Meet our 2024 Library Foundation Award honorees.

10 Reasons the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Read-A-Thon is Rad

Why should you join the raddest Read-A-Thon in the city? Let us count the ways.

#10: You can make a dent in your TBR!

Do you need a nudge to tackle the ever-growing reading list on your bedside table? Or do you simply need an excuse to read more? This challenge is perfect for you. From April 6 to May 21(that’s six weeks!) you get to carve time to read as many books as possible.

#9:  Read outside of your comfort zone.

We all have our usual reading routine, our favorite genres, and our go-to-authors. Read-A-Thon encourages us to mix things up. Put together a stack of books you wouldn’t have dared to pick up otherwise. So go ahead, pick up that Zombie novel. Venture into science fiction. Take a stab at some murder and mystery. Surprise yourself.

Don’t know where to start? Chicago Public Library has dozens of curated booklists you can explore.   

#8: You can read however you want to read.

All readers and reading experiences are welcome. Whether you love the feel of turning a page or enjoy laying back Kindle in hand, or maybe listening to audiobooks is more your style, all modes of reading are encouraged in the Read-A-Thon community!

#7: Turn Read-A-Thon into a book party.

Who says you have to read alone? Invite your book club, family, friends, and coworkers and form a team of six and turn reading into a bonding activity. You know what they say, the group that reads together stays close forever!

#6: Conquer the challenges and win cool prizes.

When you register, you automatically receive a special Read-A-Thon 2021 bookmark. But the prizes don’t stop there. Level up with our fun reading challenges and win an exclusive collection of face masks, totes, raffle tickets, and a special swag bag of…wait for it….more books! Check out the challenges!

#5: You get a raffle ticket! You get a raffle ticket! Everyone gets a raffle ticket!  

When you register, you earn one raffle ticket. Complete six books, you earn three raffle tickets.  Your supporters who donate to your Read-A-Thon campaign earn raffle tickets. Every $25 donated earns the donor one raffle ticket. Gift certificates, virtual cheese courses, yoga memberships, autographed Chicago sports memorabilia, and more are waiting for you.

#4: Choose your own Read-A-Thon adventure.

You can participate in Read-A-Thon in a way that works for you. Love reading? Get your booklist together and start flipping pages with the Read Only option. Looking to read and support lifelong learning at Chicago Public Library? You can Read & Fundraise. Want to participate but just don’t have the time? You can still get involved when you Support a Reader.

#3: We’ll set you up for success.

We’re sure you have questions like, “How do I get started?” “How do I track my reading progress?” “How do we read as a team?” Don’t worry, we got you covered! Download the Participation Guide here ─ your toolkit to everything Read-A-Thon. You can also email with questions.

#2: Join the rad-est virtual party in town.

We’re closing out Read-A-Thon with one banging throwback to the ‘90s. Put on your overalls, capri pants, bomber jackets, and fanny packs, and get ready to party like it’s 1999! All readers are welcome to join the Read-A-Thon celebration on May 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm CST.  Come for the vibe, stay for the announcement of winners, raffle draw, and special guests including Chicago Bears legend lineman, author, and entrepreneur, Israel Idonije.

#1: Your reading makes an impact.

Every book you read and every dollar you raise provide access to critical Library resources, services, and tools for Chicagoans of all ages across our 77 neighborhoods. Registration is $25 per reader. Proceeds benefit lifelong learning at Chicago Public Library that include:

  • Free and high-quality learning materials and resources for children
  • Opportunities for teens to express themselves creatively while guided by youth mentors
  • Tools for adults to acquire digital skills

Reading has never been this fun. Reading never felt this good. What are you waiting for?

Ready. Set. Read!