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 my beloved Kindle overflowed and 3 years later I’m still addicted to books and reading challenges.
Reading and heading to the library has become a family activity. I’m raising bookworms over here and my boys and I enjoy reading together and talking about what they are reading. Even if you feel you don’t have time to read for yourself, reading with your kids is vital to raising kids that love to learn.
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 2017
The Goodreads challenge is the simplest reading challenge around. Just enter in how many books you want to read in 2017. Easy, peasy, right? Goodreads is where I set my goals and track what I want to read and what I’ve read. I can rate my books and Goodreads will give me recommendations for what to read. I also host a Goodreads group to encourage readers to Travel the World in Books and there are lots of groups to join if you want an online book club.
My 2016 results: 23/50 books
My 2017 goal: 52 books, a book a week.
Explore the World
2. Travel the World in Books (Perpetual Challenge)
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 Fictional 100 and Guiltless Reading. Our challenge is NO PRESSURE – 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 use the #TraveltheWorldinBooks or #TTWIB hashtag to share your reads on Twitter and Instagram.
We give you many opportunities to share the world’s best books with us and you can participate as long as you want. We have monthly themed reads planned and our third annual readathon coming up, so sign up for the Travel the World in Books newsletter for the latest news on our challenge and travel fun! This month we are ready wintry books from around the world, books that will chill you to the bone, explore new cold countries or warm your heart. Get our winter book recommendations and sign up for January’s TTWIB event here.
My 2014-2016 results: 23 books since I started the challenge 7/1/2014
My goal for 2017: 12 books
Clear off Your Bookshelves
3. Read My Own Damn Books 2017
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 over 150 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 2017 goal: 12 books (some of these will count for other challenges too)
4. Read Your Bookshelf Challenge
The Read Your Bookshelf Challenge hosted by Gather Together and Read is another challenge designed to whittle away at those books you own but haven’t read yet. Pick a book from your shelf on purpose or at random and read it and the 11 books next to it, one each month for 2017. A fun way to read your shelf! Use the #ReadYourShelf hashtag to share your reads on Twitter and Instagram.
5. Shelf Love Challenge 2017
Shelf Love hosted by Chapter Break is another TBR challenge that encourages you to finish reading the books on your personal library. There are quarterly discussion linkups and a giveaway at the end of the year for those who’ve linked up their discussion posts.
6. Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017
Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted by My Reader’s Block is another fun way to conquer your TBR (to be read) pile. Select a level of books you want to read from your TBR pile, participate in quarterly check-ins and prize drawings.
My 2017 goal: 12 books (some of these will count for other challenges too)
Accomplish Your Goals
7. New Year’s Resolutions 2017
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 2017 goals, whatever they may be. This 6-week challenge runs through February 2017.
8. Bookish Resolutions 2017
The 2017 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 goals, I will be joining in this challenge too.
Re-Discover the Classics & Great Books
9. Classics Club Perpetual Challenge
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 2013-2016 results: 12/50 books
My 2017 goal: 10 books
10. Back to the Classics Challenge 2017
If you want more focused reading, the Back to the Classics Challenge 2017 hosted by Books and Chocolate encourages readers to choose classics from 12 different categories such as a 19th century classic, a classic in translation, a Gothic or horror classic, a Russian classic, a classic set in a place you’d like to visit, and an award-winning classic. The more classics you read from the various categories, the more entries you get for the $30 Amazon or Book Depository prize drawing at the end of the year.
My 2017 goals: 6 books
11. Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017
Wonder why these amazing books are banned? Take the Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair. 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
12. Monthly Motif Reading Challenge 2016
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 Time Traveler (March), Book to Movie or Audio (May) Believe the Unbelievable (July), Creepy, Chilling and Frightful (September) and Games, Challenges & Contests (October).
13. Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2017
A popular reading challenge, the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge has 40 different book categories to choose from like a book of letters, a book by a person of color, a book involving a mythical creature, a book you bought on a trip, a book recommended by an author you love and a book that’s more than 800 pages. Join their Goodreads group and use the hashtag #popsugarreadingchallenge to share your reading on Instagram.
14. Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 2017
This year Modern Mrs. Darcy has two reading challenges to choose from, a reading challenge for fun and one for growth to expand your reading beyond your comfort zone.
Genre Based Challenges
15. Nonfiction Adventure (Perpetual Challenge)
Nonfiction Adventure hosted by Gather Together and Read encourages you to make a long-term goal to read nonfiction. Choose the number of books you’d like to read and length of time you’d like to complete it. I like perpetual challenges because they are less pressure.
16. Foodies Read 2016
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!
17. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2017
Are you a history buff? I’ve really enjoyed reading historical fiction since 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). Use the hashtag #2017HFReadingChallenge to share your reads on Twitter and Instagram.
My 2016 goal: 2 books
18. Retellings Reading Challenge 2017
The Retellings Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Once Upon a Bookcase encourages you to read retellings of classic children’s tales, mythology, folk or fairy tales (like the Wicked series by Gregory Maguire, or the Cinder series* by Marissa Meyer), origin story prequels or sequels (like Heartless* by Marissa Meyer, a prequel to Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy Must Die*, a sequel to The Wizard of Oz) or retellings of the lives of real, famous people (like Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Goertner which I loved or The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott* by Kelly O’Connor McNees which I also enjoyed). Read and then linkup your reviews to be eligible for the giveaways for UK readers. As you can tell, I love retellings so I’ll be joining this challenge too!
My 2017 goal: 4 books
19. Graphic Novels and Manga Reading Challenge 2017
Embrace the art form of the graphic novel and manga with the Graphic Novels and Manga Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Nicola of It’s All Comic to Me. My boys love graphic novels, we even met Brad Meltzer who is a thriller author, kids’ book author and author of a series of comics and graphic novels. My boys and I were all thrilled to meet him and my youngest son gave Brad a picture he drew of him during his reading and Brad posted it and a sweet message about it on Twitter. We have plenty of graphic novels in the house, so I’m going to do this challenge to help me meet my reading goals this year!
My 2017 goal: 12 graphic novels or comic collections
20. 2017 Creativity Reading Challenge
The 2017 Creativity Reading Challenge hosted by Julie Cornewell is the chance to read books to nurture your creativity. Read books on “creativity, art, crafts, writing, film making, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life.”
21. Read the Nobels (Perpetual Reading Challenge)
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 2017 goal: 3 books
22. Newbery Reading Challenge 2016
Don’t have time to read for yourself but read a lot of kid’s books? Whether you are raising a future bookworm or want to relive the best books of your childhood, the Newbery Reading Challenge 2017 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 351 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 2017. 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. Rory Gilmore Perpetual Challenge
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 binge watched the series on Netflix just so I can see the 300+ books featured. I’m a huge fan and you can see how my undertaking of the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge began and grab a FREE printable of the the entire list of books from the Gilmore Girls so you can read like a Gilmore too. The list is an eclectic mix of historical and modern classics, political nonfiction, humor and literary fiction. Something for all kinds of readers on this list!
My 2017 goal: Read 10 books from the list.
24. 13 Ways of Looking at the Lifetime Reading Plan
13 Ways of Looking at the Lifetime Reading Plan hosted by Gather Together and Read is a compilation of two books designed to read outside your comfort zone and develop a lifelong appreciation of books. Perfect for readers who “are passionate about reading seek to read the greats, and sometimes to read above and beyond our comfort level.” With 2 epic book lists to choose from, there are plenty of ideas to get you started on finding or keeping your inner bookworm happy.
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!
What did I miss? What reading challenges are you signing up for in 2017?