Naperville Public Library launches updated Amazing Book Challenge


Jake Pfeiffer

A shelf at the Nichols Library shows the new prize and rules for the Naperville Public Library’s Amazing Book Challenge.

Vasu Dar, Copy Editor

The Naperville Public Library has launched a rebranded Amazing Book Challenge to increase adult and teen engagement.

Participants must read a book from each of the 12 different categories, ranging from “books under 300 pages” to “stories featuring AI.” Anyone in sixth grade or above can participate in the challenge. This year, participants are able to win prizes based on their progress.

“After you’ve completed several months, we have buttons and magnets that people can pick up,” adult and teen supervisor Karen Luster said. “If you complete all 12 months, you get an insulated branded bag.”

Another change was the decision to release all 12 topics together rather than to release them month by month.

“We released all the lists at the same time so people can be a little bit more flexible. Before, we were releasing the monthly theme one month at a time, Luster said. “So if maybe, February’s topic wasn’t something you’re interested in, you could go down to October and come back to February [later].”

The changes have helped increase involvement in the challenge. Data provided by Luster showed there was a 138% increase in participants and a 626% increase in books logged this January in comparison to January 2022.

In its fourth year, the Amazing Book Challenge was originally created to encourage adults and teens to read outside their comfort zone.

“This is something just to show adult and teen readers that there’s something beyond what they typically read and hoping that we’ll engage them in a different genre and they’ll start reading those genres as well,” Luster said. “So it’s really just trying to broaden their horizons and show them what else is out there.”

Sign up and learn more about the Amazing Book Challenge on the Naperville Public Library website.