2021 reading challenges blog post image

Making reading a habit can provide a wealth of benefits, from lowering levels to improving memory and combatting depression. And if you’re a writer, regular reading can also strengthens your writing game.

If you are an avid reader or simply hoping to level up your reading habit, then you might be interested in a few reading challenges. They’re fun, challenging, and a great way to discover new books.

2021 Reading Challenges

Here are 15 reading challenges for 2021 that will keep you entertained and focused as you build a productive reading routine.

1. 2021 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

2020 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge Image

Details: The 2021 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge asks readers to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet. Make sure that the first main word of the title is the letter you are counting. The host encourages the challengers to make a page or a GoodReads shelf where you keep track of your reading “spoonfuls.”

Host: Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book

2. 2021 A to Z Reading Challenge

Details: Bookstacks and Golden Moms’ 2021 A to Z Reading Challenge requires you to read one book for each letter of the alphabet. Simple, right?

This year’s challenge, however, also includes the picture book challenge where you read picture books whose titles begin with each letter of the alphabet and even encourage children to develop a love of reading.

Host: Bookstacks and Golden Moms

3. The 2021 Reading Challenge by Modern Mrs. Darcy

Details: This reading challenge by Modern Mrs. Darcy follows a checklist of book categories. A few of the categories include: a book published the decade you were born, a debut novel, a book in translation, a book nominated for an award in 2020, a re-read, a classic you didn’t read in school, etc.

Host: Modern Mrs. Darcy

4. 2021 Reading Women Challenge!

Details: The 2021 Reading Women Challenge features a number of specific challenges, like reading a book by an author from the Caribbean or India, or a book translated from an Asian language. Most importantly, all books read for this challenge must be by or about women. So ladies, commence reading!

Host: Reading Women

5. 2021 Diversify Your Reading Challenge

Details: This next challenge by Mongan Moments is truly an enlightening challenge. The 2021 Diversify Your Reading Challenge lasts for 12 months, spanning 12 genres and 12 books. The challenge is meant to break you out of your reading comfort zone and propose to you new genres

With the Mongan Moments Facebook group, you can also discuss with other participants of this challenge.

Host: Mongan Moments

6. The 2021 Reading Challenge: 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Details: The 2021 Reading Challenge: 52 Books in 52 Weeks has 52 distinct categories to be completed over the course of the year. The objective is solely to read more. It Includes categories for a book with the letter “W” in the title, a book written by more than one author, a title beginning with “C,” and many more.

This reading challenge is a great way to uncover new authors and genres. These 52 categories let you consider books you might not otherwise read.

Host: The 52 Book Club

7. 2021 Reading Challenge by The Nerd Daily

Details: The Nerd Daily delivers this 2021 Reading Challenge. You can begin by downloading a PDF file that will serve as your checklist. It lists down 52 categories for you to complete. This means you have to read 1 book per week.

This reading challenge is best for those who’d like to have a scheduled reading habit.

Host: The Nerd Daily

8. 2021 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge

We love our community of readers. Join us for the 2020 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge and find like-minded women to inspire you and spur you on! | IntentionalByGrace.com

Details: 2021 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge is focused on women. The host not only wants you to invest in your personal development through reading but also join up with other women year-long to be inspired to read more than they ever have before.

Host: Intentional by Grace

9. 2021 Cloak and Dagger Challenge

Details: The rules for the 2021 Cloak and Dagger Challenge include reading any book that is from the mystery, suspense, thriller, and crime genres. Any sub-genres are allowed as long as they consolidate one of the mentioned genres.

You don’t need a blog to participate, but you do need a place to post your reviews (a blog, Goodreads, Instagram, etc.) Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge. Books need to be at least 100 pages long and crossovers with other challenges are accepted.

Host: Carol’s Notebook

10. Vintage Mystery Extravaganza: Reading Challenge 2021

Details: To complete the most basic level of the Vintage Mystery Extravaganza: Reading Challenge 2021, as well as to be eligible for the prize drawing at the end of the year, those who’d like to join the challenge must read five books in a chosen era related in some way to five different categories provided from the combined lists.

All books must be from the mystery category (crime fiction, detective fiction, espionage, etc.). The mystery/crime must be the primary feature of the book while ghost stories, romance, humor, etc. are all welcome as components,

Host: My Reader’s Block

11. 2021 What An Animal Reading Challenge

Details: Socrates’ Book Reviews’ What An Animal Reading Challenge involves any book with an animal that plays a major role in the book. Your chosen read can be fiction or non-fiction. It also counts if the main character turns into an animal.

Lastly, the animal can be real or fictitious. It can be a dog, monkey, wolf, snake or even an aardvark, dragon, or werewolf.

Host: Socrates’ Book Reviews

12. 2020 Paranormal Reading Challenge

2020 Paranormal Reading Challenge Image

Details: Bring out your vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters in the Paranormal Reading Challenge hosted by Julie Cornwell. With supernatural themes, this challenge lets you sign up anytime during the year and even read as little or as many books as you want. Just make sure not to include all fantasy genre. The story must be set in our own world.

Host: Julie Cornwell

13. The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2021

Details: Socrates’ Book Reviews brings you The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2021. The only rule for this reading challenge is to read any mystery book where a cat plays a major role in the book.

Host: Socrates’ Book Reviews

14. 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Image

Details: With an exclusive book club on Facebook, the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge gives you 50 new book prompts. 40 of the book prompts are regular reading challenges while 10 out of 50 are advanced level challenges.


15. Booklist Queen’s 2021 Reading Challenge

Details: The Booklist Queen’s 2021 Reading Challenge is for anyone who can take the challenge of reading a book each week and likes a scheduled reading activity. This reading challenge has included categories such as books becoming movies in 2020, Goodreads winners in 2019, and books less than 200 pages.

Host: Booklist Queen

Make Reading a Habit

Even though some of these reading challenges can be quite daunting, don’t forget to have fun! The important thing about these reading challenges is that they push you to build a reading habit and discover new authors and genres you might be interested in.

If you’re looking for some great titles to use for your reading challenges, check out our picks for the best books of 2019.

Which reading challenges do you find interesting? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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