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Winter reading club seeks to help prevent 'cabin fever'

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By Melanie Donahoo
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

The staff at the Northland Public Library wants to prevent “cabin fever” for patrons with an adult winter reading club of the same name.

The Cabin Fever Adult Winter Reading Club began Jan. 2 and runs through Feb. 28. Patrons can pick up a reading record at the library's adult reference desk that has four winter-themed categories of books, said Linda Farmerie of Valencia in Butler County, a reference librarian at Northland, 300 Cumberland Road in McCandless.

The categories are “Some Like it Hot,” “Cozy Mysteries,” “Baby, It's Cold Outside,” and “Scared Stiff.” Two books can be read per category, and each reading record comes with a list of suggested books that fit each category, so patrons have an idea of where to start, Farmerie said.

She said she took key words from each category and searched the library database for both fiction and nonfiction books. For the category “Baby, It's Cold Outside,” Farmerie said, she searched for words such as “cold,” “freeze” and “ice.”

“If patrons find a book that isn't on the list but they feel fits into a category, that's fine, too,” Farmerie said.

A “reader's choice” category lets participants read any four books they wish, Farmerie said.

Once participants have read at least one book, they can bring their record back to the library and get a prize slip for every book read, said Jane Jubb of Franklin Park, adult-services manager at Northland.

People can put their prize slip into one of four bins for a $25 gift card to, Target, Crate & Barrel, or The Cheesecake Factory, Jubb said.

“It gives people an added incentive to read if they can win prizes,” she said.

At the end of the program, one slip is drawn from each bin to pick a winner.

“If they read 10 books, they can put all ten slips in for one prize, or they can spread them out among all four prizes,” Farmerie said.

“The more books they read, the more chances they'll have to win.”

Once a reading record with all 12 books is full, patrons can pick up a second or third record if they are fast readers, Farmerie said.

The library has had an adult summer reading club since 2001, and 1,200 books were read by participants last summer. But many patrons have said they have more time for reading in the winter, Jubb said.

“It encourages people to read different genres and introduces them to new authors,” Farmerie said. “It's an opportunity to broaden your reading interests.”

Melanie Donahoo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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