Want to do something creative and outside the box with your readers? Here’s what we’re doing for the summer.
This year marks the inaugural summer reading program at my library. We’re calling it the YA Reading Round Robin. Last year some of the YA Book Club members wanted to meet over the summer, but logistically that was going to be a nightmare. So we just went on break over the summer and picked it up in the fall.
(Thanks must go to a UD alum for these amazing signs! Thanks Kevin!)
This year, Diana and I decided to be ambitious. We wanted to run a program that people around campus for the summer could participate in that required very little day-to-day work on our part. Also, we were aiming for something that would flex around everyone’s schedules. This fall/winter I was a part of a long-distance book club. We modeled our program after that experience.
In that group, each of 5 women picked a book and annotated, doodled, commented, and responded to what they were reading along the way in the book. Then they mailed that book to the next person. That person would do the same, replying to the first person’s comments and making their own marks on the book. After they were done, they’d mail it to the next person, etc. (Want to see my finished product? Check out photos of my copy of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.)
We’re doing the same thing this summer. Only instead of mailing books, we’re doing it all from one central bookshelf in the library. We started with 19 books that we selected from a wide range of genres (realistic, fantasy, historical, sci-fi, and even graphic). We slapped a pocket and card in them, a sticker explaining the process on the front, and a bookmark with directions on it between the pages. The book club members check them out the old school way, by leaving the card with their name on it in a box on the shelf. They are also encouraged to borrow a brightly colored pen from our stash. The only real rules to are to try to stick to the same color in the book and to put their name (in that color) in the front of the book. Once they’ve finished writing in it to their hearts content, they’ll bring them back to the shelf, put the card back in it, and repeat the process. The only other work on our part involved providing summaries of all 26 books, and brainstorming a few additional titles in case we need to add some along the way. Since we started this a week ago, 13 of the orginal 19 titles have gone out, and we’ve still got a few more people interested. Just today we’ve ordered 7 more books to bring our program up to 26 unique titles!
At the end of the summer/beginning of fall semester, we’ll throw a party to talk about the books. And about how weird it was to write in books. And how we might improve it for next year. And have a Skype date with one of the authors, thanks Siobhan!!! And most importantly to give away the books. Those who have read each book will be eligible to win it. I’m really excited to see how it goes this summer.