It’s no secret that here at Nerdophiles we read, and read a lot. From YA books to graphic novels and comics to nonfiction, we cover a multitude of genres and we want to help you keep that New Years resolution you made to read more! Check out some of our favorite ways to keep track of our reading and then find a reading challenge that will get you motivated to hit the books.
One of our favorite places to keep track of what we have read (other than our bookshelves) is Goodreads. This handy site lets you sort, review, rate and find new books, all while connecting you to other readers across the globe. Their annual Reading Challenge, where you type in a number of books you’d like to read this year, has just begun. As of right now there are 158,379 participants with a total of 9,607,009 books pledged to read! That’s an average of 61 books per pledge!
If you’d rather manually keep track of your books, BookRiot has a handy spreadsheet available for download. This tracker comes with the added bonus of looking at certain stats that aren’t tracked Goodreads intuitively – including gender of the author and number of people of color in the book, among other things. And once you’ve downloaded it, you can further customize it to your own preferences.
LibraryThing is another way to connect with other readers, get reviews on books, and keep track of what you’ve read. It is much like Goodreads, but without all the bells and whistles. LibraryThing also has the added bonus of statistics to show what you’ve read over the course of time, when they were written, and so on and so forth. It’s a handy took if you prefer a more scientific approach.
Shelfari is one more way to get connected to other readers, much like Goodreads and LibraryThing. You create your virtual bookshelf, which you can use to rate, tag, review, and discuss your books. You can create groups to facilitate discussions about books and you can even send recommendations out to friends on the site about which books they should be reading.
Now that you’ve figured out how you’re going to keep track of your reading this year, we’d like to help you put a little bit of direction in your reading by showing you some of our favorite reading challenges!
We’ve already mentioned the Goodreads Reading Challenge, which allows you to pick a number and read any books you choose to fulfill that pledge. You can see some of our staff goals for 2015 and links to our Goodreads profiles below. Connect with us and let us know what you’re reading, suggest books for us to review, and let us know what your goals are!
BookRiot has compiled a manageable twenty four task list for 2015, which includes challenges such as tackling an audiobook and reading a book that was originally published in another language. It includes helpful book suggestions to fulfill each task and is well-rounded enough to get any reader out of their normal genres. There’s even the opportunity to connect with other people completing the challenge through an open Goodreads group.
If that list isn’t long enough for your voracious reading habits, Popsugar has a list of 50 tasks (52 if you include the one that challenges you to read a trilogy) to keep you busy throughout the year. The challenge asks you to get extra creative with tasks that include a book written by an author with the same initials as you, a book with a one word title, and a book with a color in the title.
But if neither of those lists tailor to your interests, you can always get creative and check Pinterest for an inspiring reading challenge to get you motivated. At a glance, you can find challenges pertaining to niche subjects like historical romance novels, banned books, and even one challenge encouraging you to get through your to-be-read pile rather than buying new books. And if that fails, Stephen’s Lighthouse has several challenges to choose from, ranging from a list like Popsugar provides, a Scholastic challenge, to bingo, and monopoly.
Between all of the social media options offered by some of our tracking options, there are also multiple ways to get involved with virtual book clubs and reading groups this year!
Tumblr hosts the Reblog Book Club, which runs every few months and allows for readers to express their interest in the book in a multitude of different ways. Check out the link to see how the last book was received and discussed and follow their Tumblr to find out when the next opportunity is happening. If you’re fast enough in responding to them, sometimes they’ll send you the book (and a few Tumblr goodies) for free!
Weirdly, there’s a Facebook group, run by Mark Zuckerberg himself, called A Year of Books, wherein he plans to read one book every two weeks and try to hold discussions on his page. It may not be the best place to foster discussion this year, but if you’re looking for book recommendations that emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies, you may want to check in every once in a while.
If you want to get your year started right with reading, Penguin Random House Publishers is hosting a readathon day on January 24. They along with Goodreads, Mashable, and The National Book Foundation are encouraging everyone to read from noon til 4 PM in their respective time zones. Not only does this give you a set time to read, but it will help raise awareness for literacy if you chose to start a fundraising page. You can check out all the info in it here.
Want more ideas on what to read, or how to get involved with local readers? Check out your local library, book store, or coffee shop! There may be a book club or two that may interest you. Not only will you get to try out new books, but you’ll probably make a few well read friends too. Most libraries offer grown up reading challenges, book discussions, and volunteer opportunities to share your love of books so you’ll never be in want of something bookish to do.