Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wordcraft – Dallas summer reading club: read, win, repeat

I signed up for the Dallas Mayor’s Summer Reading Club and thought – hmmm, this looks different. Where last year’s adult version of the club offered drawings for cool prizes, the 2016 version promised to reward me immediately. Just for signing up. Wow, I thought. Maybe I’ll get a bookmark. (I can always use bookmarks.) And the library site promised weekly prizes as well. Hmmm again.

The big prize drawings still looked good. So did the grand prizes. But actual prizes in hand every week just for posting about reading? How many bookmarks could even I use? So I waited a couple of weeks to check them out.

They were better than bookmarks! (Again, nothing against bookmarks, but. . . ) I got to pick a free book off a cart just for signing up. And the current week’s prize? A free pass to the Nasher Sculpture Center for an adult (or adult and kid). My family loves the Nasher! Even the kids love its cool outdoor sculpture garden. But face it, except for a couple of free days each month, it costs. (And on the free days, boy, is it crowded!)

I was obviously losing major goodies by not dropping by the library every week to pick up the free loot.

Adults can win prizes by logging books read and posting a brief review online, by completing a “learning track” online and exploring new hobbies and topics, or by sharing book reviews on Twitter or Facebook using @dallaslibrary #SummerReading and entering weekly drawings for tickets to Alamo Drafthouse. (Add that to my must-do list!)

I’m going on and on about the grownup stuff because, a) it’s fun and b) one glimpse of an adult reading for his/her own pleasure tells a kid more about the joys of reading than hours of nagging would do.

But really, this is way too good a deal for us grownups to keep to ourselves. So sign up any children in your household as well. Children up to age 5 can earn their own weekly prizes by reading (or being read to) at least 3 hours a week. (Download the reading log sheet to keep track.)

Children ages 6-12 need to read 5 hours weekly to get a weekly incentive prize. Children up to age 12 who log 40 hours by July 30 are also eligible for grand prize drawings, held after the reading club’s conclusion August 4.

Teens who log 4 or more books earn the weekly incentive prize plus a free book. And teens who read 8 books by July 30 will be entered for grand prize drawings. Check out the site for grand prize drawings for all ages.


Wouldn’t you know, Half Price Books  is striking back with its own Feed Your Brain summer reading program as well. Children in grades up to eighth who log 300 or more minutes (use the downloadable log) can claim Bookworm Bucks (a $5 coupon) good at any HPB store. Logs are due no later than September 1.

High schoolers can read any of HPB’s recommended titles for teens, or books of your choice, write a short review and go to Half Price's site to claim the Bookworm Bucks.

Happy tales to you!

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