Off The Shelf: Cozy Up With Some Winter Reading

With this year starting off with our first big snow of the winter season and freezing temperatures following these last couple weeks, I find myself increasingly drawn to the idea of staying indoors with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book.

If you are looking to cozy up with a good book, social media and magazines are full of “Best of” book lists and reading challenges this time of year to inspire and guide us to our next great read. Book Riot put out their “Reading Challenge Round Up for 2022” that includes challenges to read more often or to read more widely. One challenge sets a goal of reading a book each week. Other challenges encourage us to read out of our usual comfort zone by trying new genres or diverse authors.

The Nerd Daily’s 2022 Reading Challenge is a mix of fun prompts to get you reading 52 books over the year. For example, you’d need to read a “book with blue spine,” a book “picked at random,” or a book with a “one word title” to meet this challenge.

Extreme Reading” challenges are another way to break out of a reading rut, but they come with a safety caution. These challenges don’t focus on what you are reading. Instead, they encourage you to photograph yourself reading in unusual places. It seems most popular in schools. I found pictures of kids reading on top of their refrigerator, buried in sand, and hanging upside down.

Judging from my searches, there is a reading challenge for most any taste in books. You can do reading challenges for books in translation, Star Wars books, historical romances, parenting books, ebooks, and so many more.

In fact, ebooks can be a great choice for winter. With your library card in hand, you can go to Libby, Hoopla, or whichever ebook source your library offers and download a book from the comfort of your couch. If you haven’t tried ebooks or downloadable audiobooks yet, check in with your library team. They will be happy to get your started making use of this great perk of having a library card. You also can find video tutorials on our library’s website.

The Burlington Public Library is getting in on the reading challenge fun and kicking off a Winter Reading Olympics on Monday that runs through February 19. This program is for all ages, so it would be great to do as a family or with friends.

All of the challenges in this winter reading program are themed to different winter sports. Some examples include:

Alpine skiing is a classic winter sport. For this challenge, read one of our classic books!”

Nordic combined is made up of two separate sports: ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Read a hybrid book: think romantic thriller, comedic mystery, etc., that combines two or more genres.”

Snowboarding was seen as a controversial, not-quite-legitimate sport at its first Olympics, but it has since grown in popularity. Graphic novels are sometimes seen as not-quite-legitimate books. What do you think? Have you read a graphic novel? Do you have a favorite? Library staff can give you recommendations to get you started. Check one out today!”

While sometimes all we want to do in the winter is stay snug at home, winter weather also can make us feel a bit cooped up and eager to get out and have some fun. Our Winter Reading Olympics program has several fun programs for your to attend at the library. We had some people test out the torch art project for our “Opening Ceremonies” program and seeing their results made me want to try it. The “Spirit of the Games” program invites you to stop by the library to make cards that will go to seniors in our community. There are also a couple interactive movies, game days with winter sports themes, and a chance to decorate a donut as your own Olympic medal.

Henderson County Public Library is also offer a Winter Reading Program. Stop by your library to see if they have a program going and sign up.

Whatever reading path you choose to take in 2022, your public library is a great place to start. We can help you find that blue book or a book in a new genre. We also can help you find books similar to ones you already love to read, because, while I love a good challenge, it is equally valid to read just for the fun of reading.

Whether you take on a formal reading challenge for the year or not, here’s to a happy year of reading.

See you at the library!