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?