I don’t know about you, but my reading was pretty topsy turvy in 2020. I mean, the world’s been topsy turvy, so why wouldn’t it have been? Usually I read around 60 books per year… this year, about half that many. Several books that sounded great just couldn’t hold my attention. And several times, I signed up for a read along or buddy read, and I don’t think I managed to complete a single one.
So, looking ahead to 2021, I’d love to turn over a new leaf. I want to branch out a little, interact with the book community more than I have recently, and stay up too late reading because I’m immersed in books that are just too good to put down.
I have a lot of books on my list, but it’s often helpful to have some prompts to induce some exploration of different genres, new authors, etc. Enter: the reading challenge!
If you haven’t done a reading challenge before, it’s a fun way to seek out new reading material. Challenges can take different forms, but often there’s a checklist… not of specific titles, but of categories or characteristics to explore. I’ve seen alphabet challenges (read a book starting with every letter), genre challenges, and themes of all kinds.
I’ve been searching for 2021 reading challenges that sound interesting, and I’ve found a couple that I’m going to highlight below. Check these out, then either sign up, or keep looking around for more. There are so many out there that you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy!
Anne Bogel is an author I love (one of my favorite reads of 2019 was her book, I’d Rather Be Reading). She also runs a website called Modern Mrs. Darcy, where it’s all books, all the time! Anne’s reading challenge has become well known in book circles, and every year looks a little different.
This year, Modern Mrs. Darcy is personalizing your challenge by completing some reflections on what you want out of your reading life. Your answers will help determine twelve reading prompts for your list. If you want to go deep and point your reading life in a new direction, this is a great possibility for you!
Booklist Queen is a book blog that offers amazing book lists and reviews. Rachael, the site’s owner, is offering a 52 book challenge with categories unique enough to expand your horizons, but attainable enough that you should be able to find a book you enjoy for most sections. And, if you don’t? In Rachael’s own words:
Don’t like one of the categories in the 2021 Reading Challenge? Change it or skip it. Double count a book for multiple prompts. Interpret the prompts any way you like. Do what you want to make this reading challenge your own.
Sounds more than manageable! And I’m pretty sure this one might be my guide in the coming year.
Here’s a list of links to a few other challenges I’ve found:
Even better, want a long list of challenges? Here’s a master list that truly has something for everyone!
Hopefully one of these will strike a chord with you and put some zing into next year’s reading. Here’s to a new year full of adventure and discovery between the pages! Happy reading, friends!