Read Books, Win Prizes
Delve into books both new and familiar as part of the Des Moines Public Library Reading Challenge, and win fun prizes along the way!
All you have to do is read a book from 12 of our 18 selected genre categories over 12 months. You can read books in any order, and we’ll even offer expert librarian reading suggestions. In addition to monthly prizes and a grand prize at the end of the year, anyone who completes the challenge will receive a special button when they do so!
And if you’re a fast reader, keep an eye open for special bonus categories each month, too!
To register, you'll need to sign up for a Beanstack account, which takes just seconds.
When you're logged in, you'll be able to view and register for the 2023 DMPL Reading Challenge.
Need an extra challenge? At the beginning of every month we will announce a bonus category in our private Reading Challenge Facebook group, our Goodreads Group, on our social media channels, and right here on our website. Complete all 12 bonus categories before the end of the year to get an exclusive piece of library swag fit for a super reader.
The bonus categories, and reading suggestions for those categories will live here on this page. You do not need to complete the bonus category in the month it is announced, but you do need to complete all 12 bonus categories before the end of 2023 to get the special swag.
Be sure to track your progress in the bonus categories using our special Bonus Category Tracker on Beanstack!
November: A book by an indigenous author.
October: A book that has been challenged or banned.
September: A book by a Latinx Author.
August: Retellings — read a retelling of a classic book, fairytale, or legend.
July: Disability Pride Month—A book with a main character with a disability or written by an author with a disability or who is neurodivergent.
June - A book recommended by a friend
May - Nature Books
April - It's National Poetry Month, so check out a poetry collection!
March - A book with an Iowa connection
February— A Love Story
2023 Reading Challenge FAQ
- Choose one book a month (12 total) from each of our 18 categories and log your progress online. You can read books and categories in any order - there are no assigned months. Find the categories below.
- We will offer suggestions, but feel free to choose any book that fits within a category.
- Books, audiobooks, and eBooks all count.
- A different book must be read for each different category.
- Participants who stay on track (i.e., have read three books in three months, six books in six months, etc.) will be eligible to win the quarterly prize. At the end of each quarter (March, June, September), we'll draw one prize gift card winner.
- Those who complete the challenge (read a book in each of 12 categories over the course of the year) will be eligible for the grand prize drawing, which includes one grand prize gift card winner and two runners-up gift card winners.
- You can always play catch-up! If you don't register until February, you can still be eligible for the monthly prize by reading two books by the end of the month, or for the first quarter prize by reading three books by the end of March. If you miss a month, read two books the next month to stay on track. If you don't register until November, you can still read 12 books before the end of 2023 and be eligible for the grand prize.
- Each month, we'll reveal our bonus category for our super readers. If you complete all 12 bonus categories over the course of the year, you'll receive an exclusive piece of library swag.
- Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. An individual that turns 18 over the course of the year may register and begin participating on or after their birthday.
- The contest begins on December 30, 2022.
- Tag us on social media or use our hashtag and let us know what you're reading: #DMPLReads23
- Join our Facebook Group - #DMPLReads23 - and talk about which books you're reading with other challenge participants
- Join our Goodreads Group to share your books too.
- Use Storygraph to publicly share how you're doing on the Reading Challenge.
The prize structure is as follows. Prizes are given out at the end of each quarter.
- March: 1 prize
- June: 1 prize
- September: 1 prize
- December: 1 grand prize and two runner-up prizes.
- Nonfiction book in a nontraditional format
- Book set somewhere you want to visit
- Book under 200 pages or a novella
- Reese, Jenna, Oprah, or Good Morning America Book Club pick
- Book written by a transgender or nonbinary author
- Book that is first in a series