One question I get asked more than anything else is, how do you read so much? And often, that question is followed by, do you have any tips on how I can read more? Where do I start? Well, let’s start here. Welcome to the 2018 Reading Challenge!
I knew late December that I wanted to do something centered around reading in the New Year. Starting a book club is something I’d like to do later on down the road, but reading is so important to me I wanted an easy, low stress way to help you all figure out what to read and get you thinking about reading more.
I know there are so many reading challenges this year that focus on numbers and the quantity of books you read. I wanted this challenge to focus on the quality of books you read. I want all of us to read great books, discover great authors and pick up titles we normally wouldn’t in 2018.
It’s truly simply, all you have to do is read. That’s it. Pick up new books, get that library card, explore your local bookstores and read! Even if you don’t finish a book this year, which I really hope you do, I just want to get you all reading!
This challenge is a simple, non-invasive one, so naturally, the rules are pretty flexible and few:
- Decide on how you’re going to incorporate reading into your existing routines and commit to it. For example, I usually try to read between 50-100 pages daily, that works for me. Maybe 10 pages works each morning or at lunch works for you. Whatever it is, write it down and commit to it! If you feel up to it, share your reading commitment with me!
- You don’t have to meet every challenge! Pick one, pick a few or go for the gold. Whichever feels right.
- One book can meet multiple challenges! You’ll see the list of “challenges” below. They are guides, not checkboxes, there to help steer you in the right direction.
- Only read books that you love. If you start a book and aren’t enjoying reading it, put it down.
- Everything counts! Graphic novels, children’s books, audiobooks. Read how you want!
I picked challenges that I knew I could a). join you all in and that would b). push us all out of our reading comfort zones a bit. To get things off to a great start, here’s a breakdown of each “challenge” with some suggested books. These are all either books I’ve read, own or am planning to read.
Read a Poetry Collection
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquelin Woodson (also counts as a memoir!)
Read a Classic
Read an Anthology
- Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armontrout
- Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
- Stories: All New Tales by Neil Gaiman
Read a New to You Author
- Any author that you’ve never read, regardless of when their work was published.
Read a Tome (a book 500 pages or more)
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Read a Book Set in Another Country (all are set outside of the US)
- Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
- Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (March 2018 release)
- Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Read a Book in One Day
- The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock (my review)
- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
- Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Read a Memoir
- Hunger by Roxane Gay
- The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
- We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
Reread Your Favorite Books (children’s books absolutely count)
- I’ll obviously be rereading Harry Potter but also…
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
- The Mothers by Brit Bennet
In each of my monthly reading wrap-ups, I’ll be sharing which books count towards which challenges! I hope this inspires you all return to books you love and pick up new ones! Let me know what’s on your reading list for 2018, and if you’ll be taking the challenge!