My first experience with Reading Challenges was when I saw a friend post a cute graphic on Facebook listing the different categories of books she planned to read in 2015. When prompted, she said she found it on Pinterest, which is still a great resource to go to for Reading Challenge ideas!
Reading Challenges can be simple like the Goodreads Challenge, which asks readers to read a certain number of books each year. Other challenges are like the ones pictured above and prescribe a category or an idea for a book to read. How you interpret each challenge category is up to you! The intent behind the category challenges is to get you to stretch as a reader and have more variety in your reading life. You could even cobble together a couple different ones or make up categories of your own!
After setting my number goal for 2016 in Goodreads (24!), I decided I also wanted to tackle one of the challenges with a bit more substance. After searching, I decided to attempt the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge. I didn’t actually start until August, but was able to retroactively backfill the various categories. Unfortunately I did come up one category short when the clock struck 12 on New Years Eve, but really loved what the challenge did for my reading life. Here is what the challenge looked like last year and the books I read:
- A book published this year: Harry Potter & the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, & JK Rowling
- A book you can finish in a day: Between the World & Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins
- A book recommended by you librarian or bookseller: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- A book you should have read in school: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- A book chosen for you by your spouse, sibling, or best friend: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
- A book published before you were born: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- A book that was banned at some point: Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
- A book you previously abandoned: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
- A book you own but have not read: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith
- A book that intimidates you: INCOMPLETE
- A book you’ve already read at least once: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Like I said, I loved participating in the challenge, even though I came up a book short! My “To Be Read” list gets longer every week and despite have so many things I am interested in reading, it can be hard to choose what to read next. The challenge helps me be strategic and ensures that I get a wide variety of books in my life.
For 2017, I’m being much more ambitious! This year, Modern Mrs. Darcy posted two separate lists for two separate reading goals: one for reading for fun and one for reading for growth. OR you could be crazy like me and tackle BOTH!
For some reason, 24 books didn’t seem right in my head, so I decided to add one additional category to make it an even 25:
Read A Book Written Entirely In Spanish
Yes, I realize how ambitious this is and how much time it will take. I will probably pick a middle grade book to keep it somewhat more manageable, but I really want to tap into all the Spanish I learned in school and see how rusty I am.
So far I have completed four categories and have ideas for a few more. I will be tracking my progress on the Reading Challenge page I’ve created on this blog. Please let me know if you’d like to join in!
Have you ever participated in a reading challenge? What do you think would be a fun category? Any suggestions for books I should read to complete this year’s categories? I’d love to hear you feedback, but until then…
“Off to the cupboard with you now, Chip. It’s past your bedtime. Goodnight, love…”