If you’ve stopped by the library, visited our website or scrolled through Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed that we’re talking a lot about logging books and reaching a community reading goal. Maybe you’ve seen one of our posters around town, read about it from your favorite local news source or heard our spot on the radio inviting you to help us read 25,000 books this summer. Plenty of readers are already on board, helping us to top 10,000 books in four weeks. If you’re not one of them and are wondering, “What’s this all about, anyway?”, you need to know two things — 1. Reading is good for you. 2. Your reading habits set an example.

When you crack open a book or power up your e-reader, you may be simply thinking about escaping your day for a few minutes and finding out what happens next in the story. That time you take for reading also gives your brain a good workout, may help reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease makes you more empathetic and helps reduce stress. Additionally, reading can have material benefits this summer if you are logging your books at the library or online. We’re drawing weekly winners for prizes like Rolling Hills Zoo passes and gift certificates to local hotspots.

You may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but still doesn’t explain the community reading goal.” That brings me to point No. 2. Having a public goal helps us demonstrate that we are a community of readers. This can have a positive impact on others’ reading habits. And, while reading is good for adults, it is super beneficial for babies, toddlers and children. That’s why, when you read to others, both you and your listener can log that book toward the reading goal.

I hope that I’ve convinced you to help us reach 25,000 books this summer. Remember, you can log books online or at the library, and any book in any format counts — paper, e-books, audiobooks, books you own, books you checked out, books you borrowed from a friend or ordered online, etc. To help get you started, here are popular titles other readers have been checking out:

Top 10 Adult Book Checkouts in May

The Music Shop book cover

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance
“The 18th Abduction” by James Patterson
“Run Away” by Harlan Coben
“Wolf Pack” by C.J. Box
“The Music Shop” by Rachel Joyce
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
“The First Lady” by James Patterson
“The Chef” by James Patterson
“Blessing in Disguise” by Danielle Steel
“The Cornwalls are Gone” by James Patterson