2019 marks the 5th year of the Read Harder Challenge piloted by Book Riot. This challenge encourages readers to read outside of their bubble, exploring new genres, voices and points of view.
There are 24 challenges, creating the expectation that participants will read approximately one book every two weeks.
Many of the categories are chosen as a direct result – and rebuttal – of American politics.
You can download a PDF copy from their website.
I have participated in this challenge for the last three years, but I am not planning to this year.
Are you going to take the challenge?
Well, we are three months gone in 2018 and I thought I would write a quick post updating on my adventure in the 2018 Reading Challenge!
I am working on both the Popsugar and Book Riot’s challenges and have definitely made more headway into the former as this point, but it is also a much longer list. I set a goal on Goodreads to read 52 books this year, which is two more than my goal for last year.
Thankfully I am staying a few books ahead of schedule right now, after a strong start in January and listening to audiobooks while I commute and perform some household chores is helping me to keep caught up.
I am lucky to be surrounded by so many avid readers, such as my co-workers, close friends and Mum.
Here are three snapshots of my progress to this point:
Are you doing a reading challenge this year? What list are you working on and how are you doing?
So that time has come again.
Read Harder Challenge 2016 has finished. Bring on 2017 and a brand new challenge!
This challenge is put on by Book Riot each year. I participate along with most of my co-workers. Essentially, Book Riot prepares a list of 24 categories and challenges you to read a book from each section to complete the list over the course of the calendar year. The purpose is to expand your reading outside of your comfort zone, to experience new genres or ideas.
Here are the categories for 2017, although the link above will take you the printer-friendly version:
- Read a book about sports.
- Read a debut novel.
- Read a book about books.
- Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author.
- Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigrationnarrative.
- Read an all-ages comic.
- Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.
- Read a travel memoir.
- Read a book you’ve read before.
- Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location.
- Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.
- Read a fantasy novel.
- Read a nonfiction book about technology.
- Read a book about war.
- Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+.
- Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.
- Read a classic by an author of color.
- Read a superhero comic with a female lead.
- Read a book in which a character of colour goes on a spiritual journey
- Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel
- Read a book published by a micropress
- Read a collection of stories by a woman
- Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love
- Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of colour
There are lots of hyperlinks as you can see. These will take you to suggestion pages that Book Riots has created, if you need help finding something suitable in a given category.
Personally, I am not nearly as excited about the categories this year as I was last year. They are clearly (in my mind) aimed at an American audience when this is supposed to be an international challenge. The NUMEROUS categories aimed at LGBT and racial discrimination is surely at least partially a result of the current political and social climate of the United States.
I don’t know that I want to fully finish the challenge this year as a result, but I am going to work on it for as long as I can at least. No matter what, it is still good to broaden your horizons and try new literary works, and this list will at least force me to do that.
In fact, I am well on my way towards completing my first book! I am reading The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine, for the category of debut novel. Expect a review forthwith because it is excellent!
Book Riot published their inaugural reading challenge in 2015 and released a new challenge for this year. They provide a list of 24 tasks, designed to help you read outside of your normal comfort zone. Looking through the list, I’d guess there are at least 5 categories that will feel “at home” to the average reader, but in others, you will definitely be stretching yourself.
Here is the link to the Book Riot challenge page. They provide lots of helpful tips for finding books to fit each category if you are struggling, and if you post about, use the hashtag #ReadHarder ! The printable pdf is on the link provided as well, but here is a quick snapshot of the current challenge.
My co-workers and I are all participating (I work in a library, so we’re obviously all “book-y”) and I’ve been meaning to post about it on here for a while! I got a late start because I worked two jobs all winter and had no time for books. Don’t feel as if you are behind, come join me in the challenge!
I’ve only checked off a couple of categories so far. For a book under 100 pages, I used Saving for School by Gail Vax-Oxlade, which I already reviewed on this blog. And for the book that you read to another person, I used the Teddy Bears’ Picnic in my story-time program. I’m still working on the others, so when I review, I will try to remember to note that it was a part of this challenge! Hope this helps inspire you to read something new :)