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Read Your Bookshelf – A 2020 Reading Challenge

I am excited to do something I have never done for this next year and create a reading challenge!

The truth is the last month has made me realize I really need to prioritize my reading.

I’ve slowly come to the realization that I want to stop requesting approximately fifity bajillion books from the library and read the books I own.

I own a lot of books I haven’t read (mostly because I love thrifting for used books) but if I keep requesting books from the library I usually prioritize those books over my own.

Well, things are about to change!

In 2020 I almost exclusively want to read books that I own.


Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


I thought it would be fun to have a little challenge to help myself picking out one of the books I will be reading in each month.

I was originally going to share the challenge in December and start in January myself but after I created the list I realized that I have a book for the December challenge that I wanted to read this year so I am going to start a month early!

My reading challenge, my rules! 😉

I thought today I would share the challenge and then a book or two I may read for that month based on the books I currently own.

I am not refraining from buying books in 2020 so I may change things up depending what I add to my shelves.

Oh, and I’m not sure if this goes without saying or not so I will just say it: the books I plan on reading for the challenge are ones I have not read before, since I have so many unread books on my shelves but if you want to re-read a book that’s fine with me. It’s a pretty chill “challenge”.

If you are interested in joining in for the year or even a month I would love if you leave a comment and let me know, share this post with friends and/or pin this reading challenge image.


If you want to will a $100 book shopping spree, you can enter the Read Your Bookshelf Giveaway here!


Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


The best way to keep up with the challenge is to make sure you subscribe to my monthly book-ish emails:




Here’s something fun: as I was creating this challenge my nine year old got really excited about it so she is going to join in for most months (though some won’t really apply or we may have to bend the challenge a little).

If you like things video style, here’s an introduction to the challenge and the prompts:



Okay, let’s get into the challenges for each month!


a book with a color in the title

Right now the books I see on my shelf that I could read are The Black Stallion and Red Riding Hood. Neither of which I’m very excited about right now. Honestly, I think the Red Riding Hood one is going to be terrible. I didn’t read the back of the book until I had it at home, I solely picked it up from the thrift store because I thought the cover was cool (yes, I pretty much always judge a book by it’s cover).

Oh, I also have a ton of Nancy Drew books that would fit this category so those are an option as well.


a book that is also a movie

For this one I may try The Martian or Hidden Figures. I’ve seen The Martian movie but not Hidden Figures and I’m currently split 50/50 on which one I want to read.

If I don’t want to do either one when the times comes I have a ton of classics on my shelf that have been made into movies that I could read.

Need more ideas for books that are also movies? I give a ton of ideas here:




a book with a nature word in the title (wind, rain, snow, etc)

Apparently this is a common theme with books, I have quite a few I could read here: Gone with the Wind, Emily of New Moon (this may be my pick, I really want to read this one soon), Under the Lilacs, also lots of Nancy Drew and some Hardy Boys.

the book that has been unread on your shelf the longest

Um, this is a hard one. This actually may be Great Expectations.


Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


a book geared towards children/middle grade

We own a lot of children’s/middle grade books and I have quite a few I want to proof read for Raeca. Two options currently are Inkspell and Dragon Rider.


a book with a place in the title

Some options I have for this one: Jane of Lantern Hill, The Golden Road, Passenger to Frankfurt, The Mystery in Arizona, and once again tons of Nancy Drew I could chose from.


your newest unread book on your shelf

This one will have to wait until the end of June to pick! The newest books on myself right now are Moby-Dick and The Old Curiosity Shop (phew, I’m glad I don’t need to pick this right now!).


a fantasy book

Our fantasy selection has really grown this last year! I will probably read Eragorn or, if I’m feeling insane I may try the first book in The Wheel of Time series.


Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge


a book written before 1900

I have lots of options here. Maybe Tess of the D’Ubervilles, or Mary Barton.


a thriller, mystery or generally creepy book

I have a Louise Penny book but it’s not the first one in the series so I’m not sure if I should read that. I also have Agatha Christie, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on the mystery front. (Who are some of your favorite mystery authors?)

As for creepy books, I don’t think I actually have any but I may own some before October rolls around.



a biography

Okay, the one I should read for this challenge is Bonhoeffer, but I don’t know, I started the book at the beginning of the year and found it so boring! And it’s huge so it’s not like it’s boring but you can power through it quickly.

I have a few other options that I may go with her instead: George Muller and Irena’s Children would be the most interesting to me.


a Christmas themed book

This is the book I am actually planning on reading this year: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. I actually didn’t even realize I owned this book until I was creating this challenge (#bookhoarderproblems) but I’m a fan of Agatha Christie and this is a book that I feel like needs to be read in December and I want to get started soon instead of making myself wait a year!


