Bookish Challenges

I’ve always loved a good reading challenge. I’ve participated in many, and even created some myself. My own have included SFF Award Winners, tackling the Classics and a definitive list of science fiction. Reading challenges are a really great way to read outside of the box, get to that pile of books you’ve been meaning to conquer for ages, or use reading as a way to socialise with others – a lot of conversation comes out of the reading challenges on my Goodreads book group, Dragons & Jetpacks.

Here I’ve compiled a list of possible challenge ideas or themes, make of it what you will…

  • Country – books based in certain countries or groups of countries
  • City – books based in certain cities
  • U.S. States – books based in the different states of the USA
  • Author from country/city – authors only from a certain country or city
  • Country Alphabet – read a book based in a country beginning with A, then B, then C, etc… or any order, just cover the alphabet!
  • Road Map – create a map showing the settings of the books you’ve read recently/over the past year/as far back as you can remember

  • Books only by male authors
  • Books only by female authors
  • Books only by LGBTQ authors
  • Author alphabet – read a book with an author surname beginning with A, then B, then C, etc… or any order, just cover the alphabet!
  • Similar to… – read authors based on recommendations for fans of one specific author

  • Read books of only one genre
  • Sub-genres – choose a genre and explore the sub-genres e.g. science fiction = cyberpunk, space opera, dystopia, military SF etc
  • One of each genre – choose a selection of genres and make sure you read at least one book fitting each of those genres over a certain timeframe
  • Genres you wouldn’t normally read – think outside the box! If you love romance, try some sci-fi, if you love fantasy, give crime a go
  • Non-Fiction – this could be split into different areas e.g. travel, history, biography, etc
  • Historical Fiction/Non-Fiction – read about different periods of history, create a ‘timeline’ and travel along it by reading different books set in or about certain time periods
  • ‘Definitive’ reads of a genre – the ‘classic’ books of a genre, e.g. the SF Masterworks from Gollancz for science fiction

  • DC vs. Marvel type challenge – this is an excellent challenge created by Mpauli, a mod of Dragons & Jetpacks, and you can read about it here. However, please don’t take this challenge for yourself, as Mpauli works really hard every year to create this – I’ve just linked to it for inspiration
  • Award Winners – Hugo, Nebula, Orange Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer, etc
  • LGBTQ Characters
  • Recommendations – ask friends and other bloggers for book recommendations, and then try them out!
  • Classics – finally tick some of the classics off of your ‘to read’ list
  • Cover Colour – read books with only blue covers etc, or create a rainbow of covers!
  • Main Character – gender, nationality, good/evil, any other traits you can think of
  • Film/TV/Video Game Spinoffs – read books that are part of a franchise
  • Releases from a certain year/decade
  • Translated Fiction – stick to a certain country or create a map
  • Books inspired by music
  • Books inspired by art
  • Review Copies – tackle any review copies that you haven’t managed to read just yet
  • TBR List – books that have been sat on your shelves for ages

Can you think of any other challenge ideas?


8 thoughts on “Bookish Challenges”

  1. These are all great ideas. I always love the idea of reading challenges at the beginning of the year, but I have trouble sustaining interest in them- or actually, remembering that I’m supposed to be doing them! Oh well, maybe one of these days…

  2. Love challenges as it pushes your boundaries with regards to reading. The one I designed this year is called BookBuster, and is an A to Z one based around the original panel show.

  3. This is a great list, I especially love the genre choices. Course the geographical ones get me thinking too… the road map one is a neat idea.

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