Fun fact about me: I like to run, but I am definitely not a marathon runner, and I don’t know that I ever will be.
However, I AM a marathon READER. And the best way to become a marathon reader? Participating in reading challenges.
Currently, my library is both hosting a Winter Reading Program for adults and a staff reading challenge. You can bet I am participating in both. For the Winter Reading Challenge, the goal is to read 5 adult books (fiction and/or non-fiction) of your choosing between January 15th & March 15th. If you read all 5 books, you get a cool mug (woot!) and a chance to win an iPad (well, I don’t because I’m staff :/). I’ve got 4 out of 5 books down, and so far the best book I’ve read is “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty.
For the staff reading challenge, we have to read YA (Young Adult) and Juvenile books because we’re trying to win a traveling trophy that is somehow related to the Cat in the Hat (don’t ask). It’s a competition among branches, and whichever branch reads the most YA/Juvenile books gets a free pizza party (we’re hoping, because who doesn’t love free food, especially if it’s pizza). I’ve read 9 YA novels so far (the challenge ends March 1) and so far the best YA novel I’ve read is actually a trilogy, “The Grisha Trilogy” by Leigh Bardugo. Set in fictional Ravka (more than likely Russia), the trilogy mixes magic and bad guys and a girl who thinks she’s ordinary but she’s actually key in saving Ravka. And yes there is a love story (and a possible love triangle) but it doesn’t feel forced like some YA love triangles do.
Libraries aren’t the only place you can do reading challenges though! Goodreads, a social media site for book lovers, has a yearly challenge that you set for yourself. My goal is always to read 100 books in a year, but so far the most I’ve read is 73 books. This year is the year though, I think!
You can also find reading challenges on Pinterest and various blogs and websites. Or make your own! Want to read more non-fiction? Do it! Want to read all the books by your favorite author? Go ahead! Sometimes the challenge part of a reading challenge is just getting started. But once you do, there’s no way you can stop.