Michaelene Malan (column mug)ENE

I used to set a reading goal every year. I would log each book then make sure I reviewed the title, finishing around two or three books a week. The last two or three years? I haven’t done that. If I wasn’t reading and reviewing a book for work or another reviewing publication, then I wasn’t reading.

I remember listening to other librarians asking each other what they were reading and hoping they wouldn’t ask me because it had been months since I last read a book.

This past week, though, something changed for me. I had a binge-reading weekend, and it was lovely! I re-invested in a series I had stopped reading a few years before. I feel re-energized, and although I’m not setting a reading goal this year, I’m still a fan of reading challenges and the library has me covered!

Even if (as a staff member) I can’t win the prizes.

It’s the annual Adult Winter Reading Challenge, and the goal is to simply stay cozy and read books.

“Why, Michaelene,” you may say, “That sounds like you!” Why, yes. Yes, it does. And hopefully, it sounds like what you need, too. Especially if you’re having a reader’s block like I was.

The challenge is set up like a bingo card, and the best part is that the reading prompts are pretty open-ended. I’ve got a few books that fit into multiple squares, so I recommend filling the sheet out using a pencil (if you do the paper log). I know I’ll be rearranging based on what I read next. (Remember it’s perfectly OK to put a book down and move on to something else if you’re not enjoying it!)

Any EPL cardholder ages 18 and older can sign up for the challenge on the Beanstack app (look for the blue app with a heart on it!), on enid.beanstack.org, or stop by the library on your next visit for a paper log. The challenge began on Jan. 1 and ends Feb. 28.

Read or listen to five books between that time to win an EPL coffee mug. Complete the challenge and read or listen to 20 books to be entered into the grand prize drawing that includes an Amazon Fire tablet as well as other cozy reader gifts.

All formats count — so pick up a physical book, eBook, audiobook, or playaway. Books should be at least 300 pages long and audiobooks at least eight hours in length. More details can be found on our website at enid.okpls.org.

Need help filling a square? Don’t forget that you can always call on a friendly neighborhood librarian!

So whether you set a book resolution or not this year, I hope you find plenty of good reads. And that you win a prize or two in the winter reading challenge.

Malan is communications specialist at Public Library of Enid and Garfield County.

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