Reading Challenges You Can Do in 2023

Reading Challenges

We all know that reading has many benefits. What we also know is that sometimes getting yourself motivated to read is a challenge in itself. With today’s life rhythm, it’s harder and harder to find the time and dedication to read a book from start to finish. Here’s where a reading challenge comes in.

Being part of a group with a common goal usually allows you to step out of your comfort zone. Sharing a common goal with other people and knowing that you are not alone in your efforts makes any goal easier to achieve.

But let’s get into a bit more detail about these movements and find out all there is to know about reading challenges.

What is a reading challenge?

By its official definition, a reading challenge is a form of educational competition where participants are given a list of books that need to be read in a specific timeframe. 

It was first introduced as an incentive for children to read more and it has gained more and more popularity in recent years. Nowadays, there are several reading challenges going on throughout the year and both children and adults take part.

The purpose has always been the same: to offer communities a chance to share a common goal, motivating them to read more and to create a reading culture among people. 

With the origin back in 1895 when librarian Linda Eastman came up with the idea in order to motivate students to read more during the summer, reading challenges nowadays have several other applications, from providing valuable statistics about reading to encouraging book circulation within communities.

On top of this, there is also another meaning to reading challenges that can be quite an interesting choice for many of us. While the traditional meaning of reading challenges is the one I mentioned above, of an organized reading event, you can also set one for yourself. 

Whether you choose to challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a particular timeframe or go for a diversifying challenge to start reading books from genres you usually avoid, these can also be considered reading challenges and have a very beneficial effect on your reading habits.

The most common adult reading challenge types

They are now designed to target specific demographics, certain book genres or authors and even favor poetry over classic literature or vice versa. Let’s see a couple of popular reading challenge categories:

  1. Tutti-frutti reading challenge – as you can tell by its name, this category includes reading challenges designed to approach reading in a more liberal way, including books on different topics and genres. They are great for beginners because it gives them a chance to find out what their likes and dislikes are when it comes to reading.
  2. Specific topic challenge – this type of challenge incentivizes participants to take a dive in a specific topic. They say that reading three to five books on a specific topic makes you more informed on that topic than 90% of people. Sounds pretty good, right? Find a topic you’re interested in and join a reading challenge on that topic. You will thank yourself later.
  3. Book Club reading challenge – we all heard about book clubs and we know their value for their members. Luckily, being part of a book club can now happen online and you can also take part in reading challenges organized by certain book clubs. Whether you prefer to enjoy your membership online in a forum or with live meetings, book clubs are great for your reading habits.
  4. Author or genre-focused challenge – if you’re a fan of a specific author or you prefer only a certain type of book, this might be the right choice for you. Dive deeper in your preferences by joining reading challenges focused on your favorite author for example and you will surely end up reading some amazing things.
  5. Seasonal reading challenge – probably the most popular type, the one we are all familiar with from school. There are nowadays several reading challenges you can take part in during the summer for example, regardless of your age. Since summer is considered a great time of year for relaxing and slowing down, reading during the summer is a much easier goal to achieve.

As you can see, reading challenges come in many forms, and you will definitely find one to suit your particular preferences regardless of what those are.

You can probably imagine that every book reading challenge comes with certain benefits for each participant. Let’s dive into that for a bit and discover the benefits of taking part in a reading challenge.

The greatest reading challenge ideas for 2023

Over the years, many creative people have come up with some pretty awesome reading challenges. 

Whether you want to create a reading challenge for yourself only, for your group of friends, on your blog, or in a group on a social media platform, here are a couple of great ideas to incentivize you and the other participants to happily read more. 

  • Countries challenge – pick a group of 5-10 countries and select one book with the action taking place in each of them. 10 countries chosen = 10 interesting books to read.
  • First name challenge – select a couple of books written by authors you share your first name with.
  • Year of birth challenge – read a book written in each year from your year of birth until the present time. The older you are, the more you’ll read.
  • Award winners challenge – Choose a literary award of your liking and read all the books that have ever won it.
  • Alphabet challenge – Read a book with the title starting with each letter of the alphabet. Trust us, some letters are challenging, but you can end up having a ton of fun.
  • Travelers challenge – Read a book with the action taking place in every place you’ve visited or wanted to visit.
  • First and last challenge – Pick 5 authors who are no longer alive and read their first and last books they wrote
  • Century challenge – Read a book written in each century, going as much back in history as you can
  • Mix and match challenge – Get your friends together, or create an online poll where everyone you know writes down their favorite book. As you expected, each of the participants needs to read all the recommendations from the rest.
  • Celebrity challenge – Read 5 books recommended by 5 of your favorite famous people.

