25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm

Posted February 18, 2016 by Tanya M in 2016 Reading Challenges, Book Discussions & Lists, Reading / 34 Comments

25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm. Where in the world is your reading taking you? Travel the World in Books, Explore New Genres, Clear out your Bookshelves, these 25 fun reading challenges make it simple to grab a great book and unleash your inner bookworm. Go ahead, you know you want to!

I was not what you would call a bookworm back in 2011 when I started blogging. “I don’t have time to read”, I’d say to myself, just as often as I’d say “I don’t have time to exercise” (trust me, I said both all. the. time).  I never just read for pleasure. In hindsight, was it that I didn’t have time to read? Or had I just not found THE book or the right reading challenge to unleash my inner bookworm?


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The answer would come soon enough. In 2011, I found THE book that turned me into a bookworm, The Secret Daughter* by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Next, came my discovery of reading challenges in 2013. There are reading challenges to cover every imaginable topic and type of book. I was sucked in by challenge hosts who have a contagious love of reading and are eager to talk great books with participants. My to read list exploded, my bookshelves and Kindle overflowed and 3 years later I’m still addicted to books and reading challenges.

So before you tell me you don’t have time to read, let me share with you 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm. Go on, you know you want to…discover a challenge (or five) that motivates you. Your inner bookworm will thank you. 

Just Read and Go!


1. Goodreads Challenge 2016

2016 goodreads reading challenge

The Goodreads challenge is the simplest reading challenge around.  Just enter in how many books you want to read in 2016. Easy, peasy, right? 

My 2015 results: 41/50 books

My 2016 goal: 50 books

 Explore the World

2. Travel the World in Books (Perpetual Challenge)

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge. Join our no-stress reading challenge where you choose your own goals, timeframe and how you want to travel the world in books. Where in the world is your reading taking you? Hosted by: Mom's Small Victories, I'm Lost in Books, Fictional 100 , Guiltless Reader and Savvy Working Gal
Image courtesy of potowizard at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Love to travel but can’t afford the price tag? Expand your horizons and travel the world vicariously in books with the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge that I co-host with I’m Lost in Books, Savvy Working Gal, Fictional 100 and Guiltless Reading. Our challenge is no stress – you decide how many books you want to read and can link up your reviews on my blog and Pinterest board. Our Goodreads group is where we discuss the monthly group reads and have chats on Twitter using the #TraveltheWorldinBooks or #TTWIB hashtag. We give you many opportunities to share the world’s best books with us and you can participate as long as you want.

My 2014-2015 results: 23 books since I started the challenge 7/1/2014

My goal for 2016: 15 books 


3. Diversity on My Shelf 2016

The Englishist

The Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge hosted this year by The Englishist goes well with #2, Travel the World in Books.  While you are learning about other countries and cultures, you’re hopefully also reading books that promote diversity that are by or about a person of color (POC). If you need help this is the definition of a Person of Color from Wikipedia and an amazing list of resources to get you started.

My 2015 results: 9 books read

My 2016 goals: Trying for Level 2 again (7-12 books)


Clear off Your Bookshelves

4. Read My Own Damn Books 2016

Read My Own Damn Books Reading Challenge, a "You do You" Reading Effort hosted by Estella's Revenge. Read the books you've already got and neglected for far too long.


The Title says it all, am I right? Read my own damn books is hosted by Estella’s Revenge. How many books are on your bookshelves and Kindle collecting dust? Neglected, unread…unloved? If I’m being honest, I have 169 books I have not read yet that I own. There are some amazing books in here, I know. Just looking at my bookshelf brings me to a happy place, all these stories waiting to be heard. What is wrong with me? Why haven’t I read them? No earthly clue. Every year I say I’m going to read from my bookshelf. 2016 will be more of what I WANT to read with this challenge. 

