Every year, many of us make a reading-related goal. Sometimes we want to just read more, sometimes there are specific tasks and rules and numbers you want to hit. For example, my goals include having at least 1/3 of my reading be backlist books – books that came out before 2018 (and preferably even before 2017) – and reading 130 total books.
But to help challenge readers around the world, every year there are a bunch of reading challenges that come up. These reading challenges help readers hit really specific goals or just broaden their reading ranges. It may seem like just regular goal setting, but when there’s a public reading challenge, there’s also a community with it that can help recommend titles for specific challenges and cheerlead you when you’re flagging. Plus, you can make new friends with the same reading taste as you! Some challenges also come with prizes and giveaways, so there’s an extra incentive to actually follow through with it.
Two of the most popular reading challenges are the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge and Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. These two really focus on expanding your reading horizons and they aren’t YA specific, but there’s no reason you can’t use YA books for these. Or stick to the heart of the challenge and branch out to adult books, middle grade books, and picture books!
The A to Z Reading Challenge is a fun one that can be a genuine challenge – you have to pick books that start with each letter of the alphabet. How many books start with J or Z? It’s up to you to figure out what to add to your TBR.
If you’re like me and also have a ton of books that have just been languishing on your shelves or lists for ages, there is are two official backlist challenges you can join! Backlist Reader Challenge is a really casual one that just asks you to make a post outlining your goal somewhere and link it to her, then write reviews of those books. You can also join in Beat the Backlist, which has different teams and an Instagram challenge you can hop on! There are a ton of other TBR and shelf clearing challenges out there if neither of those suits you – just look up TBR challenge or shelf challenge 2018.
Many readers online are interested in supporting debut authors and books, so there’s always a debut author challenge run by somebody. This year, That Artsy Reader Girl is taking over and the rules are pretty simple – sign up and be sure to write reviews.
If you’re interested in making sure you’re reading diverse books, there are several challenges for that! There’s the Diversity Challenge, with different themes for each month. During January, you can join in on Mental Health Book Bingo, which focuses on books where the main characters have mental illness – and you can use the bingo board any month! Similarly, there was an Asian Lit Bingo Reading Challenge this past May – and there will likely be another this upcoming May – but you can use it at any point in the year. You can also check out the Bookish’s 52 Book Challenge, where a decent number of the challenges focus on diversifying reading.
For many of us, keeping up with series is hard. We’re always worried about how far away the next book is or we just get too busy to start a new one. If that’s you, then you can join in the A Series a Month challenge and try to read at least one book series you’ve been putting off each month. Or if you, like me, struggle at keeping up with series, you can join the Finishing the Series challenge, which is a pretty low-key challenge meant to motivate you to catching up on all the series you haven’t finished yet.
If you’re into speculative fiction, you can check out the Sirens Reading Challenge. Sirens is a sci-fi/fantasy focused conference that’s generally for women and non-binary people, so the reading challenge focuses on books by their guests and panelists.
For a really general challenge, there’s the YA Reading Challenge, where the only goal is to read YA books, as many as you want, and meet new people.
If you like the idea of bookish bingo, The Grand World of Books runs a yearly Book Bingo board and Pretty Deadly Blog runs a seasonal bingo board. The seasonal one started in December and runs through February, but you can always hop on now or keep an eye out for the next board, which will cover March, April, and May.
There are so many reading challenges out there for almost any challenge you want to set for yourself. Be sure to tweet us @piquebeyond and let us know which challenges you’re joining!