Use your imagination, I bet you can come up with at least another ten amazing reading challenge ideas.

On top of this fun and exciting way to set yourself up for success in terms of reading challenges, you can use them as a way to consolidate the way you are reading. If you want your reading challenges to truly have a massive impact on how you read, how much you do it, and how good your performance is, you might benefit from trying the reading challenges prompts below.

1. The relaxed approach

Also known as the “chill challenge”, is a perfect choice for those of you with less experience when it comes to healthy reading habits. This challenge is meant to help those of you who:

  • Don’t usually spend a lot of time reading but would like to start making a habit out of reading more
  • Read from time to time as a way to relax and relieve some stress
  • Are looking for a challenge that is easy to do and doesn’t add too much pressure on your already hectic schedule
  • Have some books on the nightstand you never got around to reading but really wanted to.

This challenge involves reading for pleasure more than anything else. There is little to no pressure in terms of the goals you set for yourself, but you are gently pushing yourself to settle into a reading habit. You get to read what you like, when you have the time and the right mood, but you still have to constantly remind yourself that reading is something you need to do from time to time. 

Here are some ideas for a relaxed reading challenge:

  • Push yourself to read at least a book per month
  • Explore the option to listen to audiobooks whenever you would like to read something but still have other things to do at the same time
  • Read with your children/family/friends and try to keep up 

2. The balanced challenge

Going one step up in terms of complexity and difficulty, the balanced reading challenge is ideal for those of you who want to pay a little more attention to your reading habits but still want some flexibility. If you have a love for books and reading in general but feel like you need to invest a little more time into this hobby, this challenge is perfect for you. 

It is equally effective if you are in a reading rut and you’re just looking for ways to spice things up a bit to rekindle your interest. 

While the balanced approach mainly refers to its low-medium difficulty, you can also think of it as a way to balance out your reading list and habits. Use this challenge to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. 

The most important thing about the balanced challenge is that it should be enjoyable and exciting more than anything else. As long as you manage to make your reading challenges fun, there’s going to be no stopping you from achieving your goals. 

Here are some reading challenges ideas that perfectly fit into this category:

  • Read more than a book per month, but always make sure that one of the books is from a genre/author you wouldn’t have normally picked as your first choice. Spice things up!
  • Go deeper into the genres you love and try books in some more specific sub-genres that still meet your general criteria for choosing a book
  • Explore more ways to enjoy reading: audiobooks, e-book readers, graphic novels, or even short stories and picture books
  • Read books that have been turned into movies. Read the book, watch the movie, and compare the experiences. 

3. The push challenge

The keyword here is “push”. This challenge is another notch up in terms of difficulty and one where you will need to really push yourself to get out of your comfort zone and start focusing on the way you read a lot more. If you’re already feeling pretty good about what you read, how much, and how often, but you still feel that your full potential hasn’t been met yet, this is the challenge for you.

To make sure that this is the right reading challenge for you, you need to meet certain criteria in regards to your reading habits: you constantly read more than two books per month, you read both for fun and as a way to develop your personality and intelligence, and you have no problem getting into difficult books like classic novels or non-fiction books. 

This push challenge is meant to stretch your experience through a constant effort and expand your view of the world by exposing you to new things more often than you normally choose to do. 

Here are some ideas for your “stretch challenge”: 

  • Read a best-seller or a book that won one or more awards every single month
  • Invest some time in reading non-fiction books on topics that you are completely unfamiliar with
  • Try to read one book per week
  • Read books from authors who are less mainstream 

4. The ambitious challenge

The last one on the difficulty and complexity ladder is the ambitious challenge. As the name suggests, this one is for those who really want to push themselves. It is meant to excite even the most avid readers and book lovers and help them go beyond their own limitations. 

To try this challenge without the risk of overachieving, you will need to make sure that there is enough time on your schedule for really pushing your reading hours. This challenge will push you to read more books, diversify your reading experiences, and will stretch your potential way beyond what you thought you were able to achieve. On top of this, you should already read one or more books per week, comfortably switch from one genre to another, and have a high level of commitment to improving and expanding the way you read  and the overall experience.

Here are some ideas for those of you who really want to give your reading habits a considerable boost:

  • Find a topic you are interested in and read a book on this topic from each of the following genres: fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction
  • Read every novel written by the author of your favorite book
  • Finish reading all the books in your pile or on your bookshelf
  • Read books where the action takes place in different countries

What are the most popular reading challenges?

Over the years, there were reading challenges that attracted a lot more interest than others. 

