When it’s cold and grey outside, the best way to pass the time might be cozying up with a book. The Winter Reads Program could be one way to stay engaged during the coldest months of the year.

The Winter Reads Program

The Winter Reads Program is for adults and runs Jan. 1 to Feb. 29.

The program encourages winter reading for adults in Carver, Scott, Dakota, Ramsey, Anoka and Washington counties, according to the Metropolitan Library Service Agency website. It started on Jan. 1 and runs through Feb. 29. Participants can register at their local library or online.


People can check out books, audio books, e-books or e-audio books, said Paula La Frenierre, the adult services coordinator for the Scott County Library.

After participants read a book, they can submit a review at their library or by using the Beanstack tool at bit.ly/ScottCounty. Book reviews allow readers to be entered into weekly drawings at the Scott County Library. There is also a grand prize drawing at the end of February, La Frenierre said.

The Scott County Library offers events specifically for the program. To find these, search “Winter Reads” on its events page at bit.ly/Scottevents.

On average, around 160 people participate in the Winter Reads Program at the library, La Frenierre said. Around 120 people participate using Beanstack.

When it’s cold and unpleasant outside, “that’s a great time to read and be active,” La Frenierre said.


At the Carver County Library the process is the same. Readers can sign up and review books at the library or on Beanstack at bit.ly/CarverCounty, said Anna Doyle, adult services librarian at the Carver County Library.

The Chanhassen Library

The Chanhassen Library, one of the Carver County libraries, is participating in the Winter Reads program.

Participants receive a free book for their first and fifth review, Doyle said. For the Carver County Library, book reviews allow readers to be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of February. Prizes include Barnes & Noble gift cards and Kindle Fires.

The Carver County Library offers events specifically for Winter Reads. To find these, go on its events page at bit.ly/Carverevents.

Last year around 250 people participated in the program. In total, readers wrote over 800 reviews, Doyle said. The record for most books read by one person was 28 books.

The Winter Reads Program is an important way to keep yourself interested and active when the weather isn’t ideal. It’s a way to “keep your brain moving,” Doyle said.


Lydia Christianson is a digital reporter for Southwest News Media. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. When not reporting, she enjoys reading in coffee shops, listening to podcasts, and checking out new restaurants.


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