My 2015 TBR Challenge results: 8/12 books

My 2016 goal: 12 books (some of these will count for other challenges too)


5. TBR Pile Challenge 2016

The TBR Pile Reading Challenge  is another challenge designed to whittle away at those books you own but haven’t read yet. Reading Challenge Host Bookish Lifestyle also has a monthly TBR Book Club where they vote on a book to read and discuss together and there are giveaways.


6. Shelf Love 2016

Shelf Love Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Chapter Break. Read books from your personal library.

Shelf Love hosted by Chapter Break is another TBR challenge that encourages you to finish reading the books on your personal library. There are monthly discussion linkups and a $20 Amazon Gift Card at the end of the year. 



Accomplish Your Goals

7. Blogging Better Reading Challenge 2016

Blogging Better Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Doing Dewey. Read books dedicated to improving and growing your blog.

Want to improve and grow your blog in 2016? Katie from Doing Dewey is hosting the  Blogging Better Reading Challenge. Read books about blogging and put their ideas into action to grow your blog. I’ve been looking for a challenge like this, I have a slew of resources I’ve downloaded for free, won and bought and need to read them. They aren’t helping me if I haven’t read them! 

My 2016 goal: 6 books – here are some I have or plan to purchase: Blog Design for Dummies*, the 5 books in the Blogger Babes Blog Series, Skyrocket Blog Pageviews With Google Analytics* and Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule so You Can Live Free*


8. New Year’s Resolutions 2016

New Year's Resolution Reading Challenge hosted by Joy's Book Blog. Read books that help you accomplish your 2016 goals.

The purpose of New Year’s Resolutions Reading Challenge hosted by Joy’s Book Blog is to read books that will help you accomplish your 2016 goals, whatever they may be. There will be readalongs and Joy has a great list of ideas of book suggestions. Since my goal is to grow my blog, this and Blogging Better go hand in hand for me.

My 2016 goal: 6 books – same as #8 above.


9. Bookish Resolutions 2016

2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge hosted by Because Reading and Trips Down Imagination Road. A challenge to share your reading, blogging and personal goals. Link up completed goals, participate in Twitter parties and giveaways. 

The 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge is hosted by Trips Down Imagination Road & Because Reading Is Better than Real Life. Share your monthly reading, blogging and personal goals in the linkups and discussion posts, quarterly chats using the #BookishResolutions hashtag on Twitter and a giveaway in July and December using a point system.

Since I blog about my monthly goals, I will be joining in this challenge too.



Re-Discover the Classics & Great Books

10. Classics Club Perpetual Challenge

Classics Club Reading Challenge. Rediscover the classics and read 50 classics in 5 years with the Classics Club.

Choose 50 classics you would like to read in 5 years, list them on your blog, email the moderators and you can join The Classics Club. Discuss what you’ve read on their site, monthly check-ins and use the hashtags to talk about classics and introduce yourselves to other members. A great challenge to fall in love with the classics all over again. Even better, there are lots of FREE classics you can download for the Kindle*. If you don’t have a dedicated Kindle device, you can still read for free on a smartphone or tablet using the Kindle app. It’s how I get my classics reading done.

My 2013-2015 results: 12/50 books

My 2016 goal: 10 books


11. The Re-Read Challenge 2016

The 2015 Re-Read Challenge

Do you have books you read the first time and think “I didn’t get it.” Or books you love and want to read again? Join The Rereading Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati. Monthly linkups and 2 giveaways. I think this one would go well for the classics I read in high school and didn’t really get or care for the first time around.  


12. Banned Books Challenge

Banned Books Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Buckling Bookshelves.

Wonder why these amazing books are banned? Take the Banned Books Challenge hosted by Buckling Bookshelves. There are lists of books that have been banned or challenged. Dive in and see what the fuss is about for these books. Do you think books should be banned? 



Categories to Help You Pick Books to Read

13. Monthly Motif Reading Challenge 2016

Monthly Motif Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by GirlXOXO. Read books related to fun themes the hosts chose for each month like New Releases February, LOL July, and Things That Go Bump in the Night October. Join in the reading fun and grab an idea from this list of 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash your Inner Bookworm.

The Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Tanya and Kim of GirlXOXO are hosting this challenge where they pick a theme every month and participants can linkup what they read for that theme. An example of themes include New Releases (February), Take A Trip (March), LOL (July), Steampunk (September) and Things that Go Bump in the Night (October).


14. Orthodox Mama Reading Challenge 2016

25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookwork. The Orthodox Mama's 2016 Reading Challenge where readers read books from 12 different categories. Share on her blog or Facebook page and a giveaway at the end.

Like #13, Sarah from The Orthodox Mama has also chosen a theme each month to challenge her readers. Themes include a Memoir (April),  Something You Should Have Read in School but Didn’t (August), a Newberry Award Winner (September) and a Book Set in Another Country (December). Readers do not have to read them in order but Sarah encourages discussion on her blog and Facebook page. A giveaway at the end.  


15. Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 2016

25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm. Modern Mrs. Darcy has a 2016 reading challenge with fun categories to choose from and a free printable checklist to help you track your progress.

The Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge has a fun checklist of categories to encourage your reading and a free printable checklist for all you list lovers out there. 


16. Bookish Bingo 2016

Chapter Break Bingo 2016

The ladies at Chapter Break host Bookish Bingo. Each month readers download a bingo card and mark off the squares with the books they read each month and try to get bingo. The categories for each space on the bingo card change each month.  For example, to get bingo in February, you could read books with a billionaire/millionaire, royalty, a cyborg and a book made into a movie. One book can occupy several spaces. If you read Cinder* by Marissa Meyer then since there are characters that are royalty and cyborgs, it would count for two spaces. Capiche? Good, because there’s a quarterly raffle up for grabs for challenge participants too.


17. French Bookish Bingo 2016

25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm. French Bookish Bingo encourages readers to read about different locations and genres of French books.

Along the same lines of #15 but the categories are all French themed, perfect for the Francophiles out there or anyone who loves to get lost in the romance and beauty of France. Hosted by Emma at Words and Peace, French Bookish Bingo. To get Bingo in this game, the reader might have to read in categories like Mystery/Thriller Set in France, With “Paris” in the Title, French Book Made into a Movie, Humorous Book about France and With French Food/Dish in the Title. You have all year to get Bingo and there are linkups for book reviews read for the challenge. You must complete one Bingo to be eligible for the giveaway at the end of the year.



Genre Based Challenges

18. Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2016

Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

The Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by The Introverted Reader encourages you to read more nonfiction. Choose a level for how many nonfiction books you’d like to read: Dilletante (1-5 books); Explorer (6-10 books); Seeker (10-15 books) and Master (16-20 books).  A linkup for reviews or just leave your thoughts in the comments. A great way to sneak more nonfiction into your year. The Introverted Reader also hosts a Southern Lit Reading Challenge and Books in Translation Reading Challenge. 


19. Foodies Read 2016

25 Reading Challenges To Unleash Your Inner Bookworm. Foodies Read Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Based on a True Story. Read books where food plays a major role in fiction, nonfiction or cookbooks.

The Foodies Read 2016 Reading Challenge is hosted by Based on a True Story and if you know me, I love talking about food as much as I like talking about books. Reading Foodie Books? Genius! Fiction, nonfiction and cookbooks where food is a major part of the plot count for this challenge. Choose a level for how many foodie books you’d like to read: Short Order Cook (1-3 books); Pastry Chef (4-8 books); Sous-Chef (9-13 books); Chef de Cuisine (14-18 books); Cordon Bleu Chef (more than 19 books). 

My 2016 Goal: Short Order Cook (1-3 books). I have Julie & Julia*, My Life in France* by Julia Child and The Hundred Foot Journey* by Richard Morais to read on my shelf already and that does not count my cookbook obsession! 


20. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2016

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2016 Hosted by Passages to the Past. One of the 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm.  