Whether it’s because they were more actively promoted in the media, they were more interesting than others, or have been blessed with involvement from the government, what we know for sure is that the effects were great.

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular reading challenges 2023 has to offer

1. The Toronto Public Library challenge

Offering a beginner and an advanced version, this challenge organized by the Toronto Public Library is probably one of the most popular choices. You can join a Facebook group to share your experience with other readers and you get a series of topics you should be reading about throughout the year. 

2. UK’s Summer Reading Challenge

Designed mainly for children, this challenge comes with a plethora of fun mini-challenges and activities. Don’t worry though, there’s a lot parents can do as well. 

3. 52 books in 52 weeks

As the name suggests, this challenge is designed to push participants to read 52 books in a year. It also features a social aspect where you can join an online community to share your experience and discuss the books. There are 52 criteria to help you select the books you’re reading, such as: a book about siblings, a book about an inheritance, a book where the action takes place in Dublin, and a lot more.  

4. The Goodreads Reading Challenge

This interactive challenge lets you decide how many books you want to read within a year. Once you input the desired number, the platform will allow you to manually track your progress and will automatically inform the entire community about each member’s process. 

5. Premier’s Reading Challenge

Another challenge targeting mainly children and students, this Australian version features a huge reading list to choose the books participants can choose from and clear dates for submitting their accomplishments. 

Like I said earlier, the most popular challenges don’t necessarily need to be your favourites as well. Do your own research and find a challenge that is good for you or simply choose one from our reading challenge list.

Give Your Reading Experience
An Extra Boost With Basmo

Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time. 

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Other fun reading challenges for adults 

On top of the ones above, there are many other challenges to choose from. If you’re not necessarily looking to give your reading habits a massive boost but you still want to be part of the phenomenon and have some good fun this year, these challenges may be just the ones for you. 

While not all of them are going to be easy-peasy, there are some on the list that will make your reading time simply fly by. Take your pick, complete as many of them as you want and are able to, and see the great improvements they will bring to your approach to reading  even if you’re just having some fun with your reading experience.

Here is the complete list of reading challenges for 2023:

  1. The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2023
  2. Thrifty Thursday Challenge 2023
  3. Uncorked 2023 Reading Challenge
  4. Virtual Mount TBR Challenge
  5. What An Animal Reading Challenge 2023
  6. Read It Again, Sam Challenge
  7. Read With Allison’s 2023 Reading Challenge
  8. Read Your Bookshelf Challenge
  9. Reading by the Numbers Challenge
  10. Roll to Read Challenge
  11. Romanceopoly Reading Challenge
  12. TBR Pile Challenge
  13. The Book Girls’ Guide Decades Reading Challenge
  14. The Book Girls’ Guide Lifetime of Reading Challenge
  15. The Book Girls’ Guide Read Around the USA – 2023 States Reading Challenge
  16. The Book Girls’ Guide Read Around the World: Book Voyage Reading Challenge
  17. The Nerdy Bookworm 50 Books A Year Reading Challenge 2023
  18. Creativity Reading Challenge 2023
  19. Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2023
  20. Epistolary Reading Challenge 2023
  21. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023
  22. Humor Reading Challenge 2023
  23. Libro.fm’s 2023 Audiobook Listening Challenge
  24. Memoir Reading Challenge 2023
  25. Mental Health Reading Challenge 2023
  26. Read Around The World Challenge
  27. 2023 Southern Literature Reading Challenge
  28. Adult SFF Backlist Books Challenge
  29. Around the World in 80 Books
  30. Around the World Reading Challenge 2023
  31. Barnes & Noble Reading Challenge
  32. Beyond The Bookends’ 2023 Reading Challenge
  33. Booklist Queen’s 2023 Reading Challenge
  34. BookRiot’s 2023 Read Harder Challenge
  35. Calendar of Crime Challenge
  36. Color Coded Reading Challenge
  37. COYER (Clear Out Your E-Reader) Challenge
  38. Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge
  39. 2023 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
  40. 2023 Library Love Challenge
  41. 2023 Literary Escapes Challenge
  42. 2023 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge
  43. 2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge
  44. 2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge
  45. 2023 NoveList Reading Challenge
  46. 2023 Romance Book Reading Challenge with She Reads Romance Books
  47. #TBR Challenge 2023
  48. 2023 Beachcomber Mystery Reading Challenge
  49. 2023 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

Are reading challenges good?

You already know that reading has a huge number of benefits. From relieving stress to delaying age-related cognitive decline to even making you an overall better and smarter person, reading is an amazing activity.

