Last updated on February 6th, 2024
In the spirit of fun and curiosity, I’ve crafted a 2024 reading challenge aimed at those of us who tend to stick to one genre, like romance, in my case.
The goal is to step outside our comfort zones, try new books, and delve into different genres, potentially uncovering authors and stories we might have otherwise missed.
There’s absolutely no pressure to strictly follow this challenge. Think of it more as a friendly guide to spark your curiosity about different types of books. If you’d like, feel free to tag me on Instagram at @thebooksavant_ so I can cheer you on along the way.
I’ve also included some free templates and reading tips below to assist your reading pursuits.
I hope this challenge helps you to expand your reading horizons. Happy reading!
2024 Reading Challenge by Monthly Themes
I have provided multiple monthly prompts, so feel free to choose the ones that resonate the most with you.
There is no pressure to complete all of them, but I wanted to offer enough ideas to prevent you from feeling restricted in your choices and to get your literary juices flowing.
Free Printable Checklist
Keep track of your 2024 reading challenge with this easy-to-use printable.
JANUARY – motivational books to start the year
- A memoir by someone who dramatically changed their life (e.g., switched careers)
- A book about personal growth
- A book by your favorite motivational speaker
- A book with “success” or “happiness” in the title
- A book with a one-word title
- A book about developing a new skill
- A book about achieving your goals for the new year (I personally LOVE the 12-week year)
- A book about starting over
FEBRUARY – Black History Month
- A debut book by a black female author that was published in 2023
- A book with a child on the cover
- A book that won the Pulitzer Prize
- A book that’s part of a duology
- A short essay collection
- A book with the word “power” in the title
- A book about Malcolm X
- A book with a color in the title
- A book written by two black authors
MARCH – Women’s History Month
- A book by a female poet
- A book about a famous female athlete
- A book about a former First Lady
- A book about a female Nobel prize winner
- A book with a strong female protagonist or leader
- A book surrounding the women’s rights movement
- A historical fiction book with female spies
- A book with emphasis on strong female friendships
- A mystery/thriller written by a female author
APRIL – Love & Romance
- A book with a romance trope you have never tried before
- A book with a love triangle
- A book whose cover is your favorite color
- A book that’s an adaption from your favorite rom-com movie
- A book with a teenage love story
- A book with an interracial relationship
- A book with a bookstore on the cover
- A book with an LGBTQ+ romance
MAY – Motherhood & Springtime
- A book with flowers on the cover
- A book that celebrates motherhood
- A book surrounding a mother-son relationship
- A book about balancing career and motherhood
- A memoir about becoming a mother for the first time
- A book where a single mother finds love
- A story set in a place you’ve never visited
- A book with trees or a forest on the cover
- A book where the weather plays a huge role
- A book with illustrations or graphics inside
JUNE – Summertime
- A book with a person swimming in a pool
- A book with a couple sitting by the beach on the cover
- A book about second-chance summer romance
- A book with an age-gap summer romance
- A book with the word “summer” in the title
- A book with the word “beach” in the title
- A book that takes place on one of the Caribbean islands
- A book that takes place on a cruise ship
- A book with the word “heat” in the title
JULY – Science Fiction & Fantasy
- A book about a kid with powers
- A book where technology takes over the world
- A book where a witch and wizard fall in love
- A book that takes place in outer space
- A book with a dystopian world
- A book with non-human characters (e.g., Elves or other mythical creatures)
- A book with a time travel romance
- A book with a vampire romance
AUGUST – Biographies & Memoirs
- An autobiography of a famous musician
- A memoir of a favorite celebrity
- A memoir about a profession you’ve always been curious about
- A memoir about travel and adventure
- A lighthearted memoir with funny, witty writing
SEPTEMBER – Back to School (Young Adult)
- A book about high school in a different country
- A book about a teen who overcomes mental health issues
- A book that celebrates friendship between a group of friends
- A book about first love
- A young adult book by a debut author
- A book with a coming-of-age road trip
OCTOBER – Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense
- A book with a scary house on the cover
- A book with a knife on the cover
- A book with dual timelines
- A psychological thriller with a female protagonist
- A crime novel based on actual events
- A political thriller
- A survival story
- A book that takes place over a short period (e.g., One week or less)
- A book set in the mountains
- A book about cybercrime
- A book with the word “secret” in the title
NOVEMBER – Cozy Families & Classics
- A classic book you’ve always meant to read but never got around to it
- A book that takes place over Thanksgiving
- A poetry collection
- A book you would recommend to your parents
- A book by an author who has written over 50 books
- A book with a fireplace on the cover
- A book with “family” in the title
- A romance between two chefs
DECEMBER – Holiday
- A grumpy/sunshine Christmas romance
- A book that’s an audible original story
- A book with a Christmas tree on the cover
- A book with a character with red hair
- A collection of holiday short stories
Tips For A Successful 2024 Reading Year
1. Set your own pace
When it comes to reading, it’s important to tailor your plan to your own lifestyle. Whether you prefer to read one book per week or one book per month, set a realistic goal that works for you.