Creating this challenge was fun, hopefully reading the books I choose will be just as fun!

I will be sharing my final book choice each month in my book-ish newsletter, sign up if you like books!

If you are joining in on the challenge would you let me know in the comments below? Also, I would love if you invite a friend to join in as well!


Make sure to join the monthly book-ish newsletter to stay updated with the challenge and all things books:




Read Your Bookshelf - A 2020 Reading Challenge

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    1. I am excited to do this. I don’t own a lot of books but will get them from the library.

  1. Love this idea! I did something similar (reading only my bookshelf, minus the prompts) a few years ago and really put a dent in my TBR list.

    1. That’s encouraging! I plan on reading more than just those that fit the prompts but I thought it would also push me to read some that I may not pick up otherwise.

    2. I just found your challenge via Pinterest and immediately told my friend about it. We’re both in!

  2. My favorite creepy book that isn’t *too* creepy is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Such a classic! I love this challenge—if I’m able to finish my own backlist reading challenge by the end of the year (or Januaryish), I think I might have to give this a try!

    1. Ooh, that would be perfect for October! Rebecca has been on the top of my to-buy list for years and I haven’t found it! I keep thinking I’ll come across it in a thrift store one day and still no luck. I’d love to have you join in on the challenge of you finish your other one!

  3. Oh, I am the exact same way about requesting WAY too many books from the library when I have a ton at home I haven’t even read! I think I might join your challenge. I already have a Christmas book in mind too!

      1. I wanted to read The Cricket On The Hearth by Charles Dickens! I read A Christmas Carol last year, and realized I need to read more Dickens. No one can craft a sentence quite like him!

        1. I’ve loved some Dickens and then despised others. Ha, so I’m not sure how I feel about him! I really want to read Great Expectations this year though.

  4. As for whether or not to read the Louise Penny books out of order, you should absolutely read them in order! Still Life (the first in the series) is by no means the best, but each book builds on the character development of the same core group of about a dozen people. The best part of this series is just how much each character evolves as the series goes on. I am currently reading through the series a second time and you recognize so many subtle personality traits in the first few books that become more detailed later on. Plus, the town she has created is just idyllic. Think Starr’s Hollow from the Gilmore Girls, except it’s Canadian.

    1. Thanks for that info! I will see if I can find the first book in my thrifting travels this year!

  5. I love the prompts but I must say, my bookshelf is kinda lacking in options that aren’t kids books…as in picture books! Time to go to the thrift store each month to buy a book that fits the prompt! Or the library. Either way, I hope to follow along most months!

    1. Ha, read the picture books for the prompts, you never have to worry about not finishing a book! 😉 I do think thrifting (or going to the library) each month to find a book that fit the prompt would be fun . . . you may have just enticed me to buy more books!

  6. I would love to join Chantel! What a great idea. When I had the baby this summer, I just could not make it to the library often enough not to rack up fines, so I started forcing myself to read books on my shelf. That’s how I came to *finally* read the entire Anne series!

    1. I would love for you to join in on the challenge! I am working on collecting all of L.M. Montgomery’s books in a certain cover design and am annotating them as I read through, I am hoping to buy the whole Anne series soon so I can read them, I’ve never read past the first book!

  7. I’m in! I have a bookshelf full of unread books! I am in so many book clubs and they all post about books I want to read. So, I buy them and they sit while I read the ones that I check out, or I get from my kindle unlimited, or the million books my mother constantly brings me. So, this is The best challenge I have came across yet!

  8. My cousin sent me this pin and I think it’s a great idea! I to struggle with getting books from the library and even joined a book club, which I’ve now stepped down from. I laughed reading your blog as I figured I’m the only one with a serious book addiction but then never get around to actually reading them! Or I start a few chapters then collect 5 more books to add to the pile so I start skim reading them lol. This is a very nice and totally attainable goal for one full book I already own each month! Who knows maybe my collection will dwindle now as I like to only keep really good books I’d read again! Happy New Years and happy reading!

    1. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one with an unread book problem! I’m so happy you’ll be joining in the challenge!

  9. Hey I just saw this on Pinterest. I’m in! I don’t have much books on my shelves so I’m making it general. I’ll be tracking it on my bookstagram :).

  10. This is a really neat list. I’d like to do this challenge as well. Do I have permission to share it on my Facebook and Instagram?

  11. Love this idea as I have so many books I haven’t read on my bookshelves because I always find a reason to read something else. I already finished my January read for this White Oleander.

  12. This looks like fun and a great way to tackle my TBR list. Cant wait to start!
    Is there a printable list of this challenge?

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