Stuck in a reading rut? Try these challenges to get out of your literary comfort zone

Last year I read 45 books, which I know seems like a lot. I surprised myself too. The last few years, I didn’t read more than four or five books a year and most of them were books I had to read for college.  Buying an e-reader definitely helped get me back into reading. I don’t like to buy a lot of books, most of them end up on my shelf having only read them once anyway. With my e-reader I can read and try as many books as I want without them taking up space.  Another thing that got me out of my reading rut were reading challenges. In 2020, I did the A to Z reading challenge and that made it a lot easier to choose a book. I maybe didn’t read a lot the previous years, but my to-read-pile on the StoryGraph has been growing and growing. (It’s currently at 241 books 🙊 ). I always felt overwhelmed when choosing a book and the categories of a challenge really narrow down the options. I’s a lot easier to choose my next book this way.

Want to get out of your reading rut or literary comfort zone? Try a reading challenge! There are tons of reading challenges out there and to make it easier, I listed 4 that sparked my interest.

A RAD Reading Challenge

Rachel Dawson (IG: @Alltheradreads) created this challenge and it has nine categories. This challenge is perfect for anyone starting out with reading challenges or for anyone who wants to read more. I love that the categories aren’t restricitive and give you a lot of freedom to chose which book you want to read. The categories vary from a specific genre, to the color of the book cover or to read a book with less than 200 pages.

The A-to-Z Reading Challenge

There are a lot of different ways to complete this challenge. Either the book title starts with a letter of the alphabet or the author’s first/last name. It can even be a combination of both. That’s all your choice. It’s a big challenge containing 26 books, one for every letter of the alphabet, but don’t let that scare you. This is a fun challenge to discover new titles and books you might have never read otherwise.  All you need to take part in this challenge is pen and paper to write your books down. If you like things digital like me you can use the notes app on your phone.

The Storygraph’s Genre Challnge

I’m trying out Storygraph this year to track which books I read. It’s a new platform with a lot of potential. They’ve created three challenges and the Genre Challenge is the one that caught my eye. This challenge helps get out of your literary comfort zone by trying new genres. It’s all about trying new things which I love, because I tend to read the same few genres all the time. Besides genres, the Storygraph also focuses on diversifying which authors you read. Their prompts do not only include a genre but also if the book should be written by for example a Black or trans author.

Diversify Your Reading Challenge

Kelly Mongan (IG: @diversifyyourreading) created this challenge to diversify your reading. In other words to read a variety of genres. There are 12 categories and 4 bonus prompts. Every month you read a specific genre and every three months you can take part in one of the bonus categories. Besides reading different genres, Kelly also encourages you read diverse authors and backlist books.

These reading challenges are supposed to be fun, so if you’re doing more than one don’t feel pressured to read a new book for every single prompt. You can use a book from one reading challenge for another or read a different one for every single category. It’s all up to you. I’m doing the RAD reading challenge in addition to the A to Z reading challenge. My goal is to read at least 30 books in 2021. This way I can finish my challenges and read a few books outside of them if I want to. Curious to know which books I will be reading in 2021? Follow me on the Storygraph.

Are you going to try a reading challenge this year?

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Get out of your reading rut or literary comfort zone with these reading challenges

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