You need a challenge, a big one, but marathons are ridiculously long and people die climbing mountains. There’s a reason psychic mediums don’t go to Mount Everest, and it’s not because it’s too cold. No marathons and no mountains, what are you to do for a challenge? How about a challenge where you can curl up on the sofa with popcorn and hot chocolate? Perfect!
Book challenges are all the rage these days, made popular by people wanting to up their reading game and explore new genres. Some readers use these challenges to yank themselves out of a reading rut, and others to test themselves. Whatever your motivation, book challenges are a great way to conjure up some extra commitment to reading and add more diverse titles to your reading résumé. Plus, you get to pat yourself on the back at the end for doing something you do every day. Do you need any more excuses?
If this is your first time, relax. Here are six tried and tested book challenges to help you lose your book challenge virginity.
The Goodreads Book Challenge
This one is nice and simple. You sign up to Goodreads and they ask you how many books you want to read this year. You tell them how many, and they start the countdown. Every time you finish a book, you record it on Goodreads and all the books you read in the year will be gathered into a little portfolio for you to marvel at and realise: you read loads this year!
The Goodreads Book Challenge allows a lot of freedom to choose the books you know you will love, and even re-reads count towards your end-of-the-year total. For this reason, it’s the best challenge to get you reading if you’ve had a break for a while and aren’t sure where to start. This challenge will let you pick up your favourite book and make it count.
Better yet, you can check up on how all your Goodreads friends are doing in the challenge and give you that extra kick to have them eating your dust.
(Check out how far I’ve gotten in this year’s challenge here!)
The “BBC” Book List Challenge
Why the “air quotations”? Well, allegedly, the BBC didn’t actually create this challenge, and its origins remain a mystery. Regardless, the “BBC” Book List Challenge is one you would be proud to conquer. The list is made up of 100 books, many of which are classics, some you will have read in school already and others that are popular, modern reads.
A fair warning needs to be given for this list, however, one of the books featured is The Holy Bible. Why the challenge creator decided to put this on the list is a mystery, because it is worlds away from every other book featured in the challenge. If you don’t fancy reading the Bible, you can do what everyone else did and just whittle the challenge list down to 99 books. Better yet, add your own!
The “BBC” Book List Challenge is perfect for anyone wanting to add the classics to their “read” pile, featuring the likes of Dickens, the Bronte sisters and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But you can still be sure to find some more recent books from the likes of C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll. Heads up, there are some great sci-fi and fantasy titles!
Find the “BBC Book List Challenge” here.
The British Book Challenge 2018
OK, I’ll admit to being biased here. As a born-and-raised Brit, you’ll have to expect me to push some British books on you, just a little. Hey, we’ve got some good authors over here.
Created and hosted by The Tales of Yesterday, The British Book Challenge 2018 is perfect for book bloggers as you are asked to write a blog post or create a YouTube video linking back to The Tales of Yesterday website stating the British books you would like to read. In addition, they ask that you review the books on your blog after you’ve read them.
While this challenge asks you to invest a little more time and effort than usual, there’s always a chance it can connect you with authors, writers and readers. In any case, you’re looking at the country that spawned Harry Potter, what’s not to love?
This year’s British Book Challenge can be found here.
The Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Club Challenge
No guesses as to what you’ll find in this book list. Based on GoodReads, the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club Challenge is hosted by the Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Club most years, and features a range of books in the chic-lit genre. Nah, I’m just kidding, it’s fairly obvious what you’ll find in this book club.
While I tend to shy away from book challenges that focus on a single genre, sci-fi and fantasy have so much creative potential that you’re never reading the same book twice. In any case, if you’re rabid about these genres, this is a book challenge you want to check out.
You can find the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Club Challenge here.
Avid readers of the world, let’s run a marathon the best way we know how. By committing to a book challenge and reading like crazy! Good luck, and I hope you find plenty of new favourites.