A simple reading challenge anyone can complete.
I was the child in the corner wrapped up with a good book, ignoring everyone in the room as I dove deeper into a different world of another book.
I love reading! I sadly realized that I stopped reading as many books as I used to when I moved to America as a teenager. I used to brag about reading more than 500 pages in about two to three weeks.
But that previous achievement became unattainable over the years until one day I couldn’t remember the last time I read a book from start to finish. Things had to change immediately.
Reading is an important part of life. It’s a way to escape the humdrum of your everyday life and enter into a world that you can only dream about.
But reading is also good for your brain, so every day should be devoted to it in some way.
This article will discuss how to read more books this year by doing a reading challenge.
The first step I took back into the reading world was when I decided to buy a kindle. My whole life changed. I went from reading zero books to about ten books in five to six months.
I understand that not everyone likes to read because falling asleep in the middle of a sentence doesn’t qualify as reading. If it did, we would all be well-read and have wonderful discussions. But, sadly it doesn’t work that way.
How do you do a reading challenge?
It’s really easy to start a reading challenge considering the first thing you need to do is read a book. Taking the plunge is the hardest part.
Once you read a book, find a reading challenge that suits your personal interests and circumstances. This is how I found my new favorite reading challenge: The 12 Book Reading Challenge
Reading this many books in one year might sound simple and the truth is, it really is. If you’re committed enough, you’ll read 12 books this year.
The Challenge: Read 12 Books This Year
One of the best things about reading is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can finish one book, start another and revisit the first when you’re ready for round two.
Even though I prefer to read one book to completion before taking on another, you can do the challenge however you like.
Are reading challenges any good?
Yes. Reading challenges pushes you to read more books than you would have without the challenge.
Think about it, do you push yourself more in a competition or when you’re doing something on your own?
If your answer to that question is “I push myself more in a competition” then a reading challenge is the equivalent to a competition where others are involved.
You are pushing yourself to be better than you were last year and to improve your reading life.
Reading challenges are good.
If you’re not convinced, here are a few reasons why reading challenges can be great:
– You get to read more books than your typical reading habits would usually allow
– Your reading expands in different genres and types of books that might have interested you before but didn’t know how to get into
– You’re constantly reading because you have a goal. This will keep your reading momentum going
– It forces you to set time aside for reading, which is something that many people struggle with.
Why try a Reading Challenge
A reading challenge will force you to step out of your comfort zone.
It will challenge you to read different genres than what you might typically gravitate towards.
A reading challenge shouldn’t be too challenging or too easy.
Find a happy balance!
A reading challenge is all about finding a way to read more, which will help your brain stay active and improve mental health in general.
You’ll find yourself getting lost in new genres as you explore the world of fiction and non-fiction. The possibilities are endless.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of all the books that I would love to finish before the year is over. Even though it’s only April, I’m way behind on my reading materials. According to my reading list, I’ve only read one book in its entirety. And I’m almost halfway through my second book.
I’m not sure about you, but this is unacceptable for me. I should be on my third or fourth book by now. Twelve solid books for the year is the goal. Even though my ultimate goal is to read 52 books in 52 weeks. (That’s a reading challenge I hope to tackle really soon.)
With the realization that I’ve fallen behind, the idea came to me to try doing a reading challenge. I love challenges, especially reading challenges, and what’s better than learning? Nothing!
With this renewed confidence, I created a plan.
Steps to create your reading life with this reading challenge:
It’s okay if you have no clue on how to start your reading life. This plan covers the basic things you need to do to get started like:
-Increasing your reading speed
-Blocking out your reading time
-Creating a reading list
-How to choose books to read
The reading challenge is a good way to start off the year with something fun and challenging.
It’s also an excellent way to practice self-discipline, develop better reading skills, learn new things about yourself or others, and grow as a person.
If you want to set up your own reading challenge for this coming year here are a few tips to get your going.
Increase your reading speed
For this reading challenge to have its best chance of completion, you will need to increase the speed of your reading. Jim Kwik’s podcast Kwik Brain was the tool that helped me improve my reading speed.
I eventually plan on taking his master class. But for now, his podcast and book get the job done.
If you read like a three year old, it’s easy to become bored with reading. Learn how to increase your reading speed before embarking on this reading challenge.
Reading faster allows you to read more books.
It’s not possible to increase reading speed without a conscious effort and time investment.
Don’t expect it will happen overnight or on its own. Increase your reading speed by using Jim Kwik’s method.
He has been the key to my success so far with this reading challenge.
Block out your reading time
Setting aside a specific time of the day to read for thirty minutes to an hour will train your body to develop a new habit.
Since habits can be hard to incorporate sometimes, make sure to sacrifice Netflix times and set an alarm so you can finish your reading challenge with ease.
There really is a lot of time in the day to accomplish exactly what you want, but sacrifices have to be made. Instead of sleeping till noon, try waking up an hour earlier. Get your body ready to read from noon till one in the afternoon.
If you’re an avid Netflix watcher like I am, try cutting down on the screen time and replace it with reading. When you get the urge to turn the TV on, pick up a book instead.
You’ll be surprised how little you’ll miss TV shows by doing this simple trick. The best part is when you eventually turn on the TV, it would be a reward instead of a distraction tool.
If you’re super busy with work, try to put reading as a priority.
Reading is your time to decompress and escape from all worries that are sucking you dry of your energy.
