $50,000 worth of prizes to be split among winning libraries and schools, which will include new books and an author visit.

“Even though we reached our goal early, we can still crush our goal,” Sumner said. “It would be amazing to exceed our goal by a large amount, and show Zoobean and the other libraries and schools participating that Suffolk really knows how to compete.”

Suffolk readers of all ages can help crush this month’s reading goal by coming to the Tailgate Party events on Thursday. These events will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at both Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St., and the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

These events are free and open to the public, and families with kids of all ages will enjoy sports-themed activities and crafts.

Visit for more information.