Winter Reading Challenge 2024

by Alyssa Yenzer

Winter Reading Challenge 2024

By: Audrey Swartz, Readers Advisory Librarian

The cold weather has me wanting to curl up with a hot beverage and read a book, or ten. While I normally will do this without needing any reward, we at Manhattan Public Library do want to reward you for your winter reading! If you haven’t already, head on over to our reading challenges webpage,, and join Manhattan Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge: Cozy Up with a Good Book. Record your reading time and complete some fun activities to earn badges.

  • What are the dates? The challenge runs January 1st through February 29th.
  • Is it free? Yes, it’s free and you get prizes for signing up, meeting the halfway goal, and completing the challenge.
  • Who can join? Adults, teens, and children kindergarten & up. Younger children can join the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge.
  • Did you say prizes? Yes! All participants will receive a small prize for signing up, a winter mug for meeting the halfway goal of 750 reading points, and a free book for completing the challenge by earning 1500 reading points.
  • How do I get points? Points can be earned by reading (each minute = 1 point) and completing activities in Beanstack, such as visiting the library or having a hot drink while you read. Log the time you spend reading or listening to books. Get extra points toward the goals with repeatable activity badges. You will get 5-20 points per activity.
  • Does it matter what I read? No! You can read anything, not just library books. Magazines, graphic novels, and audiobooks also count for your reading time.


Once you have registered, you are free to start reading and recording your minutes. Take some time out and explore the activities, another great way to earn points. Several of the activities are repeatable, like writing a book review, visiting the library, and having a pajama day! There are activities that encourage us to explore nature, our community, and library resources. Did you know that we create personalized reading lists? Or that we have monthly newsletters, based on subject, that recommend books?


Personalized reading lists (PRL) are a wonderful way to access new books without having to do the legwork, and a great way to earn up to 40 points. These librarian-created lists offer the opportunity to explore new genres, authors, and even new formats. We currently have two ways to fill out your personalized reading list request: you can complete one online or in person. To locate the online form, you will need to first go to our website at Click on “Recommendations,” which is located directly under the catalog search box. This will take you to our “Books & More” page. Click on the “Personalized Reading List” option,, and begin to fill out your form. If you prefer a paper option, you’ll find physical forms located near each service desk. When you complete a physical form, write as neatly as possible and make sure to return it to the Reference Desk, located on the second floor.


Our monthly email booklists are another easy way to get reading recommendations based on topic. The sign up link is located on the same page as PRLs, you will just have to scroll down a little further to selected the “E-mail Book Lists” option,, and fill out the sign up form. There are over 20 topics to choose from including Nature & Science, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Current Events. There is no paper option for this, but we can assist you in signing up at the second-floor Reference Desk.


Still don’t know what to read? Come into the library and check out a book from one of our many displays, and also earn points for visiting the library. There will be one display in each department dedicated to winter reading, along with displays located throughout the library. We will also have displays featuring the first book in a series, what to learn in the new year, and the incomparable Danielle Steel. So grab a warm blanket, a hot beverage, and join us this winter in cozying up with a good book!


Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Manhattan Public Library serves more than 75,000 people in the Riley County area through curated book and other media collections, knowledgeable staff, relevant programming for all ages, and meeting space. Learn more at