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"26% of Americans did not crack open a book last year:" CO librarians emphasize 20-year reading challenge

Posted at 10:37 AM, Feb 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-07 12:41:56-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — More than 4,000 people signed up for the Pikes Peak Library District's adult winter reading program in 2023. That's the highest number in the program's 20-year history.

But a little more than half of them completed the challenge.

"There's some studies out there, 26% of Americans did not crack open a book last year, as a library we'd like to change that," the senior library associate at East Library, Joe Paisley, said.

The Pikes Peak Library District is challenging people to read 30 minutes a day for 30 days this winter by offering prizes.

It's part of the annual adult reading program.

"There's a problem in my family, and that is that my grandchildren are being encouraged to not read books," John Grigg said. "If I win a prize, then I'll let it be known and hopefully it'll rub off on them."

Grigg signed up at East Library Tuesday. He said he started reading as a kid and now read about a book a week.

"Every time you read, you learn something and when you quit learning something, then you eventually expire and I'm not ready to expire yet so I want to keep learning things," Grigg said.

Learning Rx, a Colorado Springs tutoring center, said making reading a routine at a young age helps build a foundation for success later in life.

"That doesn't end in fifth grade it doesn't end in high school it doesn't end when you finish your masters degree, reading is something that we need to do throughout the lifespan to keep our brain sharp," Learning Rx Director Teri Miller said.

Miller said it can be hard for adults to get back into reading if they haven't picked up a book in a while.

"If you are an adult, who had reading struggles, or even had a diagnosis of dyslexia or other reading deficit, don't settle for thinking that you can't be a reader," Miller said.

The program runs through March 31. If you're 18 years and older, you can still sign up online here or in person at any Pikes Peak Library branch.

Pikes Peak Library District challenges people to read 30 minutes a day