I love to read and I love libraries, so every summer when my local library posts signups for its summer reading program, I’m one of the first in line. I started doing this when my kids were small, ostensibly to encourage them in their reading efforts (“Look at the great prizes you can earn, just for reading books!”), but the truth was, I was just as excited as they were.
Over the years, my kids earned free books, fast food coupons, and amusement park tickets. One year, my daughter even won a portable television (Because there’s nothing like TV to encourage a kid to read more books).
My haul was less impressive: bookmarks, a magnifying glass, discount coupons to the farmer’s market and a local thrift store. My kids felt kind of sorry for me and offered to share the personal pizzas and sodas they’d won, but I told them I wasn’t doing it for the prizes.
Then, as now, I was doing it for the love of reading, although I must admit I enjoy the competition. Some years I read the lists the librarians post for the participants, and some years I go free range and choose my own selections, but every year there’s a little voice in the back of my head that this year may be the year I win something good (or at least out read the competition).
The theme of the 2015 Loveland Public Library summer reading program is heroes. This means that in addition to reading traditional books, we get credit for reading graphic novels (woo hoo!) and each participant is assigned an avatar when he or she signs up (mine’s Batman). In addition, participants get extra points for doing volunteer work and attending cultural and community events over the summer, so they can experience being a real life hero.
If you spot me around town this summer, stop and say hello. I’ll be the nerd with a Batman badge reading David Copperfield in the supermarket checkout line.