Linda Messick: Tis the season to cozy up with a book

Tis the season to cozy up with a good book (or two) and settle in for a snug bit of reading time.

That frosty nip in the air, the shorter days and the ever-present warm beverage at hand always inspire me to tackle my To Be Read (TBR) pile of books and try to make some headway — a futile effort as anyone who has a TBR pile knows. I seem to accumulate far more books than I can feasibly read in one lifetime. Still, I enjoy the challenge, and there is an event I look forward to each winter to help me keep pace with my “mountain” of reading.

The Winter Reading program at Greenwood Public Library is a wonderful way to keep track of your reading time and earn prizes as well. This year, we are Reading Through the Ages, and all ages can register and read in this program starting now through the end of February. Participants will not only get badges for time read, but also earn raffle tickets throughout the program that they can redeem for a chance to win either a Cozy Reading prize pack or a Gaming prize pack. Participants will be able to win a free book as well.

When you participate in the library’s Winter Reading program, any kind of reading counts. While we love to see people reading books from the library, school books, books you have at home (remember the giant TBR pile?), magazines and graphic novels all count, as do audiobooks and eBooks. And, if you are part of our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, you can count books from that program as well.

I love how easy it is to join and track my reading using the free Beanstack app. With Beanstack you can easily log and track reading, activities, and awards for the whole family either at home or on the go with your phone. You can time your reading, write book reviews, and even add other readers as friends. You can learn more about getting started with Beanstack on the library’s website.

In addition to reading with library’s Winter Reading program, I’m also looking forward to all of our Reading Through the Ages programs. One example is a look at Johnson County’s role in the Civil War presented by David Pfeiffer, director of the Johnson County Museum of History. History buffs are also encouraged to come ready to discuss a book you’ve read or a documentary you have seen for our History Roundtable, where February’s topic will be Influential African American Hoosiers.

Whether you are a fan of vinyl records or new to the format, you won’t want to miss Vinyl Night with Cory O’Sullivan from Electric Key Records. Attendees are encouraged to bring a vinyl record of their own to share, and participants will be entered to win a $25 gift card to Electric Key Records.

Take a trip through film history with a silent, a talkie and a foreign film in our new Film Through the Ages series. Titles featured include the Buster Keaton classic The Cameraman, the wonderful comedy It Happened One Night, and the celebrated Bengali film Aparajito.

For the K-5 crowd, programs begin in mid-January and include a weekly STEAM Through the Ages series that will explore a bit of history as we enjoy some STEAM activities inspired by the past. Topics include dinosaurs, the ancient world, art and science. Check out the library’s Program Calendar at for dates and registration for these and more upcoming programs.

So this winter, why not don a wooly, winter sweater, grab a cup of hot cocoa (marshmallows included of course), find your favorite cozy spot, and start reading. Maybe we can finally tackle that TBR pile.