Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 9:15am

Reading for pleasure is one way Sharonlynn Dragiewicz is coping with the ongoing shelter-in-place circumstances. And with Summer Reading, she’s more than ready to dive in. 

Sharonlynn has always seized the opportunity to participate in the library’s reading programs. She and her husband Dick are both longtime participants of the library’s annual Winter and Summer Reading programs.

In the last reading program, Sharonlynn was selected the grand prize iPad winner for Winter Reading, her first time. 

“I was always hoping [to win] and then it happened!” said Sharonlynn, who’s lived in Northbrook with her husband for more than 30 years. 

Ever since the library building closed in March due to COVID-19 restrictions, she’s kept up her reading and even discovered new authors.

These days she uses her Kindle to download titles from the library’s Libby app.

Sharonlynn can go through five to six books–mostly thrillers, mysteries, and historical fiction a week. Titles she’s read during the building’s closure include The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and Burning Bright by Nick Petrie, an author she recently discovered. 

Making the time to read is a priority for the former teacher. She said she’s always been a reader, but didn’t have much time set aside for it when she worked full-time and went to school for her masters. So when she retired 10 years ago she took advantage of her newly freed up time to dive in deeper with her reading habit. 

And the library’s reading programs are welcoming and encouraging for readers of all backgrounds, she said. 

“They make it as easy as possible for everyone to take part,” she said. “And they provide you an incentive: You check a book out, read it and get rewarded for doing something you enjoy, for something that’s good for you.” 

During these uncertain times, Sharonlynn has carved out a daily routine involving housework, puzzles, and exercise, and, of course, reading.

“You gotta keep active and busy so you don’t go nuts,” she said. 

She’s been able to chat with her friends and neighbors from a safe physical distance. She’s also experienced a virtual family gathering for her brother-in-law’s 70th birthday via Zoom. 

Despite the challenging circumstances, Sharonlynn is heartened to see community members doing what they can to encourage one another. 

On her walks around the neighborhood, she’s spotted plenty of teddy bears and bear printouts displayed on front home windows. She’s seen colorful chalk art created by children. And last week, she saw a house decorated with about “75 balloons and a big red birthday sign” for a two-year-old with cars driving by honking to wish her a happy birthday.  

“Our community is pulling together,” she said.  

Sharonlynn’s Advice on Making the Most Out of Summer Reading: 

  • Make reading a priority; set aside time for it 

  • Pick a genre(s): “Pick something you can delve into and listen to the library’s recommendations.” 

  • Talk to staff: “They can help direct you. People here can help you figure things out; you’ve just got a great staff. No matter what you’re interested in there’s a whole section of work out there. You never run out!”

Sign up for Summer Reading today. See the prizes adults can win.