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One of my favorite things about the end of the year is the sudden surge of reading challenges. Every year, I cram my schedule full of them. In fact, in 2023, I did FIVE of them together, and had a great time. For me, it’s less about completing the challenge (although that is definitely a motivator) and more about finding books that challenge my usual reading interests. I’m also a sucker for checklists, so there’s definitely that dopamine boost every time I cross something off my list as “complete”.

If you’re looking for a challenge that will encourage you to try something new and to read outside of your comfort zone, why not check out my yearly reading challenge? For the past few years, I’ve been posting these reading challenges for interested readers. Originally, it was just for staff, but I’ve expanded my audience to include interested patrons, as well. I hope you enjoy! If you find that you’re ahead of the game (or you just don’t like these prompts), you can check out my previous lists from 2023, 2022, and 2021.

A couple FAQs:

Are there prizes? No, the only prize here is the satisfaction of a completed list (and a lot of wonderful books). Sorry!

Can I use one book for multiple prompts? Since this is not an official contest, you can do this however you want. If you want to use one book to check off three, four, or even ten prompts on the list, then go for it! Or, if you’re a purist and want it to be one book per prompt, that’s fine, too. I’ve done both over the years.

Do I have to wait until January 1st? Again, since this is not an official contest, you can start whenever you want. Some people start their challenges as soon as they get the prompts. Others prefer to wait until January 1st. You can use books that you started in 2023 and finished in 2024, or you can only use books that you started in the new year. Again, the choice is yours!

When a prompt says ______, how specific do I need to be? I’ve seen a lot of liberties taken with reading challenge prompts, and personally, this librarian applauds creativity. I’ve used short stories, picture books, and even comics to complete prompts. If a book says, for example, “a romance with ________” I’ve used both romance novels AND novels with romance in them (that are not technically romance novels).

Do “non-traditional” formats count? Since this is a reading challenge, these are (generally) acceptable means of completing the prompts: books, large print books, eBooks, audiobooks, comic books, graphic novels, short stories, poetry collections, and plays (in script form, written down, not performed). Movies, TV shows, video games, magazines, zines, webcomics (online), etc. do not count. But, if you used them, I would have no way of knowing, haha.

The Challenge:

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.