October 31st, 2020

Lethbridge Public Library hosting Book Tournament


By Nick Kuhl on February 29, 2020.

Dave Sulz


lethbridge herald


dsulz@lethbridgeherald.com


It’s March Madness, literary style.
Coinciding with the month which sees college basketball fans delight 
in following the annual NCAA tournament south of the border, the 
Lethbridge Public Library is offering its own bracket-based 
competition, one in which books go head-to-head to determine a champion.
The library’s Book Tournament features a total of 32 book titles, two 
each from 16 different genres — eight fiction genres and eight non-
fiction categories.
Voting for Round One starts Monday, with voting continuing through 
Saturday. The winners of each round go on to the next week’s round, 
with voting again running from Monday through Saturday. The tournament 
will determine a fiction winner and a non-fiction winner following the 
four rounds of competition.
You don’t need to have read the books in order to participate, said 
Peyton deWit, a library assistant with the library’s Information 
Services department. People can vote once per day, either online at 
lethlib.ca or in person at the Main Branch.
“It’s just something fun to increase community engagement,” deWit 
said of the tournament, which is patterned after the March Madness 
idea in basketball. It’s proven to be a successful event with other 
libraries “and they’ve gotten really good feedback.”
The list of book titles includes many names that will be recognizable 
to most readers, even if they haven’t actually read them. There are 
classics such as Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and William 
Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” along with contemporary titles 
such as the Stephen King horror tale “It” and Jeannette Walls’ 
memoir “The Glass Castle.”
“We wanted a mixture of classic and modern titles that people would 
be familiar with,” said deWit, who noted that compiling the book list 
“was probably the most fun I had.”
Including titles from a broad assortment of categories was another way 
to make the tournament of interest to a wide range of readers.
“That was the goal,” said deWit. “We wanted everyone to feel they 
could participate.”
It’s hoped the tournament will help spur readership of the books on 
the list, such as classic titles that readers might know but have not 
read.
If the book tournament is well received, it could become an annual 
event, and perhaps even include a kids’ tournament in the future.
“We’ll see how this one goes,” said deWit, adding if it proves 
popular with the public, “we could take this to the moon.”
A full list of book titles can be found online at lethlib.ca by 
clicking on the Book Tournament icon.

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