1207951_woman_reading_at_homeEven if you don’t have a fireplace to curl up in front of, winter is a great season for wrapping yourself in blankets and reading a book, magazine (or even blog) in your favorite chair.

And from Jan. 8 to Feb. 19, you can raise money for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh while you read.

The Winter Read-A-Thon operates similarly to a walk-a-thon.  People donate a certain amount of money for every hour that you read, so the more you read, the more money you raise for the library.

The library is calling the Read-A-Thon the “coziest and easiest fundraiser ever,” and it’s hard to imagine a better way to raise money for a library than by having library patrons read. Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes said the event was the brainchild of a few librarians who wanted to something to keep adults and kids reading through the winter.

For a $5 donation, you can sign up for the Read-A-Thon at any neighborhood Carnegie Library location.  You get a pledge sheet to record the donations you gather, a form to record the books you read and the time spent reading them, a Read-A-Thon button and a digital clock bookmark to help you keep track of how long you read.

The library will award incentive prices based on much money you raise.  Collecting $10 will get you a library pencil, $50 will get you a tote bag and $250 will get you a personalized READ poster and your name in a book.  For a full list of incentive prices, visit the Read-A-Thon website.

Thinnes said the library has been actively working to build a base of donors and a “culture” of library supporters.  “This gives people of all ages and incomes the chance to become a donor,” she said.

You can count time spent reading books, comics, blogs (like this one!), magazines and newspapers as well as time spent listening to audio books toward your total.

The library will also host several Read-A-Thon related events during the course of the fund raiser, including a “read in” at Woods Run Library on Jan. 8 from noon to 4 p.m.  For a full list of Read-A-Thon events, go here.