Great Summer Reading for Grown-Ups

Susan Withee, Adult Services Department Manager

groundbreaking reads

This coming Saturday, June 1, is the official kick-off for summer reading programs at Manhattan Public Library and the beginning of our busiest season.  Thousands of people come through the library’s doors every summer, and hundreds of them – children, teens, and adults – participate in a reading program.  There’s a program for each age group, and each has their own events, activities, and prizes.  If you’ve never participated in the adult summer reading program, this is the year to start!  Like we always say, “Why should the kids have all the fun?”

For busy adults, this summer reading program couldn’t be simpler or more tailored to your individual reading choices.  Readers from age 18 and beyond can sign up for the Adult program and you may register and track your reading online through the library’s website.  Through June and July, you read whatever you wish and in whatever format you prefer – printed book, e-book, or audiobook – and you keep track of the number of books read or the hours spent reading.  For each book read or every four hours spent reading you’ll fill out a drawing slip for great prizes.

Prize drawings are held each we’re very grateful for their support.week and final grand prizes will be drawn when the program finishes up at the end of July.  There are lots of great prizes to be given away, including gift certificates to local businesses, eateries, and agencies.  Sponsors of the adult program this year include the Manhattan Library Association (the Library Friends), the Flint Hills Discovery Center, Bed Bath & Beyond, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, and Panera Bread.

The theme of our program this summer is “Groundbreaking Reads,” focusing on people, ideas, inventions, films, books, and so on that have been innovative, noteworthy, and world-changing.  Adult readers who are up for a challenge may earn additional drawing chances in various ways.  Read a book from one of our “groundbreaking” reading lists, something by an author who is new to you, or a selection from our list of National Book Award winners of the past 40 years.  Check out a library movie on our list of groundbreaking and classic films, including A Clockwork Orange, Blazing Saddles, The Princess Bride, The French Connection, The Magnificent Seven, and many more.

You can also win extra drawing chances by going on one of our in-library scavenger hunts for books about people who changed history or about events that changed the world.  We’ll show four Oscar-winning films for adults here in the library in June and July, and attendance wins you more chances in the weekly prize drawings.  Stop by the library’s Information Desk to pick up reading lists, film lists, scavenger hunt guides, and a flyer about the free films, dates, and show times.

If you’re stumped for what to read this summer and looking for help discovering new authors and titles, it’s a great time to request one of our Personalized Reading Lists, created just for you by one of our librarians and based on your individual reading tastes and preferences. First, you’ll fill out an individualized reading survey, found at either the library’s Information Desk or Reference Desk, or available to fill out online at the library’s website under “Books, Movies & More.”  The survey is an easy questionnaire that will guide you in describing your reading tastes, including types of fiction and non-fiction you like to read as well as other important considerations like book length, time period, and setting.  You’ll be asked to list some of your favorite books and authors, to give us an idea of what you’ve enjoyed reading. Give us two weeks to work on your request, and you’ll receive a list of at least ten books, fiction and/or non-fiction, along with detailed summaries and descriptions, all tailored to suit your individual tastes and needs.  A new list can be prepared for you once a month and you’ll work with a librarian to fine-tune your reading profile over time.  And remember our favorite adage:  Never apologize for your reading tastes!  Chances are excellent that our librarians share them.  Let us help you find your future favorite books.

Happy summer reading, Manhattan!

Posted in: For Adults, Mercury Column

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