By Tiffani Stewart,
St. Charles City-County Library District
Have your beach reads become boring? Are your thrillers becoming thrill-less? Want your history books to BE history? You may be in a reading rut.
It’s time to challenge yourself! This summer is the perfect time to break the mold of your book habit, and reshape it into something interesting and thought-provoking. But where to begin? Well, the Library…of course.
First, don’t forget Summer Reading. The Library offers the Summer Reading program, “Libraries Rock!”, for toddlers through adults. Stop by your nearest library branch or go to youranswerplace.org/SummerReading to download and print a gameboard. You will win prizes just for completing the gameboard, and that will get you excited to get reading!
Next, accept the challenge to read something new and different. One way to challenge yourself is through a prescribed Book Challenge. This is a list of books that asks a reader to try new and different types of genres, titles, and authors. The Library offersa challenge called the “What’s Next?” Library Book Challenge. A unique reading challenge is offered each month on Facebook (facebook.com/youranswerplace) and Twitter (@youranswerplace). “Like” or “follow” the Library to get notifications about “What’s Next?” on the first day of each month. Participants have recently read books from THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (books set in the future) and about LIFELONG LEARNING (books that teach a skill). These monthly challenges provide encouragement to explore new genres while still offering the freedom to read books of interest.
Another popular monthly book challenge is called the “Read Harder Challenge”. This one is sponsored by BookRiot.com, a blog for book lovers, and provides a monthly challenge asking readers to tackle two books per month in categories like A BOOK ABOUT NATURE or A ONE-SITTING BOOK. There is an in-person discussion group that meets monthly at the Spencer Road Branch to compare“Read Harder” book choices and encourage members to continue meeting the monthly challenges. Or simply print the list and get reading!
Another way to shake off the book doldrums is to join a Book Discussion Group. These groups meet regularly at almost every library branch in St. Charles County. They offer a platform for readers to discuss the books they read as a group, and exchange ideas about what to read next. They also provide an easy way to meet people and get to know them quickly. Members of Book Discussion Groups quickly learn how their fellow readers think and feel about a wide variety of ideas and topics during discussions. There are groups that read only nonfiction, only fiction, only cookbooks, only mysteries, and many that read a variety of books. There may be one that’s just right for you!
Finally, you can challenge yourself quickly and easily by asking library staff for a book recommendation. They are happy to provide suggestions about different types of books to kick off your Summer Reading goals and get you excited to turn pages again.
While you’re browsing the shelves, see if one of these events or classes (including several Book Discussion Groups) may be just the challenge you’re looking for.
• SUMMER READING* (all branches), May 29-Aug 1. Sign up for the “Libraries Rock!” Summer Reading program. Register at any branch or online to earn prizes like books, sunglasses or earbuds, rubber duckies (for little readers), and coupons for free food and family fun. Plus, enter to win a Nintendo Switch or an iPad each time you complete a Summer Reading gameboard.
• Coloring Contest 2018(all branches), May 29-Aug 1. Enter our Summer Reading coloring contest. Pick up the design at any branch or download and print a copy from youranswerplace.org/Summer Reading. Open to ALL AGES!
• Libraries Rock! Bookmark Contest 2018 (all branches), May 29-Aug 1. Design a bookmark for the library using the theme, “Libraries Rock!” Use pencils, markers, crayons, paints, or charcoal to create an original hand-drawn design on a template you can download and print or pick up from any library branch. Open to ALL AGES!
• Star and Telescope Party* (Augusta), Tues., June 19th at 7:00 p.m. Bring the whole family and join experts from the Astronomical Society to view our amazing universe through telescopes.
• Family Flix: Trolls (Augusta), Wed., June 27th at 6:30. Join us for this fun, family-friendly movie. Light refreshments will be provided.
• MahJongg* (Boone’s Trail) Thurs., June 7th and Thurs., June 21st, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Keep your brain sharp and your social circle large! Join us to learn and play MahJongg every other Thursday.
• Fiction Fans Book Discussion Group* (Boone’s Trail), Mon, June 11th at 6:00 p.m. Read A Man Called Ove by Frederk Backman, then join us for great discussion.
• I Love Quilts(Augusta), Tues., June 12th, 2:00 p.m. We’ll demonstrate a fast and easy technique, Bellisimo Bargello. And don’t forget Show and Tell!
• Book Discussion* (Augusta), Mon., June 18th, 2:00 p.m. We’ll discuss Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Pick up your copy at the library.
• New Melle Nonfiction Book Discussion Group* (Boone’s Trail), Thurs., June 21st, 10:00 a.m. This month’s selection is Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
• Movie Talk: Maudie* (Boone’s Trail) Mon, June 25th, 6:00 p.m. If you love movies, join us for Movie Talk! Watch “Maudie” (available for checkout at the library) on your own, then join us for a great discussion and a tasty treat.
• Knit-a-Long (Augusta), Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. Bring your latest project and join the Augusta Knitting Club every week to knit, crochet, talk, and share.
• Coffee at the Library (Augusta), Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. (Boone’s Trail), Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. Come in for a fresh cup of hot goodness and a sweet treat while you browse the library’s latest materials.
• Let’s Create: Perler Beads(Boone’s Trail), Mon., June 4th, drop in all day. Drop in to get creative with Perler Beads. Make your own designs or use our patterns to create a picture with beads, then we’ll use heat to fuse them together for a hard plastic keepsake. All materials provided.
• Story Time (Boone’s Trail), Tues., June 5th at 6:00 p.m. or Thurs., June 14th at 10:30 a.m. Stories, songs, and crafts to enhance early literacy. Story time is open to children ages 3-6.
• Let’s Create: Father’s Day Mouse Pad(Augusta), Thurs., June 14th, drop in all day. Drop in to make a mouse pad for Dad’s desk.
• Story Time (Boone’s Trail), Tues., June 19th at 6:00 p.m. or Thurs., June 28th at 10:30 a.m. Stories, songs, and crafts to enhance early literacy. Story time is open to children ages 3-6.
• Tale Waggers* (Boone’s Trail), Tues., June 26th at 6:00 p.m. If you get nervous about reading aloud, come try reading to a dog. Dogs are good and patient listeners. Presented by Love on a Leash.
• CLUB READ* (Boone’s Trail), Mon., June 18th at 6:00 p.m.
*New at Boone’s Trail! Calling all kids starting grades 4-8 in the fall - this is your chance to share your thoughts about a Tween Book Discussion Group. Come in for good food and cold soda, then we’ll discuss the kinds of books you want to read and share with others.
*Register at www.youranswerplace.org or call Boone’s Trail at 636-398-6200 or Augusta at 636-228-4855. Boone’s Trail and Augusta branches are open Mon. and Tues. from 12:00 noon-8:00 p.m., Thurs. from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., and Sat. from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. Boone’s Trail is also open Wed. from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.