50 Clever Reading Challenges for Pretty Literate People

Whew! I did it!

Maybe you did it, too? (If you did, CONGRATULATIONS!)

Pretty Literate's 22 in '22 in Reading Challenge was, well...challenging! In addition to the beloved classics we read inside our Monthly Book Club and the indisputably worthy book recs I got from you guys, I challenged myself (and anyone that wanted to join me) to read a few books a little more purposefully in 2022 and I am so glad I did! (Curiosity piqued? Watch the replay of Pretty Literate Live: the one with the 22 in '22 Reading Challenge Roundup here.)

I have been looking forward to a brand new year free of challenges of ANY kind, a year of less stress to achieve, less pressure to perform, fewer challenges to overcome - and that included my favorite pastime reading. Then I started seeing 2023 Reading Challenges trickle into my social feeds. Before long, I began to offer suggestions when asked. (Find out which book I suggested most often here.) And now as I crawl out of the rabbit hole, I find myself sitting atop a collection of reading challenges far more than I had ever dreamed existed, each beckoning to me in a different way.

Calling my name.

Singing that sweet siren's song.

If you want to take your reading to another level & you're up for a challenge in 2023, I invite you to check out one of these 50 Clever Reading Challenges for Pretty Literate People


The Challenges

  1. The 12 Challenge - Read the first 12 new-to-you book recs you receive in response to a social post you share.
  2. A to Z Challenge - Read the alphabet, each title starting with one of the 26 letters of the alphabet.
  3. Your Name in Books Challenge - This works especially well if you have a name that is an even 12 letters.
  4. Goodreads - Challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in 2023.
  5. PL's 21 Books You Should Read in 2021
  6. The 52 Club - Read one book per week.
  7. Lock in a Genre for the Entire Year
  8. Sweet Home Books Challenge
  9. Mississippi Library Commission Reading Challenge
  10. Booklist Queen - 52 prompts for books to read in 2023
  11. Beyond the Bookends - 12 books that are a balance of heavy and light reads
  12. Shop Your Shelves - Read what you already own! What a novel idea!
  13. Read Around the World - Read books that were authored by writers in each of the 200 countries around the world.
  14. Read Around the U.S.A. - Read books about each of the 50 states
  15. Regional Reads - Read books set in each of the different regions of the United States
  16. Seasonal Reading - Choose books to read set in the current season
  17. Pulitzer Prize Winners - Select a Pulitzer Prize Winning title to read each month this year.
  18. Banned Books Reading Challenge - Read one book per month from a banned book or challenged book list.
  19. Reread Challenge - Reread a book each month.
  20. Fiction/Non-Fiction Reading Challenge - Read one fiction and one non-fiction book each month.
  21. Non-Human Perspective Reading Challenge - Read one book a month from a non-human perspective. (How creative!)
  22. Books Set in Different Decades
  23. Life Events Reading Challenge - Create a timeline of your life, thus far. Select books that speak to the points you highlighted on your personal timeline. 
  24. Book of the Month - Choose books set in the current month.
  25. Celebrity Reads - Read books recommended by a celebrity you admire or follow.
  26. Buddy Reading Challenge - Read a book alongside a friend each month. (PL's Monthly Book Club is a perfect fit! Come read with us!)
  27. Different Genres - Explore a new-to-you genre each month.
  28. The Audiobook Challenge - I love that this site offers two levels and book recs, too!
  29. TBR Reading Challenge - Read through your backlist of books. (Genius!)
  30. Classics Reading Challenge - Read one classic per month. (I'd be remiss not to echo this sentiment and invite you to read with us.)
  31. eReader Challenge - This is one I have my eye on, having received a Kindle Paperwhite from my husband for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.
  32. Funny Fiction Reading Challenge - Read at least one book a month meant to make you laugh. (I happen to have the Mother Lode of Funny Fiction right here. Check it out.)
  33. Indie Reading Challenge - Read a book each month that was independently published. Or, if you want a bigger challenge, match either the title or the author's name to the first letter of the month.
  34. Memoir Reading Challenge - Dive into the world of memoirs this year.
  35. Thrift Store Reading Challenge - Read books sourced solely from a resale or thrift shop this year. (This would be quite the money saver!)
  36. Clearance Reading Challenge - Akin to the Thrift Store Reading Challenge (above), the Clearance Reading Challenge is to read books sourced solely from the Clearance Section of your favorite book store.
  37. Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge - Pick your books based on books Rory read or mentioned reading in the show Gilmore Girls. Here's a list of all 518 books from the show including the revival.
  38. Read-Alike Challenge - If you like ___________, then read __________. This one will require a little more legwork on your part, but could be really enjoyable.
  39. One Author Reading Challenge - Read just one author for twelve months straight. 
  40. Lifestage Reading Challenge - Whatever your lifestage, read at least one book per month that features a character that shares it.
  41. Book Bingo - There are so many to choose from when it comes to Book Bingo. Do a quick Google or Pinterest search to find the one that hits your sweet spot and go for it.
  42. Book Series Reading Challenge - Pick a series you've wanted to tackle and make 2023 the year you conquer that beast!
  43. Bestsellers Reading Club - Whether you choose a genre or a publisher, read only the best of the best for the year.
  44. Page-to-Screen Reading Challenge - If you love movies as much as you love books, this reading challenge has your name written all over it.
  45. The Clock Reading Challenge - Read a book each month that contains the number of the current month in the title.
  46. Epistolary Novels Reading Challenge - Goodreads lists over 600 books written as correspondence, blogs, emails, diaries...that will help you read your way through 2023 in what will feel like a very personal & intimate way.
  47. Reading Abroad Reading Challenge - Read at least one book per month set in a country that you would love to visit.
  48. Bucket List Reading Challenge - Read books whose main characters are carpe dieming the heck out of life.
  49. Fiction for Foodies Reading Challenge - Read one book each month that feature food, chefs, baking...as long as food is a revolving point in the storyline, eat up!
  50. New Releases Reading Challenge - Spend a year reading through every new release that strikes your fancy!

Are you up to the challenge?

Are you feeling feisty enough to take on a reading challenge this year? Share your thoughts in the comments, especially if you are up to the challenge.




  • Oops!
    Sorry for the typos in my previous post it was meant to say reading challenges are interesting especially if you aren’t a reader .

    Amy O
  • I think reading challenges are I get eating especially if you aren’t a current reader and you really want to challenge yourself or get out of your own comfort zone to try new genres. I’ve done several I’ve the last 5 years but I feel like I lose my enjoyment in reading what I want and it does become quite the chore to read a specific prompt. You can spend a lot of time that way just searching for a book. Anyway I am going to shop my shelves this year and read a bunch of my tbr books that are dying to be opened.
    Thanks for sharing all of the ideas.
    Amy O

    Amy O
  • I did do the PL 22 in ‘22 challenge and finish it. It was the first book reading challenge I had ever done and although I did read some great books I believe that I’m good with not doing another challenge for awhile. I am an avid reader with with wide and varied interests and I don’t seem to spend much (if any!) time without a book in hand. I did pick up on some interesting facts that I might not have learned otherwise and as a life-long learner and lover of reading, those made the challenge worthwhile. I will say that as the year went on finding some of the challenge suggestions and reading them felt a bit like an assignment and chore-ish, but that was only my own experience and I’m sure others’ experience would not be that way. Anything to get and keep more people reading and learning is a wonderful goal and I’m all for that!

    Lynda A.

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