At our church we're doing a Reading Challenge for adults - we're handing out bookmarks with sixteen categories of books, and participants have from Jan. 31-March 6 to read as many as they can (or want to! it's supposed to be fun, not pressure). We will give out coupons for signing up and for every book they read, and if we have some real over-achievers, we'll decide towards the end of February what kinds of other prizes we'll give out.

Here are our 16 categories...


A biography about someone you admire
A biography about someone you do not know
A book with a one-word title
A mystery or suspense novel
A non-fiction title of interest to you
A book by an author who is new to you
A book based entirely on the cover
A book by an author who shares your last initial
The first book in a series
A historical fiction novel
A book with a season in the title
A classic
A fantasy
A book considered Biblical fiction
Reread an old favorite
Choose the first title from a popular author

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Comment by Debbie Dehart on December 4, 2017 at 10:53am

We solicit coupons from area businesses, both for our kids' program in the summer and for adult programs like this.  Ice cream stores like Ritter's and Culver's have been very helpful (not sure if those are just local though).  Burger King and Wendy's also.  For adults, we've gone to coffee joints.  I would suggest just looking at what are popular places in your area and calling or visiting.  Ask to speak to a manager or you'll just end up going through your spiel twice!
For prizes, we always seem to end up with books in really nice shape - donations we don't need, or accidental duplicates - and we often hang on to those to offer as prizes.  And sometimes we use actual budget money to get something nice, like a beautiful bookmark, or last year, we got those mugs that look like nothing much but when hot liquid is poured in, a picture appears - ours had books on shelves which showed up.  Very fun!

Comment by Lynn Beech on December 4, 2017 at 10:43am

This sounds fun! What kind of prizes or coupons did you give out? We are a very small library with an even smaller budget, so if we did something like this, it would have to be low cost.

Comment by Jolene Murphy on October 20, 2016 at 11:25am
This is great! Thanks fir sharing it!
Comment by Debbie Dehart on May 2, 2016 at 6:36pm
Oh sure, I think you could do this during the summer too! We do a different, far more involved program then, that involves anyone ages 3 and up - but if you don't have something else, you could make this work. You could easily expand it to include kids, too, I think. I'd make different bookmarks with different categories for the different age ranges.
Comment by Janet Estridge on May 2, 2016 at 3:28pm

What a wonderful idea for both adult and children readers. 

I wonder if this would work during the summer also?

Comment by Debbie Dehart on February 4, 2016 at 8:59pm
That's a great idea! I like it. Thanks for sharing!
Comment by Eva Nell Hunter on February 4, 2016 at 7:42pm

With such busy schedules for children during the summer, I think the adult reading program is a winner.  We have had  "Book a month" reading program for adults with a requirement of at least one book a month.  Of course some read that many in a month or even less.    We gave them several categories from which to choose with about three choices of their own.  At the end of the year we placed a book in the library in honor of each person who completed the program.  Our participants outnumbered some of our children's reading programs.

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