Adults can now enjoy the rewards and prizes of summer reading once reserved for children with the return of the Hoboken Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading program. In its second year, the program launched on July 5 and runs through Aug. 31. The program features weekly prize drawings, three grand prizes, and a special End of Summer Reading party.
For many years the Hoboken Library has held children’s and teen’s summer reading programs but wanted to branch out to the 18 and over audience as a way to encourage reading and invite them to experience what the library has to offer.
A break from a workaholic world
“We’ve wanted to do something to engage adults for a while now,” said Rosary Van Ingen, head of adult services. She has worked for the library for 20 years. “Adults get so much into their work cycle. It is kind of nice to just have some fun.”
“People just love to talk about books”– Rosary Van Ingen
“In Hoboken we have such a great cross section of readers [including] teens, young adults, recent college graduates, [and] young families,” said Van Ingen. She noted that last year the adult reading program participants ranged in age from 18 to their early 80s. Even though the program launched late in the summer last year, 37 people participated.
“They didn’t want a typical book club because it is everyone reading the same book…they wanted to share what they love to read with other people,” said Van Ingen about the participants. “People just love to talk about books.”
“It is a just a great way for the community to come together and to share reading,” said Laura Knittel, community outreach specialist. Knittel said that the library has taken note that among the adult population in Hoboken there are many twenty and thirtysomethings moving in to town.
“We have so much to offer adults,” said Knittel.
To be a part of the summer reading program participants agree to submit a review either online or in-person for as little or as much as they have read. According to Van Ingen, there is no pressure to read a certain number of pages or books and participants can choose any type of book in any format whether that is print, e-reader, or audio.
“Everything counts, even graphic novels,” said Van Ingen. Patrons can also rent out e-readers, which are available in four different languages, with a deposit.
Weekly prizes add incentive to read
Adult patrons in the program can read as much or as little as they want by setting their own personal goals. Anyone who lives or works in Hoboken can participate in the program as long as they have a library account, but only residents are eligible to win one of the grand prizes.
While children may receive incentives such as free ice cream for reading, adults are eligible to receive weekly prizes such as a canvas bag or a gift card to Starbucks. Every week on Thursdays the library staff will draw one book review written during that week at random to select who gets the weekly prize.
Among the three grand prizes: For most number of pages read, the top winner may receive the latest Kindle e-reader, followed by two tickets from the Friends of the Hoboken Library for “Novel Night,” which is a night filled with gourmet dinners hosted in Hoboken homes, and a third prize yet to be determined. Last year the grand prize winners read in the vicinity of 2,000 to 3,000 pages or around 10 books.
End of summer party
The summer reading program concludes with an End of Summer Reading Party, which is being held at the library on Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. VanIngen said that this party was very popular last year and provides the opportunity for adult participants to meet face to face. VanIngen said that the program could evolve to include more face-to-face gatherings depending on interest and involvement this year. The library also offers other adult programming such as a monthly book club, evening talks with authors and other guests, computer classes, resume training, and an open mic night where people can showcase their work.
To sign up for the reading program go to the first floor circulation desk or at any time visit: https://nj.evanced.info/hoboken/sr/homepage.asp?ProgramID=3
For more information, call the library at: (201) 420-2280 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at email@example.com.