Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Seattle Book Bingo

Summer Book Bingo: Fun for kids and adults

Game offers reading encouragement, prizes and connection

Attention parents and kids! Seattle Public Library (SPL) and Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) invites you to grab a stack of books, a group of friends and start turning pages — not just for fun, but for prizes as well. SPL and SAL launched their 9th annual Book Bingo event this week, a summer reading program that encourages kids and adults to read for pleasure and to talk about books with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Book Bingo runs though early September. Between now and then, participants read (or listen to) books from a wide variety of categories and keep track of the books they’ve completed on a special Book Bingo card. Five completed reads completes one row on the Bingo card. A complete card  — available in English and Spanish —means you’ve gotten through 25 books. Once your card is complete, submit it by Sept. 5, 2023 for a chance to win. 

There are separate Bingo cards for kids and adults, available on the Seattle Arts & Lectures Summer Book Bingo webpage. Adult Book Bingo is for players 18 and older, and Kids Book Bingo is for players 17 and under. Any type of reading counts, including audiobooks.

seattle book bingo

Bingo book categories

Each square on the Book Bingo card presents a reading challenge in a certain category.

For adults, this year’s categories include “Chosen by the Cover,” “BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ Horror,” and “Joyful.” New categories this year include “Hip Hop” (to honor the 50th anniversary of the music genre), “Includes a Recipe,” “Workers’ Rights” and “Read with a Friend.”

For kids, categories include “The Story of Magic,” “Set in Another Country,” “Made You Laugh,” and “More Images than Words.”

How it works

  1. Download the card.
  2.  Explore the categories and choose your books. For “Recommended by a Local Bookseller,” consider visiting one of SAL’s bookstore partners: Ada’s Technical Books; BookTree Kirkland; Book Larder; Edmonds Bookshop; Elliott Bay Book Company; Estelita’s Library; Island Books; Madison Books; Magnolia’s Bookstore; Open Books: A Poem Emporium; Paper Boat Booksellers; Phinney Books; Queen Anne Book Company; Secret Garden Books; Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park, Ravenna, and Seward Park); and University Book Store. And, of course, this is where Seattle Public Library comes in: They have lots of suggestions for books to match the categories.
  3. Read and report the titles and authors of completed book in the Bingo boxes that satisfy each requirement. “Winning” can be getting either a bingo or a blackout.

Seattle book bingo

Why read in a group? 

Librarian Misha Stone has been collected comments about the program over the years and says readers provide the best reasons to participate:

“Book Bingo always manages to open my eyes to new authors, genres and topics, and as a fanatical reader, that is saying something,” wrote one Bingo reader. 

Another: “Because of Book Bingo, I started a book club, made nine forever-friends and experienced books I would have never read.”

How to submit your complete card

  1. Drop off your card (or a copy) at any location of The Seattle Public Library.
  2. Complete the submission form at or
  3. Post a photo of the front of your card to Twitter (@SeaArtsLectures, @SPLBuzz) or Instagram (@seattleartsandlectures, @SeattlePublicLibrary). Be sure to tag #BookBingoNW2023.

This is also where Seattle Public Library comes in: They have lots of suggestions for books to match the categories. Also, you can get ideas through the Your Next 5 recommendation program (but time is running short!)

Other important details

Book titles may be used only once per card. The event is limited to one entry per person. Entries must be received by 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 5, 20213. Don’t submit a card more than one time or in more than one way.

More books coverage in Seattle’s Child:

KCLS’ Best Books of 2022

Emily Calkins (KCLS) picks for kids and adults

Books for kids: ‘Gibberish,’ an endearing story of a boy’s journey

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.