Barnes & Noble Announces 20th Anniversary of Summer Reading Program That Gives Kids Across America the Opportunity to Earn a Free Book

Press Release

Special Summer Reading Triathlon Kicks off with “Opening Ceremony” at All Stores Nationwide on June 4

Young Readers Can Vote for Their Favorite Heroes and Places in Books; Local and National Winners to Be Announced at a Special “Closing Ceremony” on August 27

New York, NY – May 12, 2016 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced the 20th anniversary of its time-honored Summer Reading Program, which will feature a special Summer Reading Triathlon this year. The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program has for years encouraged children to engage their imaginations all summer long and earn a free book by completing a reading journal about the books they read. This year, the annual free book giveaway begins on May 17, during which young readers can earn a free book by reading 3 books and answering questions in their summer reading journal by September 6.

Additionally, in celebration of the 20th anniversary, Barnes & Noble is launching a special Summer Reading Triathlon, which kicks off with a special opening ceremony on Saturday, June 4, at 11 AM at all stores nationwide. The new Triathlon will allow young readers to vote for their favorite heroes and places from a selection of contenders curated by Barnes & Noble Booksellers that will be displayed at stores nationwide. Voting runs from June 4 through August 21, with the local and national winners being announced at a special closing ceremony on August 27.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Barnes & Noble’s hugely successful Summer Reading Program with a special Summer Reading Triathlon event at all stores,” said Sarah DiFrancesco, Vice President of Business Development at Barnes & Noble. “At Barnes & Noble, we believe reading, like sports, takes practice and commitment. We could not be more excited to provide kids with an interactive and one-of-a-kind in-store experience to help them stay in reading shape this summer.”

At the opening ceremony, kids will find out who the medal contenders are and they will be able to vote for their favorite heroes and places in books between June 4 and August 21. Kids will complete a voting ballot by choosing their favorite gold-, silver- and bronze-medaled nominees in each group. They will then deposit their ballots in the voting ballot box located near the entrance or directly outside the Children's Department of their local store, and vote as many times as they’d like to move their favorites to the top of their local Barnes & Noble’s leader board in the race to the finish line. Kids are encouraged to come back regularly to their local store and check the leader board to see how their nominees are doing.

The opening ceremony will be rounded out with activities and challenges, including word scramble, puzzle solving and friendly competition inspired by Chris Grabenstein’s Mr. Lemoncello novels. Free giveaways including stickers and bookmarks will also be available at the event, while supplies last. Customers should visit their local store or BN.com/SummerReading for more details.

On Saturday, August 27, at 11 AM, kids are officially invited back to their local Barnes & Noble store to find out which favorite hero and favorite place took home the gold at a special closing ceremony where they will receive a gold medal of their own, while supplies last. The books featuring the heroes and places that took home the gold, silver and bronze medals locally and nationally will be featured on a special display at the store through September. More details will be announced about the closing ceremony event over the summer.

Plus, as always, kids will be able to participate in the regular Summer Reading Program to earn a free book from a selection of books for grades one through six. All they have to do is read three books and visit their local Barnes & Noble store or BN.com/SummerReading to answer three of the four questions on the back of the Summer Reading Triathlon Journal. They can then bring their completed journal to their local Barnes & Noble store between May 17 and September 6 to get their free book.

For more information on the Summer Reading Triathlon event and Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program, customers should visit BN.com/SummerReading or ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers at their local store.

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About Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 640 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4 million digital books in the US (www.nook.com), plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

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