80 Entries

Every year my local library hosts a summer challenge. Usually the systems have a drawing contest, not the bookmark drawing contest where you can submit a design idea for a beautiful bookmark. Instead you write up the titles of the library books that you have read, and each one counts as an individual entry. If you’re lucky, your name will be chosen out of a hat for a prize.

There is always one part that dogs a person wanting to enter this contest: the tracking. You have to remember to write down what you have read, cut up the paper entries.

I’ve had a problem with writing down what I’ve read since I was a kid. No matter how much I tried, I would not write down on a paper calendar in elementary school the books that I had finished. And I could not say how many pages each one had. You could see the problem.

With that said, the library makes it easy. When the tracking system was paper, they would give out thick sheets with perforated edges, which made it much easier to remember to rip apart the entries like ticket stubs and hand them in. I was all prepared to do the same this year. Then I noticed a URL. Tracking had moved online.

Well. That was certainly different. On the plus side, it meant I didn’t have to keep slips of paper around, and I could copy-paste the book titles from either the library record or GoodReads. It also meant estimating how much time I spent reading. Graphic novels could be fast, but nonfiction is taking longer.

I got about eighty entries in, because the prizes this year look awesome, including a Nintendo Switch. That device could make my videogame articles easier to do by giving access to games without shelling out a few hundred dollars for one gaming system. When I had to upgrade my gaming last year for streams and access, a PC made the most sense.

It turns out that no calls have come, so I don’t think I have won the Nintendo Switch. But that is more than fine; I was here for the challenge. Any prizes would have been a bonus.

I put in about eighty hours of library activities, from reading to doing a weekly virtual event and logging it in, and most important I had fun. It was great to try a new summer program that got me into more books. And who knows what next summer will bring?