Reading Challenge Starts in Recognition of Freedom to Read Week

Part of our role at Calgary Public Library is to provide a space for conversation, to welcome diverse opinions and perspectives, and promote learning within our community. 

This commitment to intellectual freedom includes providing access to a wide range of books, movies, music, magazines, and more. In recognition of Freedom to Read Week (February 18 – 24, 2024), Calgary Public Library is offering a reading challenge to celebrate our access to such a variety of material, rather than focusing on the somber threat to intellectual freedom.  

As most book bans and challenges involve titles featuring love and romance, often between 2SLGBTQ+ characters and / or people of colour, we are hosting a Leap into Love Reading Challenge that kicks off February 1.  

To complete the challenge, participants must read three books in 29 days: 

  1. A romance novel
  2. A personal journey of love and acceptance
  3. A story about the power of friendship 

Whether it’s the spicy story of Fifty Shades of Grey, A Court of Thorns and Roses that introduced legions of TikTok users to “romantasy” or Detransition, Baby, a concise, yet powerful exploration of self-discovery for a transgender woman who detransitions, the categories are intentionally broad.  

What does a love story mean to you? How does the power of friendship come through the pages you’re reading (or listening to). If you need some help getting started, head to the challenge page on our website to check out our curated booklists.  

All participants will be automatically entered into a weekly draw for a title of your choice from Slow Burn Books, a local bookstore specializing in romance titles, and a grand prize draw. Once you complete the challenge, head to your nearest Library location and receive a limited-edition enamel pin. 

How to participate 

Registration opens February 1, 2024 in Beanstack. While there is no paper map, the Beanstack app will also help you track your progress.  

Looking to increase your chance of winning the grand prize draw? Try one of our optional activities, such as cooking dinner for someone you love or attending the Tessa Bailey program on February 8. These extra activities will give you more entries in Beanstack! 

What’s a challenge without prizes? 

All participants who complete the challenge will receive a limited-edition enamel pin. Show your Beanstack app as proof of completion at any Library location.  

Weekly prize draws will take place February 2, 9, 16, 23, and March 1. The winner will receive an email with a link to the catalogue from Slow Burn Books to choose a title of their choice. 

The grand prizes will be drawn at the end of the challenge and even if you’ve won a weekly prize, you’re still eligible! In Beanstack, apply tickets to express your interest in one of the prizes. There are three prize packages to choose from: 

  • A Raven Reads Gift Pack featuring a selection of books and goodies by Indigenous creators 
  • A romance trope tote bag filled with fun items and treats from Slow Burn Books. 
  • A Bookish tote bag filled with a set of commonly banned romance titles 

Now, let’s get reading. Register today and let’s Leap into Love! 

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