Reading With You

Readers Clock 29K Hours in FW Library Summer Reading Program

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Fort Worth’s readers packed nearly 40 months’ worth of reading time into the three-month Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“The amount of time represents 173 weeks, more than 1,216 days, nearly 29,200 hours and more than 1.75 million minutes,” Fort Worth Public Library spokesperson Theresa Davis said in a statement. “Put simply, that’s a lot of time spent with books. One of the goals of the annual challenge is to foster a love of reading, or help rekindle a love of reading for adults. Readers went wild for the challenge, which carried the theme ‘Tails & Tales’ with a focus on animal-related stories.”

The 2021 challenge also was part of a limited in-person return to activities at Fort Worth Library locations. Combined with the online reading challenges, more than 8,329 activities were completed. There were 5,620 people who signed up through the Beanstack app to participate, and 1,313 (23 percent) of those were adults. Most children’s activities were virtual or in-person but conducted outdoors.

Kids weren’t the only ones getting back into the swing of reading.

“The adult programs linked to the reading challenge with the most participation included the return of in-person concerts: 3rd Thursday Jazz and Cliburn in the Community. Tuesday Night Trivia, Business Equity Week and Your Better Yard programs were among the most popular virtual offerings,” Davis said.

The top five adult book checkouts were:

  • “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  • “Empire of the Summer Moon” by Samuel C. Gynne
  • “A Time for Mercy” by John Grisham
  • “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  • “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley

Young Adult readers chose these five titles the most often:

  • “The Burning Maze” by Rick Riordan
  • “Dear Evan Hansen” by Val Emmich
  • “Renegades” by Marissa Meyer
  • “The Tower of Nero” by Rick Riordan
  • “100 Days” by Nicole McInnes

Children, who comprise the majority of registered summer readers, loved these titles:

  • “Monsters University” by Barbara Bazaldua
  • “Stuart Little” by E.B. White
  • “Friends are Forever” by Natasha Bouchard
  • “I am a Peaceful Goldfish” by Shoshana Chaim
  • “Wrecking Ball” by Jeff Kinney

While the summer program has ended and the prizes have been awarded, there are still plenty of events to look forward to.

“There are thousands of new programs, including the return of in-person story times at all library locations and special events and programs for teens and adults. Notably, an in-person visit with renowned mystery author Charlaine Harris is set for Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Central Library; a 25th-anniversary celebration at the East Regional Library is also set for Oct. 2; a special exhibit highlighting the work of Maurice Sendak, the author of “Where the Wild Things Are,” is coming in November,” Davis said.

Find information on these exciting activities and many others at

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