Matters of Shelf Control — 2020 Reading Challenges

Posted December 2, 2019 by stuckint in Matters of Shelf Control, Reading Challenges / 9 Comments

Today we have a very special topic for Matters of Shelf Control. We will be providing the beginnings of an ongoing list of reading challenges that we find and think you all might love. We both love reading challenges as a way to bring an extra bit of fun to our reading lives and are always looking for the next great challenge to take part in. Best of all, we think there is a challenge out there for everyone! We will be highlighting shorter length challenges throughout the year here on Stuck in the Stacks and regularly making recommendations for the more difficult prompts, but we also wanted this to be available as a resource!

So, without further ado, here is a list of challenges that will go throughout 2020 so you can start planning your reading for next year now! We have scoured the Internet, but if we missed your favorite challenge, please feel free to e-mail us at stuckinthestacks123 (at) and we will get it added to the list!

Master List of 2020 Reading Challenges


A to Z Reading Challenge — this challenge asks you to read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet throughout the year, complete with mini-challenges and readathons. Hosted by Ginger Mom and Company.

Alphabet Reading Challenge — this challenge asks you to read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet, but divides the letters so that you have to read certain letters over certain months. Hosted by Do You Dog-ear and Novels and Notions.

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge — this challenge asks you to read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet, with some special rules for Q, X and Z and a Facebook group for support. Hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Alphabet Soup Author Edition Reading Challenge — an alphabet challenge, but this time for authors rather than titles, which also uses the Facebook group mentioned above. Hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.


Beat the Backlist — a challenge dedicated to reading backlist books on your TBR, along with mini-challenges, bingo, photo challenges and more. Hosted by NovelKnight.

Book Award Reading Challenge — Read an award winning book each month. Hosted by GIRLXOXO

Book Bingo Reading Challenge — a bingo card with 25 reading prompts; you can go for a black out or just pick a few rows. Hosted by Modern Gypsy

Book Jar Reading Challenge — make a book jar full of titles you want to read and pick at leadt one every month. Hosted by Gather Together and Read.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge — a very popular challenge hosted by Book Riot that encourages reading more diverse books. Hosted by Book Riot.

British Crime Classics Reading Challenge — read British crime classics published before 1965. Hosted by The Book Decoder.


Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge — read 12 mystery novels in a year, inspired by topics from the Calendar of Crime. Hosted by Bev @ My Reader’s Block.

Challenge Corner — a Goodreads group that hosts multiple reading challenges, primarily focusing on YA novels.

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge — read books from the crime/thriller/suspense genre, with a Facebook group for discussions and support. Hosted by Carol’s Notebook.

Color Coded Reading Challenge — read books with specifie colors on the cover or in the title from 9 different categories. Hosted by Bev @ My Reader’s Block.

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge — read contemporary romances from YA/NA/Adult categories. Includes monthly giveaways. Hosted by Andi’s ABCs.

Cruisin’ Through the Cozies Reading Challenge — read cozy mysteries of your choice. Subgenre categories are provided but they are optional. Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews.


Diversify Your Reading — a challenge that encourages you to read from different genres each month. Includes a Facebook page that hosts buddy reads and discussions. Hosted by Mongan Moments.

Diversity Reading Challenge — read books with diverse authors and/or characters. Includes monthly mini-challenges to help guide your selections. Hosted by Celebrity Readers.


Epistolary Reading Challenge — read books written in the formats of letters, blog posts, social media posts etc. Hosted by Whatever I Think of.


Finishing the Series — a challenge to help you wrap up those series you’ve started but can’t seem to finish. Hosted by Whatever I Think of.

For the Love of Ebooks - read as many e-books as you can this year. Includes a readathon and bingo card for extra prompts. Hosted by As Told By Tina.


History Nonfiction Reading Challenge — a challenges that encourages readers to pick up history nonfiction books. Hosted by Rachel @ Hibernator’s Library.

Humor Reading Challenge — read books labeled as “humor” throughout the year. Readers select a “level” based on how many books they would like to read for the challenge. Hosted by Whatever I Think of.


