It’s bingo time, but with books

BLUE EARTH – Blue Earth Public Library director Eva Gaydon added a twist to the winter reading program, which will be “Hot Reads for Cold Nights … BingO.”

“We’ve always had a program, but we’ve done it by visits,” Gaydon explained. “This year, we thought we’d try something different.”

The program kicks off Thursday and ends March 17. Those wanting to participate can pick up an entry sheet now. It is laid out like a bingo board. There’s the familiar “Free Space” in the center, but every other block is different. Instead of numbers, one block says “Nonfiction book,” the next “Mystery,” “Romance,” “Bestseller,” “Paperback,” “Thriller,” “Book in a series” and “Book that became a movie,” to list a few.

“It’s incentive to come to the library and try different genres you normally wouldn’t read,” Gaydon said.

Each block has room for the book’s title to be written, as they are finished.

“One book counts for one square,” Gaydon said.

She noted participants can read books or e-books, and they do not even have to be library books.

Fill in one row – for instance, read a romance, a sci fi/fantasy, paperback and historical fiction, and get the free space – and bring in the entry sheet to enter the monthly drawing.

“Four books in a month; pretty doable for a month in winter,” Gaydon said.

Readers may enter as many times per month as they want, depending on how fast they can read enough books.

“Turn in one, you’re eligible for the drawing,” Gaydon said. “If you turn in more, you have a better chance.”

Dates for drawings have not been set, but Gaydon has rounded up some prizes, including mugs, cocoa gift sets, popcorn and other little incentives.

“There will be multiple winners each month,” she said, adding that patrons do not need to be present to win.

“It’s just something to do, get people out of the house in the winter,” Gaydon said.

For more information, check the library’s Facebook page.