Summer is fast approaching. After an unexpected year spent in lockdown, you’re probably all too ready to break out your lounge chair and soak up some sunshine with a book in hand. While the rules and regulations put into place during COVID-19 might have put a damper on your original summer plans, a book (or ten) can be a fun way to escape, adventure and learn.
Why not make reading a game with a reading challenge?
Whether you’re setting a personal summer reading goal or encouraging your kids to improve their literacy skills before they head back to school, a reading challenge can give you motivation. Use these tips to choose a reading challenge that meets your personal goals, and then pick a printable reading chart to track your progress.
How to Choose the Correct Reading Challenge For You
There are many reading challenges you can choose from. Some focus on reading a variety of genres, while others encourage you to invest time each day in exploring the pages of a novel. To help you decide which is right for you, follow these steps.
1. Consider Your “Why”
Why do you want to complete a reading challenge? Do you already have a list of titles that you’ve been meaning to read? Or are you looking to expand your horizons and find some new books you wouldn’t have thought to pick up? The challenge you choose will depend on how you answer these questions.
2. Create A Goal
What does success look like in this challenge? If the reading challenge is for your child, encouraging them to take a break from the video games to read 50 pages a day could be an enormous win. A personal goal of finishing the stack of books on your bedside table is a great goal as well. No matter how big or small, be sure you create a goal.
3. Reward Yourself
While diving into a good book is enough of a reward, a few treats along the way don’t hurt, right?. For example, you could reward yourself with a new tote bag to carry your book haul. Or keep your kids inspired with a promise of their choice of fun stickers.
Now that you know how to pick the correct reading challenge, here are 7 reading challenges to choose from.
A few pages a day keeps the doctor away — or something like that. While some choose to practice daily meditation, others pick up a page-turner. Whether reading is already a daily habit or you’re trying to read more, this reading habit tracker challenge will showcase your progress.
Simply fill out the number of minutes you’d like to read each day at the top of the sheet. Each day you complete your daily goal, color in a block. If you haven’t read the full amount, fill in a fraction of the circle to represent the time you did spend. Every minute is a step closer to your goal! By the end of the month, you’ll have a visual representation of how much you’ve read. Come end of summer, your tracker will be a full rainbow.
Need some guidance on picking a good summer read? Consider using this book bingo to help you find a title you wouldn’t normally have picked. While trying to get five in a row, you might stumble upon your new favorite author.
Bingo is a game that can be played at any age. Have your kids join in the fun with the kid-friendly bingo board. It includes inspiration for choosing a book as well as creative ways to embrace reading. After all, reading in a homemade fort will make your adventure story that much more exciting.
Download and print out the book bingo board. Write down a book that fits each category. Cross off a square each time you complete a reading challenge. When five squares in a row are crossed off, you win! Keep the challenge going and try to cross off all the boxes by the end of summer.
3. Cross-Genre Reading Challenge
If you’re an avid reader, you probably have your go-to book genre. You may be a sucker for the dramatic love stories found in fantasy novels or maybe you often find yourself engulfed in stories of battle. Regardless of your preference, it’s easy to stick with what’s familiar.
If you want to broaden your horizons, try a cross-genre reading challenge. Each month, find and read a book from a new genre. By the end of the year, it’s likely that you’ll be open to different types of stories you typically wouldn’t have given a chance.
4. Travel-Inspired Reading Challenge
You might not have your next vacation planned yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a trip. Journey through the eyes of others with a travel-inspired reading challenge. These topics will quench your wanderlust and teach you about different cultures and lifestyles. Print out this list and fill in titles to match the themes.
While following a challenge someone else created can be fun, they may be difficult to complete. If you’d rather create your own challenge, print out this blank version of the monthly reading challenge and add the themes you’re most excited about.
For some inspiration, here are some reading challenge ideas:
- A book with a color in the title
- A book by a local author
- A New York Times #1 Bestseller
- An award-winning book
- A graphic novel
- A book with two authors
- A book that was turned into a movie
- A memoir
- A book with 200 pages or less
- A book with more than 500 pages
- A book of poetry
- A book you’ve started but haven’t finished
- A classic
- A book that features a LGBTQ+ character
- A book you’ve had on your reading list forever
- A book with a cover you would frame
- A book that’s based on a Shakespeare play
- A debut novel
- A book you’ve read before
- A book recommended by a friend
- Two books by the same author
- A book published the year you were born
- An audiobook
- A book that takes place in a work setting
- A book about a holiday
- A romance novel
- A book that takes place in Hollywood
- A book about politics
- A thriller
- A book about friendship
- A book about immigration
- A book about sports
- A book about travel
6. Kids Summer Reading Chart
Whether your kids are book worms or refuse to pick up a book unless forced, this chart will help encourage reading this summer. You can personalize the chart based on your child’s age and reading goals.
If your child is reading short picture books, color in a book graphic each time they finish one. For those who are trying to read more often, color in the books to represent time spent reading. For example, every 30 minutes reading they can color in a book. If your child is a more advanced reader, fill in the chart based on pages read. For this option, they can color in a book every 50 or 100 pages.
After each row is filled, reward them with a treat. The treat can be anything from summer dessert like ice cream to a new water bottle to a trip to the local water park. Be sure to choose prizes that will motivate your kids.
- Read a book with a blue cover = color in 2 📖
- Read your book outside = color in 1 📖
- Read a book about a place you want to go = color in 2 📖
- Listen to an audiobook = color in 2 📖
- Read a book and then watch the movie = color in 2 📖
- Get a book to read with your library card = color in 1 📖
- Read a book with an animal in it = color in 1 📖
- Read a genre you wouldn’t normally read = color in 2 📖
- Make a snack that characters ate in a book you read = color in 2 📖
It’s been scientifically proven that coloring can reduce stress and anxiety. Embrace a relaxed mindset this summer with a reading coloring sheet. Fill in the names of the books you intend to read. As you finish them, take a therapeutic break to color in their covers with fun designs. When the summer comes to a close, you’ll have personalized artwork to display in your home.
Additional Reading Challenges to Try
Have you already made your way through all the above challenges? Here is a list of other popular reading challenges to try:
- Book List Queen’s 2021 Reading Challenge
- Book Riot’s 2021 Reading Challenge
- PopSugar Reading Challenge
- Modern Mrs. Darcy 2021 Reading Challenge
- Mongan Moments Diversify Your Reading Challenge
No matter the season, reading is a great pastime. Embrace your book nerd status with Redbubble’s fun literary shirts, stickers and other merch. Search for an item that references your favorite author or look through the many book pun designs that will make you laugh out loud in our book lovers gift list.