Library’s 100-book challenge brings community together

Puyallup: More than 120 participants — both adults and children — meet or exceed reading goal

of the HeraldFebruary 19, 2014 

When the Puyallup Public Library held a party to celebrate its 100 book challenge earlier this month, Tim Wadham was pleased with how many people turned out.

“It was a lovely event that brought the community together,” said Wadham, the library’s director.

Former Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen challenged the community to read 100 books last year, an event that came during the 100th anniversary of the library.

The challenge began on Feb. 11, 2013, following the library’s anniversary party, and reading logs were due Jan. 15. The turnout was unexpected, Wadham said.

More than 120 adults and children participated, some of whom read more than 100 books. Hansen read 109.

“There were a lot of people who were really motivated and excited,” Wadham said. “There was a lot of enthusiasm. People saw this as a real accomplishment.”

The library held its book-challenge party Feb. 1. Storyteller Norman Brecke entertained the audience. Hansen congratulated the crowd. Current mayor John Knutsen and council member Steve Vermillion also attended. Participants enjoyed refreshments and cookies that were labeled with a teal 100 in frosting.

Those who met the challenge were given a 100-book-club T-shirt and a plaque. The library will keep two plaques on display to commemorate adults and children who participated, Wadham said.

Eugene Gambriel turned 100 on the day of the party. He’s a frequent library patron who had his awards personally delivered by Wadham.

The library director said another challenge is possible.

“It certainly shows value in challenging the community to read, and we may do some variation of it in the future,” Wadham said.

Wadham said he finished 100 books by Dec. 26. He completed his 101st book before reading logs were due.

Wadham said reading 100 books in one year equals about one book every three days.

“My only strategy was reading the books that I wanted to read or that were important to me,” he said.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001.

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