I’ve really enjoyed reading historical fiction in 2015 and glad to have found this Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Passages to the Past, an entire blog dedicated to historical fiction! Choose a level for how many historical fiction novels you’d like to read in 2016: 20th century Reader (2 books); Victorian Reader (5 books); Renaissance Reader (10 books); Medieval (15 books); Ancient History (25 books); and Prehistoric (50+ books). 

My 2016 goal: 2 books




21. Read the Nobels Reading Challenge 2016

Read the Nobels 2016 Reading Challenge hosted by Guiltless Reading. Read books by authors who have won the esteemed Nobel Prize for Literature. One of 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm.

Read the Nobels Reading Challenge is hosted by my Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge co-host Guiltless Reading. Read books written by authors who have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. With a century of great literature to choose from and authors from all over the world, this is a great challenge to break your usual reading rut. The first Nobel prize winner was Rudyard Kipling who wrote The Jungle Book* (free on the Kindle), which I want to read for my Classics Club and Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge for India. Score! Other Nobel winning authors on my TBR: Hermann Hesse, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

My 2016 goal: Nobel dabbler – 3 books


22. Newbery Reading Challenge 2016

Newbery Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Smiling Shelves. Encouraging readers to read Newbery Medal winning books, Newbery Honor books and Caldecott Medal books for children's literature. One of 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm.

Don’t have time to read for yourself but read a lot of kid’s books? The Newbery Reading Challenge 2016 hosted by Smiling Shelves encourages readers to read Newbery and Caldecott award winning children’s books. Since it’s my goal to read 1,000 books with my kids (we’ve read 343 so far), this is a perfect challenge to get me reading with and to them and their classmates. This challenge has a point system and readers choose how many points they want to rack up in 2016. Newbery Medal Winners are worth 3 points, Newbery Honor is worth 2 points and Caldecott Winners are worth 1 point. 



Go Big or Go Home

23. Finishing The Series Reading Challenge 

Finishing the Series 2016 Reading Challenge hosted by Bea's Book Nook.

 Hosted by Bea’s Book Nook, the Finishing the Series 2016 Reading Challenge is perfect for readers (like me!) who have started lots of series and not yet finished them. I am horrible about reading the first book and then not finishing the series, though my Classics Club challenge and my IRL book club did help me finish my first series ever…Harry Potter! Choose a level for how many series you want to complete: Novice (finish 1 series); Testing the Waters (2-4 series); Experienced (3-6 series); Expert (7 or more series). 


24. Rory Gilmore Perpetual Challenge

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. 369 books featured on the hit show The Gilmore Girls. This reading challenge is to tackle the list! One of 25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm.

If you’ve watched the popular TV series, The Gilmore Girls, you’ll know that main character Rory Gilmore is an Ivy-league bound girl with a book always in her hand. I did not watch the show when it first aired but now that I’m a complete book lover, I’ve been binge watching it on Netflix just so I can see the 369 books featured. Well, Becky’s Blogs started this version of the Rory Gilmore Perpetual reading challenge in 2012 with a complete book list.  And because I totally love checklists, check out this adorable printable checklist/book from Calloloo Soup if you want to see how many you’ve read and track your progress.

My 2016 goal: Participating, started a dedicated Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge page with the complete list and checklist of one’s I’ve read so far.


25. 1,001 Books To Read Before You Die

We’ve all heard of the 1,001 Books To Read Before You Die List. Do you have what it takes to tackle it? How many have you read? This one is the ultimate in book lists.


Monster List of Reading Challenges & Book Blogging Events 

Some of these reading challenges were on my radar or I searched for them but some came from Guiltless Reading’s monster list of reading challenges, book blogging events and memes. If you’re a book lover or a book blogger, you’ll want to pin and bookmark this amazing resource. Thanks Guiltless Reader for sharing this with us! 

Well, there you have it, my goals and the 25 best reading challenges I found. From kids books to award winners, there’s a reading challenge out there waiting for you to unleash your inner bookworm. Or if you’re like me and a book hoarder already, there are lots of fun challenges to get you talking with other book lovers and expand you’re reading horizons. Of course, we hope to see you at Travel the World in Books!

