2019 EDIWTB Reading Challenge

UPDATE: Here is the link to the EDIWTB Reading Challenge Facebook Group and here is the Google doc where we are sharing our progress.

On a recent Readerly Report podcast episode, Nicole and I talked about some popular reading challenges, including the 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge and the 2019 Around The Year In 52 Books Challenge. Nicole was intrigued by them. I checked them out but in the end I am not tempted to join either of them. They include too many books that are outside my interest zone (“A book featuring an amateur detective”, “A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature”), and I don’t like the idea of choosing books based on words in their titles (“A book with a plant in the title or on the cover”). I don’t read much more than 52 books in a year, and I don’t want to feel pressure to pick those books from a list of narrow categories just to complete a challenge.

But I do like the idea of putting a little structure to my reading for the year and forcing myself to broaden my horizons a bit. My friend Stephanie posted her own 2019 reading challenge in the Readerly Report Readers Facebook Group last week, and it sounded much more manageable and appealing. Here is the challenge: over the next 12 months, read at least one book in the following categories:

Short stories
Book being made into a movie this year
A Pulitzer Prize winner
Classic I’ve never read
True survival story
Self-help/awareness book
Debut novel
Book set on a campus
Nonfiction book
Book published the year I was born
Humor book

I asked Stephanie if I could do her challenge with her, and she said yes! I am very excited and am officially adopting it as the 2019 EDIWTB Reading Challenge. It will get me to read some genres that I don’t usually read – self-help and humor, for example – and will force me out of the contemporary literary fiction category I so often go to. Thank you Stephanie for sharing this challenge!

A few rules I am making for myself:

  1. Even if a book fits into two categories, it can only count for one.
  2. Books do not have to be read in any particular order and can be spread out or concentrated throughout the year.

Would you like to join this challenge? Please leave a comment here, and then we can create a text or Facebook group to share ideas for books to meet the challenge and discuss what we’ve read.

Happy reading in 2019!


  • January 9, 2019 - 7:38 am | Permalink

    I like it! Most, but not all, of the categories generally fall into a year of reading for me. Not the classics category, though!

  • January 9, 2019 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’m in! So far:
    There There – Debut Novel
    Baby You’ll be Mine – Short stories

    And yes I have ideas and yes, yes I would love some right back!

  • catherine foot
    January 9, 2019 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I am in !!! sounds fun – so far 2 books this year – neither of which fit into any categories but I just picked up Edna O’Brian’s short stories so that will fit into one category and I have almost finished a self help book (of which I have far too many…)

    • gayle
      January 9, 2019 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Yay! Glad you’re in. I just invited you to a private FB group for the challenge.

  • Tracy
    January 9, 2019 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m in! I need some structure to get me to read more.

    January 9, 2019 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m in! Especially excited for the book published the year I was born !

  • Susan Peck
    January 9, 2019 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Sounds great – I would love to join!

  • Susan
    January 9, 2019 - 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Sounds great – I would love to join!

  • January 11, 2019 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I definitely don’t need another challenge, but count me in! I’m doing too many this year, but what I really hope comes out of challenges this year is more reading…and an idea about making my challenge next year. Some of these prompts match with that.

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  • Elisabeth
    January 13, 2019 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I am in! Text might be better, I don’t like to write on FB, but maybe –

    So far I jotted down:

    Short Story – Mouthful of Birds by Samantha Schweblin

    Book to Movie – Brain on Fire or Dumpling

    Pulitzer Prize Winner – Goldfinch by Donna Tartt or The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

    True Survival Story – Brain on Fire

    Book – Year I was born. 1955 – The Little Bookworm by Eleanor Farjean

    I am getting excited!

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