So, yes. Like anything that can get you to spend more time leafing through books, reading challenges are incredibly good for you. Here are some of the most important benefits of a reading challenge for adults.

You will read more

As I said, one of the most common reasons for not reading is the lack of motivation, even though everyone will claim that it’s the lack of time. Proper motivation will allow even the busiest people to find time to read. 

Let’s face it, if someone as busy as Bill Gates can find time to read 50 books per year, most of us could do it too.

What we’re missing are discipline and motivation. Luckily, reading challenges can work wonders for most of us.

How many times have you heard the expression “being part of something bigger than myself”? That’s exactly the feeling reading challenges provide their participants: a shared experience, a common goal, and proper motivation.

Knowing that you joined the same challenge as hundreds or even thousands of other people will trigger your competitive spirit and that will push you outside of your comfort zone.

You will read books you wouldn’t normally read

Did you ever feel stuck reading the same type of book over and over again? Me too. It’s easy to choose your next book based on the one you’ve just finished.

It’s the same feeling of comfort that pushes you to watch comedy after comedy on Netflix. You already know the type, you can already predict the format and how the action will take place, and how it will be described. 

It’s why people with anxiety find it easier to re-watch the same show over and over again rather than start a new one.

Comfort is nice and all, but nobody made any real progress in any field by just sitting in their comfort zone. 

If you need a push to get yourself to move past your book type and discover new things, reading challenges are definitely the way to go. By joining a mixed reading challenge, you will receive a reading list containing a variety of authors and genres. 

That’s exactly what you need in order to evolve and start exploring new things.

You no longer need to wonder what to read next

For many, finishing a book comes with the joy of having made an accomplishment, but also with the more unpleasant thought “what should I read next?”

Unless you already have a couple of books queued up for reading, that’s a tough question to answer considering that more than 120 million books have been written throughout history and more than 30 thousand new titles reach the library shelves each year.

Luckily, doing a book challenge is a great solution to all the wondering. The next title on your reading list is what you read next. There, that’s it! 

You should also take into account the fact that besides the seasonal reading challenges, there are also yearly ones. That means you can have a reading list to last you a whole year! 

Sounds a lot better than constantly having to think about your next book, right? But let’s see how a reading challenge works and how you can organize or participate in one.

How can reading trackers help with reading challenges?

If you really want to take full advantage of what reading challenges can do for your reading experience and habits, the best course of action would be to start using a reading tracking app like Basmo. Our app has been designed to meet the needs of every single aspiring reader out there. Here’s how Basmo can make your reading challenges better, more fun, and more rewarding.

Create and manage reading lists easily. Every challenge will come with a bunch of suggestions in terms of what you should be reading. Having a reading list is essential while doing any of the challenges presented above.

Luckily, Basmo offers its users the possibility to easily create and manage as many reading lists as they please. The reading lists are customizable and will make the process of establishing and using your TBR list smoother than ever. 

Track your reading. One of the reasons why people choose to do a reading challenge is to improve their reading habits. With Basmo, every reading session is timed, your reading speed is tracked throughout each session, and you get clear statistics about your reading performance. How much you read, how often, and how quickly are all important criteria to look at, and you will have access to them in just a couple of taps

Tracks your feelings. If your aspiration is to join a reading challenge to make reading more fun, you’ll be pleased to learn that Basmo can help you manage your emotions and how each reading session makes you feel.

Once a reading session is ended, you will be prompted to select an emoji that best represents your state of mind. This information is then gathered and Basmo generates a weekly report where you can easily see what emotions governed your reading sessions in the past week. This allows you to adjust your reading habits to make them more pleasurable.

Be more organized. The app helps you create and maintain a clear schedule for your reading sessions. You can choose what days of the week you want to dedicate some time to reading, and even different times of day for each one. That way you get to work around your daily chores and routines to find the perfect time to squeeze some reading in. On top of this, you can also set reading goals for yourself. You can either select a daily reading goal which represents your desired number of minutes you want to dedicate to your reading every day, or a yearly goal for the total number of books you want to go through within a year. You will then get to track your progress through comprehensive graphics that will motivate you to keep going.

Conclusion

The bottom line when it comes to reading challenges is that there are enough for you to choose from and there are numerous reasons why you should enter or even create one of your own.

Reading more is a goal for many of us and a reading challenge could turn out to provide us with the extra motivation we’ve been lacking in the past.Choose your favorite, enter it and complete it. And don’t forget that you can make your life a lot easier by using the Basmo reading app.

Give Your Reading Experience
An Extra Boost With Basmo

Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time. 

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

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