Mid-Continent Public Library's Winter Reading Challenge opens Wednesday, as library members age 18 and older are invited to read five books of choice over the next two months.

This marks the sixth-annual Mid-Continent has conducted the reading challenge for adults – dubbed this year as “Imagine that” – and the library said participation has grown each year and multiplied from the start.

“The first year, we may have had 1,000 people complete the challenge; by last year we had about 4,500,” said Amy Fisher, information and readers services manager for MCPL. “So, we went from reading 8.000 books to this past year more than 26,000.”

Registration is online at mymcpl.org/winterreading or at any library branch through March 15. The grand prize is a three-night trip for two to Universal Studios, and all registered participants who complete the challenge receive a drink mug. Participants can enroll before Wednesday but cannot start to log completed books until then.

While children reading challenges can naturally be popular, and many parents read to their children, Fisher said the event provides a reason for adults to read for themselves.

“It's a time to let the adults read books for adults and not always be geared toward children,” she said. “It's giving them a chance to read what they want to read.”

Challenge participants can also be part of online discussions hosted by MCPL on the Winter Reading Challenge Facebook Group page, find suggested reading lists on the library website. Entrants must live in the greater Kansas City area, have a valid MCPL around and provide a valid phone number or email address to be eligible for prizes.