Hinsdale Central offers reading marathon
Students and staff at Hinsdale Central are participating in a book marathon, logging the book titles they read on a "bib," like runners wear in timed races. The library director has scheduled mid-race rallies on Dec. 19 and Feb. 14 to keep readers motivated.
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:21AM
HINSDALE — This is one marathon where bad weather may help the participants’ performance.
Hinsdale Central High School is holding a book marathon. The goal is to read 26.2 books during the course of six months.
The “race” started Oct. 12. The finish line is April 19, the end of National Library Week. Frigid temperatures and a snowy winter may encourage people to stay indoors and settle down with a good book.
The list of reading material that counts toward the goal is fairly extensive and includes graphic novels, audio books, books required by classroom teachers, and eBooks, in addition to fiction and nonfiction books. Only textbooks and magazines are excluded.
“Participants log their book titles on a running bib,” Hinsdale Central Library Director Kathy Krepps said.
Haleigh Monyek, 16, of Clarendon Hills completed the book marathon last year, when she was a sophomore.
Although she really enjoys reading, Monyek said at first it was hard to fit in the extra reading with all her schoolwork. But then she decided to set aside reading time before she went to sleep each night.
“I decided to turn off the technology and to relax from a stressful day and immerse myself in a whole new world. It gave me a really good motive to read and read more of a variety of books,” Monyek said.
She chose not to participate again as a junior because her workload is heavier, “but I still read about five nights a week,” Monyek said.
Krepps reports 263 students signed up to compete this year, along with 49 members of the Hinsdale Central staff. That’s a 60 percent increase from last school year, when the reading program was introduced. Krepps attributes the higher participation to the fact that shorter targets were offered, in addition to the marathon goal of reading 26 books and starting a 27th by the end of the program.
Participants could sign up to read 13.1 books, that is 13 books entirely and start a 14th, and a 10k, which equals 6 books read and a seventh started.
Extremely avid readers could sign up for the ultra marathon, which requires they read 45.5 books. Only 44, or 14 percent of the total 312 readers participating, were that ambitious.
All those who complete their event will receive a medal and certificate of honor at a celebratory luncheon, Krepps said.
To keep spirits up, the school will hold a reading rally Dec. 19.