Are You a Reading Challenge Addict?

Unleash Your Inner Book Worm with a Reading Challenge

Deep in the dark spaces of the web, past the Bat Dad videos and the Grumpy Cat memes, exists an active and diverse community. They are mothers and fathers, professionals and students, young and old. They do not advertise their community, but neither do they hide from view.

Who is this intriguing group? They’re reading challenge fanatics, the folks who happily accept reading challenges of all types throughout the year.

When the Library District was pulling together our year-long GenreLand Challenge, we had no idea just how deep this rabbit hole ran. What started as a fun way for our community to read together and read outside our comfort zone, has introduced us to the unique world of reading challenges across the web.

Reading Challenge starter pack! (photo: Brittany Stevens)

Our interest in the underground world of reading challenges began when the blog Reading Challenge Addict shared GenreLand with their followers. We visited the blog and were surprised to see their extensive list of challenges and learn about the number of addicts – er, readers – who participate in multiple challenges throughout the year.

Fan of steampunk? There’s a challenge for you!

Like cozy mysteries? Lots of challenges out there.

Want to get serious with your reading? Try “52 Books in 52 Weeks”!

Old school kid-lit? Yep, there’s one for you!

Don’t have a lot of time? Try a short story challenge or month-long vintage sci-fi challenge.

So are you ready to unleash your inner bookworm with a reading challenge this year, or do you still need some convincing? Even the most reluctant reader can find a reading challenge to suit his/her interests. Plus, it’s tough to come up with an excuse when you have the entire library at your fingertips — printed book, audiobooks, and eBooks.

But there’s more… Why Take on a Reading Challenge?

1  Interact with other readers

If you participate in an online reading challenge, you frequently get to interact with other readers taking the challenge and hear about the books they’re reading. With other reading challenges, like GenreLand, you’re encouraged to share and discuss what you’re reading with friends and family or through social media.

2  Get out of a reading rut

Still reading the same ol’ books or waiting for the next volume of a beloved series? Or maybe you haven’t read a book in a while? Either way, reading challenges help motivate you to try something new and bring reading back into your daily routine.

3  Fill in gaps in your reading

This is a bit like getting out of a reading rut, but it’s also about widening your reading repertoire. Are there time periods or particular authors that you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t had the time yet? Perhaps you’re an expert in American literature but haven’t given thought to African authors. Maybe you’re a steadfast reader of mystery novels, so poetry hasn’t made an appearance on your “to be read” list. Now’s the time to fill in those gaps.

Read an array of authors and genres. (Photo: Emily Carlin)

4  Discover new books and authors

One of the best things with reading outside your comfort zone is happening upon a favorite new author. Remember a time when someone recommended a book or an author to you, and you thought, “No, not my cup of tea.” And then you give it a shot and it turns out to be amazing. That’s what a reading challenge can offer.

5  Have fun

Enough said.

We certainly encourage you to participate in the Library’s GenreLand Challenge, but if you’re looking for something a bit different, check out a few websites and blogs dedicated to reading challenges and their addicts.

A Little Reading

A Novel Challenge

Book Dragon’s Lair

Reading Challenge Addict

Just a reminder: the April GenreLand Challenge focus is on Thriller and Suspense books!


  1. I’m enjoying the Biography month of March for Genreland. I am working my way through three biographies that have to do with the novel I’m working on presently. I also enjoy going to Julia Hall’s house at the end of each month to discuss the books we read during the month. Hope you are all having as good of a time as I am.