February 3, 2023

Save the Net Books

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6 readathons and reading challenges to prepare for in 2023

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As a new year begins, I’m always hopeful—no, overzealous and overexcited—as to how many books I can actually read in the whole year. But it’s so much fun to turn the page, start over and jump straight into the challenge! And when I’m falling behind on my reading goals, reading challenges and readathons are a great way to catch up on some time and meet some of my reading goals. I also enjoy participating in readathons, which help expand my reading into more diverse and inclusive realms. Focused readathons do just that — help readers spend time finding and reading books that broaden their horizons and may not be at the top of bestseller lists, but should still be read widely.

Readathons happen year-round and are hosted all over the internet, from influencers and bloggers to big pop culture sites, like Pop Sugar’s annual reading challenge and Book Riot’s own Read Harder challenge. But if you’re looking for more readathons to try your hand at, there are plenty out there.

Here are six readathons taking place throughout 2023, designed to help you tackle your tumbling TBR stacks and expand your reading goals to push you out of your comfort zones.

Readathon on the Unread Shelf Project (Year 2023)

Whitney of the Unread Shelf Project hosts this annual readathon to help and encourage readers to tackle their existing TBR stacks at home without adding to the stack. With beautiful printables, lists, and challenges, this readathon is perfect for readers who have a massive book inventory and are willing to do something about it.

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Anyone can participate at any time, and with no set limits on the number of books, types of books, or hours required to complete it, this is a great challenge to participate in anytime to meet your reading goals.

Winter All the Feels Readathon (January 1-31)

The San Diego Public Library is hosting this winter readathon and encourages readers to experience emotions, ponder, and feel the emotions during this readathon. Great, stirring romance books, non-fiction books about stress and anxiety, and the books that make you cry are all good choices for this readathon, and the library encourages readers of all ages to participate. Not only can you participate by reading books and logging reading hours, but they also encourage activity time like expressing your feelings through art or taking a quiet walk to let your mind keep you company.

Some recommended adult books for this readathon are All the Feels by Olivia Dade, Awayland by Ramona Ausubel, An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim, and The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin. Recommended children’s books include The Boy with Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee and Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow.

The Queer Lit Readathon (dates open for 2023)

This readathon, hosted by Rogan Shannon, currently has four sessions that can be read throughout the year – two weekends and two full weeks. Readers are free to participate as they wish, but this readathon includes BINGO cards and challenges for readers to broaden their horizons and engage with new queer books, such as: with queer characters.

The Readathon’s Instagram offers queer book recommendations year-round. Recommended books for this readathon include Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann, In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.

Disability Readathon (April 1-30)

The Disability Readathon, hosted by Erin Hawley and Anna Goldberg, challenges readers to pick up books by and about people with disabilities. People with disabilities are underrepresented in literature and this readathon aims to highlight these books and authors for greater visibility and to show the intersectionality in the disability community. They also want able-bodied readers to better understand how disability fits into their own lives and how prejudice against disabled people can be overcome.

The readathon runs through the month of April, offering challenges and games along the way to keep readers motivated. Some recommendations for this readathon are Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong, Continuum by Chella Mann, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, and Disfigured by Amanda Leduc.

Readathon “Read Caribbean Books” (June 1-30)

2023 marks the fifth year for the annual June Caribbean Readathon hosted by Cindy of Book of Cinz. This readathon encourages readers to read books about and by Caribbean authors throughout the month. Cindy also runs a book club and is a prolific book grammer.

Some recommendations for Read Caribbean are These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein, and The Islands by Dionne Irving.

Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge (All Year 2023)

We can’t talk about readathons without mentioning Book Riot’s very own Read Harder challenge. With 24 assignments that invite readers to broaden their reading horizons and push their boundaries, this readathon lasts year-round and has previously had challenges such as reading a romance with a protagonist over 40 or reading a new literary magazine.

There’s even a Read Harder newsletter that will send you recommendations for each category to help you get started on your Readathon journey.

As you prepare for all those upcoming readathons, check out these readathon hacking tips or invent your own readathon using these weekly readathon prompts.