So recently I’ve only been writing reviews, but I want to get back into more expansive content to keep it interesting. I’ve decided that the first order of business is to find a new reading challenge for 2020. I fully intend on completing a simple “read this many books” challenge on Goodreads, but a friend recently mentioned that the quality of books is just as important, if not more, than the quantity.
After some digging, I discovered Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder Challenge. Book Riot has been hosting the challenge for a number of years now, and although I am late to the party I am glad that I found it. I love that the challenge includes reading books to promote awareness of social issues and support minority communities. I think it is important to increase my awareness and open-mindedness as a reader and as a person; reading books that I would not pick up otherwise is a great way to diversify my world view and gain perspective.
“We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is—a perspective shift—but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”
The challenge is comprised of 24 tasks across various formats (audiobooks, novellas, graphic novels, etc) and genres (nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, etc). A book can be used for as many tasks as it qualifies for. I will link the full downloadable PDF below. Some of my favorites include:
- Read a memoir by someone from a religious tradition (or lack of religious tradition) that is not your own
- Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman
- Read a book by or about a refugee
- Read a horror book published by an indie press
While some of the challenges are pretty niche, Book Riot will be providing some guidance for finding hidden gems. I will also be publishing a few recommendations as I complete the challenge.
Another thing that is really cool is Book Riot’s Read Harder Journal, which helps to log books and your thoughts about them. The journal is interspersed with challenges similar to Read Harder tasks and has plenty of space for any other books you may want to keep track of. I intend on purchasing one myself!
So this post probably reads like an advertisement for Book Riot, but I am just super excited to have found a way to be an activist through my reading. I will keep you all updated with my progress throughout the next year!
Do you plan on participating in the Read Harder Challenge? What other reading challenges do you want to take on during 2020? Let me know!