When I read first thing in the mornings, it really helps me wake up and focus, because my mind stops racing with thoughts about what’s on my to-do list later on that day and starts concentrating on the book.
Ideally, you should aim to read at least for 30 minutes every day (which, depending on your reading speed is about 300 pages a month).
You can also challenge yourself to read one chapter of your current book every day, the progress you’ll make will be visible at the end of each week.
These are just some ways that I’ve found work well.
Create a reading list
Create a list to keep you on track in case you have to travel around a bit and your pile gets mixed up.
I have a list I created in the back of my journal that’s fully equipped with the title of the book, author(s), and a start and finish date. This way, I can keep track of how long it took to complete each book.
Making a list of the books you want to read can be a great way to discover new authors and titles as well.
Jot down the names of the authors you love and do a quick google search for all the books they’ve written.
Pick the ones you’re interested in and add them to your list.
Lists make everything run smoothly. They keep you organized and keep a detailed record of your progress.
Pay attention to the books you’re reading, most of the time the authors will mention the list of books that were influential to their writing.
If you’re reading a book and think, “Hey! I really want to remember this for later,” then add it.
Keeping track of the books that have made an impression on me is helpful when I’m trying to find a new read because they’re all on my list.
A reading challenge isn’t a challenge if you do not read.
Challenge yourself and read the books you’ve chosen for your challenge.
The only way to benefit from reading is to more books.
The only way to get closer to your reading goal this year is by reading!
So take the challenge and start reading today. There’s no other way around it. And no, Audiobooks don’t count as reading!
Push yourself to read books you’ve never thought of reading, re-read the ones you love, and see what new lessons you previously missed.
Books really do change your way of thinking, so choose wisely and spontaneously.
Choosing books for a reading challenge
To help you have a successful reading challenge, I’ll provide some guidelines on how to choose books to read.
The choice of books you choose should be a genre you love or have not read before.
There is no such thing as reading too many books, so pick something easy or difficult for the time being and dive in!
First, choose twelve, fifteen, or twenty books you’d love to read for the year and set them aside.
These books will be your core reading material for the year.
Here’s are three different choosing methods to use to pick books for your reading challenge this year…
The Random Choice
If you have a home library, pick twelve, fifteen, or twenty random books. You can create a finished pile so you can be visually rewarded and reminded of the progress you’ve made or return the finished book to the shelves and watch the piles of books grow smaller.
By choosing randomly, you’ll discover books and genres that might not have been on your radar.
Books from all different time periods or subject matter should be added to your list.
For extra help, research what the book club in your area is reading and if you feel like it, join them.
Tailor your list to add or remove any book of your choosing. But try not to remove any books from the list, it is a challenge after all so push yourself to read them all.
The Strategic Choice
Choosing specific books to increase your knowledge on a particular subject can be a great way to tackle your reading challenge, but it can also be the most challenging.
Don’t get discouraged if you have to read a few books on one topic before finding something that interests you, just remember this is supposed to be fun and reading goes so much more smoothly when there are no rules or pressure.
To become better at story writing, reading books about storytelling is a must. The same concept goes for those who want to increase their knowledge in cooking healthy foods, developing a growth mindset, and learning something new.
Find books related to the topic you’ll be diving into and add them to your reading challenge list. When the year ends and the challenge is complete, you’ll be amazed by all the things you’ve learned and have started doing simply by reading a book.
The Mixed Choice
This is the category my reading challenge falls under. As much as I love to read educational books, I like to give my brain and imagination an extra boost and reward myself by including fun books.
I love anything supernatural and filled with adventure. At the same time, I enjoy learning new things to improve my knowledge which is why this category fits me perfectly.
Consistency is the key to progress. Don’t allow two days to pass without picking up your book. If you do, don’t beat yourself up, life happens. If you fall off the wagon, simply climb back on as soon as possible!
Keep in mind that you won’t reap the valuable benefits you seek from sporadically doing this reading challenge. You must be willing to stick with this, no matter what. Keep yourself accountable and don’t forget to have fun.
Jot down how the book has impacted you while reading it and when you’ve completed it in your journal. You’ll remember more of the lessons you’ve learned when you take the time to write why they resonate with you.
Don’t forget to share with your friends
Last but certainly not least, share what you’ve learned with others. Discuss the book with a friend without spoilers —in case that friend would love to read the same book.
Simple Reading Challenge Resolutions
The reading challenge is an opportunity to immerse yourself in other worlds created by different people’s imaginations.
It’s a time for self-reflection without the distractions of social media or the big tv set hanging on your wall.
It’s a chance to take care of your mental health with gentle self-care while still feeling accomplished at the end of each day.
– Read one book a month.
– Give books to others as gifts this year, not just at Christmas time.
– Drop the Netflix and read more often for 30 minutes each day.
The reading challenge is an opportunity for introspection in new ways that may have never been considered before. The possibilities are literally endless.
The only thing holding you back now is you.
Read A Book!
As mentioned above, my 2021 reading challenge is to read at least twelve books. I’m off to a shaky start but it will only get better as the year continues.
Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn something new. So challenge yourself and keep learning.
This reading challenge might be the best challenge you’ll take part in this year.
The possibilities are limitless, the sky is the limit.
Use the tips above to create your own version of this reading challenge and give it a try! You’ll be glad you did.
Keep in mind that the only side effect of this reading challenge is gaining more knowledge and increasing your creativity.
Imagine what the world would be like if everyone read one chapter in a book every day.