Print this page


Hillary St. George, Senior Librarian, Cahuenga Branch Library,

We are already a few months into 2016 but it’s not too late to hitch your bookshelf onto the Book Challenge Wagon!

Book challenges are a great form of motivation, whether your goal is to read more books in general or to read a greater variety of books outside your comfort zone the internet is teeming with book challenges to choose from.

Want to set a goal to read more books?

Goodreads has one of the most popular book challenges on the web. You set a goal for the number of books you’d like to read in 2016 (mine is 90, I have a friend who’s goal is 10), log your books when you’ve finished reading and track your progress. You can also hook up with friends and family also taking the Goodreads challenge and track their progress too.

Need motivation to read stories you don’t normally gravitate to?

Jumpstarted by the efforts of We Need Diverse Books, a movement that encourages readers to read and writers to write Children’s and Young Adult novels with diverse characters, participants have taken the baton and run with it. 17 year old Sri Lankan Mishma co-founded the 2016 Diverse Reads Book Challenge with Shelly at Read.Sleep.Repeat where you can set a goal of a number of books featuring diverse characters you plan to read this year, hashtag updates or comments, participate in tri-monthly themes (ethnic, LGBTQIA, religious, mental or physical health or disabilities diversities), pledge with a link to your blog and add book reviews to their sites.

Maybe you need ideas to pull you outside your reading comfort zone.

Consider Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, where you can download a checklist of book prompts that will have you reading books over 500 pages, published the year you were born, a play, memoir or collection of essays. Pop Sugar’s Ultimate Reading Challenge thinks outside the box in a different direction with challenges that include the first book you see in a bookstore, one with a blue cover, a book that takes place in the summer or written by a comedian.

And you can always take your reading challenge to another level. My colleague and her co-workers have all signed on to the Book Riot challenge and are competing to see who can check off the most boxes. They update their individual challenges and post them where everyone can see and wind up talking about the books they read and trading book suggestions as a result.

Still haven’t found the reading challenge for you? Create your own.

I wanted a reading challenge that was Young Adult themed. When I couldn’t find one I adapted Book Riot’s challenge to create a YA book challenge that corresponded with my interest in YA literature. It’s only April but I’ve already read a YA memoir, a YA novel over 400 pages, a YA novel featuring an LGBTQ character, and listened to an Odyssey Award winning novel on audiobook and I’ve still got nine months to go!