I enjoy a good challenge. A challenge gives me the tools I need to succeed. Special criteria or themes allow me to get creative. Time limits provide motivation. Being judged and receiving feedback drives me to make a good impression. If I want to get something done, the first thing I do is turn it into a challenge.
One of the things I challenge myself to do is read more. And, thanks to Goodreads groups and the bookish community on social media, I’ve found lots of fun ways to conquer my To-Read stack while engaging with other enthusiasts!
1. Book of the Month
Reading together with a group is so much fun, even if you’re a little shy. You get to share favorite parts without fear or spoiling anybody. You get to share new discoveries. You get to read books you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. It makes reading feel more real. There are tons of Book of the Month groups on Goodreads, and several that run through social media.
2. A to Z Reads
This is my first year joining an alphabet reading challenge, and it’s a low-pressure, fun way to challenge yourself. Basically, during the year, you try to read books that begin with different letters of the alphabet. No need to go in order or anything! I joined a group dedicated to Middle Grade books on Goodreads and I’ve already read books for 9/26 letters.
3. Book Bingo
Book Bingo is my favorite kind of reading challenge. A 5×5 card includes different categories or criteria. Read a book, plug it in, aim to get five in a row, and you win! You’ll see a lot of Book Bingo boards float around on Twitter during summer reading season. I usually get mine from Middle Grade Carousel, but MG Book Village often comes out with one for special occasions.
4. Read Your Watch List
If you’re a film enthusiast, why not sync your TBR with your Netflix queue? You might be surprised how many of your favorite TV shows and movies were books first. Many watch the movie after they’ve finished the book, but I actually prefer to see the adaptation first. Either way, this kind of challenge is a lot of fun!
5. Top 100
As a former homeschool kid, the Top 100 reading challenge is a staple. All you need are some highlighters, a library card, a printout of your hundred books, and maybe some cool, retro stickers. A Top 100 list might take you a year or more to complete, but it’s super satisfying to see highlighted parts slowly overtake the page. Use it to conquer classics, discover new authors, or simply get to the books already on your shelf at home.
What kinds of reading challenges do you enjoy?