This post linked up at SITS SharefestShare the Wealth Blog HopMommy Monday Blog Hop, and The Book Nook.

What did I miss? What reading challenges are you signing up for in 2016? 

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34 responses to “25 Reading Challenges to Unleash Your Inner Bookworm

  1. Jessica J.

    A suggestion would also be reading books only written by women for an entire year. Would be great to hear women’s voices, their thoughts and styles for a whole year.

    I’m already falling behind on the good reads challenge but will definitely get cracking!

  2. Kelly

    LMAO…I only discovered reading challenges in the middle of last year…and I thought why the heck not….it encourages me to read books I may not normally consider. Then I discovered that Goodreads lists a number of challenges….and now I find myself looking to read books that either tick off a number of categories within one challenge or fulfill a number of requirements across challenges. Book Riot also has a great challenge – called the harder book challenge (don’t be fooled by the title, it’s a great mix of challenges, and is listed on good reads yearly challenges). love this list though…more challenges to check out….thank you!!

    • Oh I would love to get paid to read as well Karen! Thanks for sharing your Healthy Living Reading Challenge with me and my readers. I have a couple books on my bookshelf that would qualify. Thanks for pinning my post too, really appreciate it!

    • Lol that’s why I like challenges that are longer than a year also, it takes me awhile to get through the challenge. You should go through the Rory list, I’m sure you’ve read many of them already. It’s fun to have a reading challenge goal to work towards. I don’t stress too much if I fail to complete, it’s the journey I love.

    • Yea, I wanted to give my visitors a bunch to choose from. There are sooo many fun ones out there! You’re welcome for the shout outs! Julie is in our Book Lovers Boost Group on Facebook and mentioned them.

  3. oooh these are awesome! I recently decided what books I plan to read this year (my goal is 64) and many of them would work with some of these challenges. I live in France so I must do the French Bingo for sure!

    Thanks for the shoutout about my Rory Gilmore checklist. I’m planning to read 16 from that list this year. πŸ™‚

    • Oh thank you for the design compliment. I’m always changing it πŸ™‚ Well I signed up for 10 (though was only supposed to do 2-3), I just wanted to give readers more to choose from because there are so many great ones out there as you know.

  4. I rarely join in official challenges but I am trying to read more of my own books this year, so we’ll see how it goes. I’ve been trying to read more diversely for the past year so I’ll keep up with that but I get so stressed when I do something officially!

    • Thanks Becky, I just posted my Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge page so I can keep track of it too. Thanks for the hard work of typing up that list. I added some checkboxes to make it a checklist.

    • Oh wonderful, I hope you enjoy The Secret Daughter! I got my sign up post done too and linked up for Foodie Reads. Now just need to get back to reading!

  5. I really do love the way you organized the challenges into fun and useful categories. Knowing you, I shouldn’t be surprised that you found a good organizing scheme! Nice to see challenges I already know and love plus many new ones to explore.

    By the way, I do like your elegant but modern new blog design! Very easy on the eyes and sleek. Still the same convenient sharing buttons. The type style goes beautifully with the color scheme and gives a quiet, confident vibe so right for your outstanding blog, now a regular meeting place for a great community!
    Lucy Pollard-Gott recently posted..Five books: In honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week #BBAWMy Profile

    • You are so kind Lucy, thanks for the wonderful words about my new design. I’m still working on some elements but nice to hear it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not a designer or creative by nature so redesigning my blog is fun but hard. Small Victories. πŸ™‚

    • lol, I just got my tracking page up. I’ve got 10 and I said I was only going to do 2. I really can’t help myself. Glad you found Sarah from The Orthodox Mama. I bet you’ll love the guest post she did for me last Friday, Reading Activities for the Whole Family, encouraging reading in kids. You’re welcome for the shoutout to French Bingo. The one book I’ve read so far was In Another Life so I bet it would have qualified me for a couple spaces. πŸ™‚

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