The Mid-Continent Public Library’s Winter Reading Challenge is back for a fourth year, this time encouraging readers to pick up books that have been made into movies.

Last year, about 1,400 people took part in the event.

“The first year, it was small, but it’s grown each year that we’ve done this,” said Amy Fisher, information and reader services manager.

The contest is for those 18 and older, and the idea is straightforward: Between Jan. 15 and March 15, read five books, and log them. You can sign up now. Go to

Your prizes: A coffee mug and entry into drawings for other things, including a year’s worth of movies at B&B Theatres.

“Read to Reel” is the theme, but the library stresses that any five books of a reader’s choosing will do. The idea is to get people to read.

The library system has lots of suggestions. On its website, its “Read to Reel” list has more than 50 books, including “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” by Michael Lewis, “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War,” by Mark Bowden, “The Silver Linings Playbook,” by Matthew Quick, and “The Devil Wears Prada,” by Lauren Weisberger. The website also has a longer list, 1,400 titles, of books made into movies over the years.

The library system is holding a “Winter Reading Challenge Special Premiere Event” from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Colbern Road branch, 1000 N.E. Colbern Road in Lee’s Summit. It’s a gathering of book clubs and includes games and snacks.

The library also has a Facebook page where readers can post comments, suggestions and questions. Fisher said she jumps into that conversation at times as well. On Facebook, search for Winter Reading Challenge.

The page will be used for a red-carpet party of sorts when the Academy Awards come Feb. 26. Readers are encouraged to dress up, take party pictures and post them. People also can share their Oscars predictions and other thoughts throughout the event. The Facebook page also is the venue for “Let’s Talk Great Books and Crummy Movies!” at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 and “Book and Movie Trivia Fun!” at 7 p.m. March 13.

Several movie screenings with film critic Robert Butler also are planned, including:

• “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge” at 2 p.m. Feb. 5 at the North Independence Branch, 317 West U.S. 24. That movie, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, is set in Kansas City. Woodward was nominated for an Oscar for best actress.

• “Winter’s Bone” at 2 p.m. Feb. 12 at North Independence. Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar, best actress.

• “The Big Sleep” at 2 p.m. March 18 at North Independence. The 1946 movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Book group discussions in connection with “Read to Reel” are being held at many of Mid-Continent’s 31 branches. They include:

• “And Then There Were None,” by Agatha Christie, 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at North Independence.

• “Death Comes to Pemberley,” by P.D. James, 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Buckner branch, 19 E. Jefferson St.

• “The Big Sleep,” by Raymond Chandler, 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at North Independence.