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Reading Trackers & Challenges

Reading challenges and book tracking. This time of year, everyone begins thinking about their reading goals for the upcoming year as well as how they will track their goals. Regardless of the preferred genre, there is always a challenge for those who actively look for one. Some people also debate between keeping track of their yearly reading and how best to do so. It should be noted that there is no definitive answer on whether you do a reading challenge or not – it is entirely up to you, the reader, and how you feel about the topics at hand.

Reading Trackers

One way many people, including myself, keep track of the books they have read is on Goodreads. Goodreads allows you to choose a reading goal for the year which can be changed at any time should the reader need to do so. It also allows the reader to track their placement within their chosen book. You can choose between marking the number of pages you have completed, or the percentage read.

Another way people track their books is to customize an Excel spreadsheet. This is a method I use also as I like to ensure that all my books, including do not finish (DNF) reads, are accounted for. The great thing about using Excel is that using it allows the reader complete control over customization. You can use any headers you want and choose what is important to you and the way you choose to read. Google Sheets can be used in the same manner for those who prefer to keep their information cloud-based.

There is also the tried and true method of keeping track of your read books in a simple notebook. Keeping a simple list of titles and authors can allow the reader to discover patterns in their reading and what kind of books normally hold their interest. I have seen posts from many people in my Facebook groups who have used this method for years on end and see no reason to change.

Reading Challenges

The 2022 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge is a fairly easy one. You choose 26 books that must have the corresponding letter of the alphabet in the title. For example, the letter A could stand for Animal Farm by George Orwell. A quick Google search of the terms “books that start with the letter _” will lead you to some amazing titles. Please note that you do not need to join any particular site to do this challenge…just know your alphabet and find books that begin with that letter.

The 2022 Diversity Reading Challenge is made to help readers choose books that include a more rounded group of characters. According to the link, some of those characters could be people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, or those with physical or mental disabilities. This would be a wonderful challenge to do when reading to children as the more they read about those different of them, the more likely they are to be nice when meeting them in real life. Please note that these are just some examples of the characters you could read about. Please feel free to look for other diverse characters that catch your eye.

The 2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge encompasses all genres of historical fiction including, but not limited to, historical romance, historical mystery, and historical fantasy. Please click the link to register for this challenge and meet others who are doing the same. There are different reading levels for this challenge depending on how many books are read.

The Book Voyage Reading Challenge helps the reader traverse the globe. During each month, a new area of the world is read about through a book of the reader’s choice. The curator has even provided suggestions for each region chosen for the challenge. Readers are always free to choose their own books from the region.

There is also the well-known PopSugar Reading Challenge. This seems to be a very popular reading challenge that people look forward to each year. There are many different reading prompts, some of which require the reader to truly research the topic. One of this year’s prompts is “a book with an onomatopoeia in the title” – this refers to the formation of a word from a sound associated with it. From a Google search, the book “The Horse Whisperer” would fulfill this prompt. There are many other chances to learn about topics they would have never thought about reading.

It should be noted that you do not need to be part of an official reading challenge to add some variety to your reading. One year I challenged myself to read one classic novel a month in addition to the other books that I read. I found this easy to handle and I ended up reading some interesting books that I never would have picked up. I also used a loose definition of the word classic as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Rosemary’s Baby ended up on my list that year.

Whether you choose to do a reading challenge or not, the most important thing is that you are reading and enjoying what you read. I wish you all a wonderful year of reading and exploring as you discover new friends, enemies, and a thousand reasons to smile.

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