Home » Uncategorized » 2020: The Year of the Reading Challenges!

2020: The Year of the Reading Challenges!

So I’ve never been much for reading challenges, but they are a big part of the Litsy community (are you guys on Litsy yet?  You NEED to be on Litsy!), and I’m finding myself drawn to all of them.  While I doubt that I’ll be able to complete them all, I am looking forward to seeing if I can find books from my TBR to fit some of the categories.  I’m not looking for new books to read as much as I am looking for creative ways to choose what books I knock off my already-huge TBR next!

I’ll probably be posting updates for these challenges on each month’s Rearview Mirror for my own records.


Can I read a book set in every state in the US?  Bigger question:  Is there a book set in every state in the US in my personal collection here in this very house??  I’m still working on pulling together the list, but I think that I am going to be at least at 75% just from books I own.  We’ll see.


So technically the original ReadingUSA challenge was last year, so the people on Litsy who completed that one are starting a new challenge of reading a book set in every European country this year.  While I’m going to focus on USA (so much easier), I’m also seeing if I can check off books for Europe as well.  This all ties into my overall goal of entering/tagging all of my books in LibraryThing (an ongoing project that may last years).  So far I’m through the “H” authors on my shelves and have found books for Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.  It should be pretty easy to check off the major countries, but I don’t anticipate just stumbling across a book set in, say, Slovenia. I’ll keep my eye out, but since I’m mostly focusing on books that are already on my TBR, I’m not sure how far I’ll actually get with this challenge.


This is a random challenge with six categories for each season.  The categories for winter are:

  • Millennial Author
  • Hat/Head Covering on the Cover
  • #LiveandLearn – Subject Mostly New to You
  • Set in Hollywood
  • #CoverCrush
  • Finish in a Day

Again, I think I can find books either on my shelves or on my TBR list to fit all of these categories.


The host for this challenge gave everyone the opportunity to vote on what authors they would like for this challenge, and the top twelve were chosen.  January’s author is Fredrick Backman, so I may finally get around to picking up Beartown.  The idea is to read at least one book by the month’s author as a way of discovering some new authors.


MrBook is a major member of Litsy and an active promoter of the community there.  He chooses one category a month and encourages everyone to read a book from it and let him know what has been read.  January’s category is “One-Word Title” – should be a pretty easy one to find on my shelves!


The hosts for this challenge are encouraging everyone to check off some of those 500+ page books from their TBRs.  I don’t get myself embroiled in ridiculously long books very often, but I am going to see what’s on my shelves.  One chunkster a month may be a good goal.

Book Log

At the beginning of this year I started using an Excel spreadsheet to track my reading, and it’s been fantastic.  It lets me geek out on my personal stats, which I love, and has helped me keep track of what books have been reviewed.  However, I really have been wanting a physical book to use as well.  When I’m traveling and such, it’s nice to have something with me where I can jot down a few notes while I am still having all the book feels.  Plus, what happens if my computer crashes and I lose all my spreadsheets??  However, I’ve had trouble finding a book journal that reflects what I want.  Most of them have a lot of stuff for future planning, or try to be a combo book log and daily planner.  I finally found one on Amazon that is less than $6, has space for 100 books, and asks the exact questions I want to track.  I’ve been using this one for the month of December and it’s fantastic.  The first few pages are an index, and then each number links to a full page for that book.  It’s simple and does just what I need it to and no more:

I’m mostly passing this on in case any of you are looking for a book log also.  The price is so reasonable that it seemed worthwhile to mention it.  Here’s the link on Amazon (I get literally nothing out of you purchasing this; this is just me personally liking something, not me getting rewarded to plug an item) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1695289064

The cover choices are kind of meh, but you can’t have everything!

So, do any of you participate in any kind of reading challenges?  Have any of you joined Litsy yet?  Let me know if you do!

6 thoughts on “2020: The Year of the Reading Challenges!

    • Oh yes I just checked out the Modern Mrs. Darcy one the other day, so I need to add that one. I usually end up reading a book and then seeing if it fits any of my blank categories rather than the other day way around! :-D


  1. I can’t even tell you how excited I am for you to read Beartown!! I’ll warn you it might start out a little rough, but it definitely gets better. I think I’m going to re-read it soon.
    I also really like that book log! I have one that was gifted to me this year and I’ve liked using it, but it doesn’t have as much detail as this one does. I’m going to think about getting it. I’m also going to consider Litsy. I’ll admit I’ve looked at it before and didn’t really get how it was different from Goodreads and I generally try to keep my social media sites limited.


    • I’ve seen mixed reviews about Beartown, but I’m excited to read it (and there’s a sequel? Is it any good??). I’m not sure if I’ll try any of Backman’s other books or not.
      The book log is my favorite so far, which is handy since it is also the cheapest! However, I do have another book log that I am not going to use. I’ll email you the pictures and see if you’re interested. I sometimes will get a month or two of OwlCrate, so it’s a very nice log that came with one of those boxes, it just isn’t for me!!
      Litsy is different from any other social media I’ve ever tried. It’s what social media should be, I think – a place where you actually do interact and discuss things with other people, but on the whole it stays fairly apolitical (although we’ll see how that goes as we approach the 2020 elections!) and focused on books. It’s kind of like Instagram and tumblr mixed together and focused on reading haha It took me a little while to get into it because there are a lot of challenges and projects and discussions going on so it can be a little confusing at first, but it’s also the most friendly, welcoming community I’ve ever found online, so there’s that. Let me know if you decide to try it and I will follow you! I will say that I thought about joining a while back, but at the time it was only an app. I don’t like doing things only on my phone, so when they moved it to an actual website, I joined. I do use the app sometimes (much easier to post photos that way) but prefer to do things on my actual computer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is a second Beartown book and it’s also very good. I haven’t read any of his other books, though I did try one and gave up after a chapter because I wasn’t in the right mood for it.
        The book log I have is from owl crate (another blogger didn’t care for it and offered it to me) so I wonder if it is the same one haha.
        I agree I prefer to do most things on my computer rather than apps.


  2. Pingback: Rearview Mirror // 2019 | The Aroma of Books

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