Get Prepped for Winter Reading

Snowy background. Text: Winter Reading - San Jose Public Library

Winter Reading: Dec. 7, 2023 – Jan. 7, 2024

The New Year is almost here, which means the winter holidays are upon us! At SJPL, if we say "winter", that means Winter Reading is fast approaching. The program will occur December 7, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

Here are some things you can do to get ready for the start of Winter Reading in just a few short weeks.

Pre-Register via Beanstack

Tote bag in a variety of colors.
Tote bag for the adults.

Starting Monday, November 27, you can pre-register for the Winter Reading program via the Beanstack web site or mobile app. This program begins December 7, 2023, and runs to January 7, 2024. Raise your reading goals this winter with this wonderful challenge.

All ages can participate to read, learn, and log your reading (4 total books or 4 total hours) for a chance to win cool grand prizes, including toys, games, and electronics! Starting December 7, all youth (ages 0–18) who sign up are eligible to claim a free book at any SJPL location. Adults (ages 18+) who sign up can claim a free SJPL tote bag for their holiday reading needs.

New! Get Ready for Winter Reading BINGO

Youth who sign up for Winter Reading this year can also play a fun new BINGO game for a chance to win a second giveaway prize, in addition to a free book. Pick up a free BINGO card at any SJPL location beginning Monday, November 27.

Complete various listed activities on the card to get a BINGO in any direction, then from December 7 to January 7, take the winning BINGO card to any SJPL location to claim a special giveaway prize — either a cartoon-style novelty pen OR a winter-themed bookmark craft kit. All BINGO giveaways available while supplies last.

Novelty pens.
Cartoon-style novelty pens.
Winter bookmark craft kit.
Winter bookmark craft kit.

Start Reading — Anywhere, Anytime

Whether you are staying home this holiday season or headed out of town, you can take books along and read in new and different ways! Try one of these suggestions to change up how you read.

  • Get Cozy: Books are the perfect companion to a chilly winter day — whether it's under the covers, on the couch, drinking a hot beverage, or relaxing near a warm fire. Check out some of the library's newest arrivals for this winter.
  • With Someone Else: Attend a book club at the library, or make your own book club with friends, or read out loud to your family. Reading together is a bonding experience.
  • At the Library: Did you know we have cozy reading spaces at our library locations? Some even have fireplaces! Visit one of our branch libraries (or the magnificent King Library), browse their collections, and cozy up for some you time at the library. Each location also has unique original artworks to discover! Check which one is in your area and stop by during open hours.
  • With Your Device: Did you know that SJPL offers books in many digital format: eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines (Did we mention free access to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Mercury News?), and comics and graphic novels are at your fingertips at no cost. Take advantage of it and start reading today!
  • During a Trip: Bring your next read to local attractions or in the great wilds of California. We can even help make your next adventure a reality. Get free access to local museums and attractions through Discover & Go, or visit one of the California State Parks with a free parking pass from the library.

Find Your Next Read

SJPL Picks

If you're looking to expand your browsing further, try checking out any or the recommended reading from our librarians on our SJPL Picks team.


If you're looking for further recommendations and aren't in the mood to browse, let our experts do the browsing for you!

SJPL's 5forU offers personalized recommendations via email. We'd love to find you something to read, but you can also fill in the profile on someone else's behalf, and we can find just the right titles.

Plan Your Winter Event Schedule

Did you know that SJPL offers hundreds of programs and events weekly? To better anticipate the upcoming Winter Reading program, feel free to attend one of our many upcoming programs! You can find something that will captivate your interests regardless of age! A growing list of winter holiday events are happening all through December.

Questions? Contact SJPL

If you have any questions leading up to our Winter Reading program — events, prizes, rules, Beanstack, pre-registration, or more — please contact your nearest SJPL branch via email, phone, or in person during open hours. You can also use chat with us online.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • NO. The Winter Reading program ends on January 7, 2024.

  • YES. Youth can be registered for Winter Reading on their own AND as part of a class/group, as there are separate grand prize contests for groups and individuals. Contact us with any additional questions.

  • There will be five grand prizes awarded in all. One grand prize per age group (see grand prize descriptions). The group grand prize are book bundles of age-appropriate titles.

  • YES. Any student who is registered for Winter Reading as part of a class/group can claim a giveaway prize, same as anyone else. All giveaways MUST be claimed in person at a local SJPL branch. Giveaway prizes WILL NOT be set aside on site or sent to local schools. Educators, please remind students to claim their giveaway prize in person at any SJPL location.

  • YES, all adults and youth MUST claim their free participation prize IN PERSON at any SJPL location. No exceptions.

  • Registered adults can claim a free tote bag, at any SJPL location. Registered youth, ages 0–18, can claim a free prize book.

    Participants ages 0-18 can also play a new BINGO game for a chance to win a second giveaway prize! Youth complete select activities to get a BINGO in any direction, then take winning card to a SJPL location to collect a special giveaway of their choice - either a cartoon-style novelty pen OR a winter bookmark craft kit. (While supplies last).