Don’t compare yourself to others and feel discouraged by the number of books they read on Bookstagram.
Instead, aim for a number that challenges you to read more than usual while still allowing you to fully enjoy and absorb each book.
2. Expand your reading palette
I’ve set up the challenge to try a different theme each month.
While it may be tempting to stick to familiar genres, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and explore new narrative topics, including those you may not naturally gravitate toward.
You might just discover a new writing style that you genuinely enjoy.
3. Plan date time with your book
Whether in the early morning before the kids wake up or a quick 15 minutes before you go to bed at night, the key is to carve time into your day to read a few pages.
If you’re anything like me and tend to spend hours scrolling on Instagram by watching cute dogs or dancing videos, use that as a mental cue to pick up your Kindle instead.
4. Track your progress
By ticking off a book from your 2024 reading challenge, you not only get one step closer to your goal, but you also give yourself a little dopamine hit – that feel-good boost we all love.
There are several ways to track your progress. Here are a few to choose from:
- Online apps – Goodreads, The StoryGraph
- Custom spreadsheets – if you’re a fan of Google Sheets or Excel, there are multiple beautiful options on Etsy worth looking at.
- Reading journal – if you’re looking for a place to keep track of your favorite quotes and personal comments on each book, a reading journal is a great option. You can try printable versions or purchase physical ones.
My favorite is Notion because I can customize the filters I use to find books, but use whatever method works best for you.
5. Share your successes
Share your reading journey on Instagram to celebrate your wins with like-minded individuals. You can also join a local book club.
If you’re on Instagram, use this free Canva template below and tag me @thebooksavant_. I would love to support you in achieving your goals!
6. Read with a friend
Sometimes, sharing your excitement with someone else can provide the support and motivation to make this challenge even more enjoyable.
You can even have a friendly competition to see who can come up with the best book suggestions or take turns recommending books to each other.
7. Shake things up
If you get into a reading slump, try switching things up. Experiment with a different genre, or revisit a book you loved.
You could also try a different format, like an audiobook, or immerse yourself in a new setting, like a cozy café or a peaceful park. You might even want to visit a fellow book lover’s home.
Give yourself the freedom to embrace a change of pace whenever you feel the need to.
8. Use bite-sized goals
I sometimes feel overwhelmed when I see the huge yearly goal I need to achieve. I’ve noticed that setting a mini-goal for each day that is more attainable, like “read 10 pages every day” or “read for 30 minutes every day”, really helps.
This approach applies a gentle pressure that motivates me towards my goals while making the process less intimidating.
9. Take a break if you need to
Finally, if reading starts to feel like a chore instead of a joy, it’s okay to step back until you’re ready for it again.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about it, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how many books everyone else seems to be reading on bookstagram. Trust me, I’ve been guilty of that too.
So go for a walk in nature or indulge in one of your favorite hobbies, and return to reading when you feel refreshed and ready.
Above all, please be kind to yourself and remember that reading is a delightful experience, not a race. Each reader’s journey is unique and special.
Embrace the difficulties as part of the journey and have faith in yourself that you will overcome this 2024 reading challenge in your own manner and at your own pace.