Kindle Unlimited Reading Challenge — make the most of your Kindle Unlimited access and read books from KU, any genre counts. Hosted by As Told By Tina.


Library Love Reading Challenge — a challenge meant to help readers spend less $$$ and use their local libraries more. Must finish 12 books (any format) minimum, but there is no maximum limit. Hosted by Angela’s Guilty Pleasures.

Literary Escapes Reading Challenge — Try to read one book set in each of the 50 states (plus one for Washington D.C.). Extra points can be earn for reading books set in different countries around the world (1 point/country- no repeats). Books can be fiction or non fiction. Hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

The Lovely Audiobook Challenge — Listen to audiobooks that fit 30 different prompts throughout the year. Hosted by Lovely Audiobooks.


Medical Examiner’s Mystery Reading Challenge — receive “Death Certificates” for characters in the books you read (1 per book) and issue “Toe Tags” for them; top 10 issuers receive a prize. Hosted by Rick Mills Project.

Memoir Reading Challenge — meant to encourage readers to dive into memoirs this challenge comsists of 32 categories and readers must pick a minimum of 5 and read those within the year. Hosted by Whatever I Think Of.

Mental Health Reading Challenge — read fiction or nonfiction books that deal with a range of mental health issues. Hosted by Whatever I Think Of.

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge — Six “key words” are given every month. Readers must read 1 book that includes one ore more of the key words in the title. Words are flexible. Includes monthly check ins. Hosted by GIRLXOXO

Monthly Motif Reading Challenge — read a book that fits a given theme each month. Hosted by GIRLXOXO

Murder Mystery Bingo Reading Challenge — four different sets of Bingo cards related to mystery novels, make Bingo on all four cards and you become eligible for a prize. Hosted by Rick Mills Project.

Mount TBR — Encourages readers to tackle their TBR piles (physical and digital). There are different challenge levels to fit every reader. Books must be owned prior to January 1, 2020. Hosted by Bev @ My Reader’s Block


Newbery Reading Challenge — Challenges readers to pick up Newberry and Caldecott books (both awards and honors). Includes levels and readers are awarded points for what they read. Hosted by Smiling Shelves.

NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge — dedicated to helping you increase those percentages and clear the ARC backlogs (signups go live Dec. 11, 2019)

New Release Reading Challenge — reading new releases from 2020


PopSugar — a popular reading challenge with 40 creative book prompts and 10 “Advanced” prompts to complete within the year. Hosted by PopSugar.

Print Only Reading Challenge — a challenge to read as many print (rather than electronic) books this year. Hosted by As Told By Tina.

Purrfect Reading Challenge — read cozy mystery novels that have cats as the main character. Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews.


Read It Again Sam — a challenge for rereading books. Hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block.

Reading Challenge Addict Challenge — a challenge to reward you for completing reading challenges — so meta! Hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block.

Reading Women — 24 prompts to encourage you to read books written by female authors. Hosted by the Reading Women Podcast.

RMFAO — a Goodreads group that hosts many year-long reading challenges to help you make a dent in your TBR, including genre challenges, audiobook challenges, series challenges, classics catchup, and more.

Romance Lovers for the Challenge Impaired — a Goodreads group that does various reading challenges, both year-long and monthly, focusing on reading romance novels.

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge — a challenge to read all 336 books mentioned/shown as being read by Rory Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls. This one exists in a couple places, and likely will take longer than a year. The most active place we found is this awesome Goodreads reading group.


Six Shooter Mystery Reading Challenge — Earn notches on your “gun” by reading six mysteries by the same author, with prize eligibility. Hosted by Rick Mills Project.

Social Justice Nonfiction Reading Challenge — reading nonfiction books focused on social justice issues. Hosted by Hibernator’s Library.

SpaceTime Reading Challenge — read science fiction and time-travel books. Hosted by Jemima Pett.


TBR and Beyond Book Club — we may be biased, since we are both moderators in this Facebook group, but this is one of the best reading groups on Facebook. They do monthly challenges, readalongs, author interviews, and more, but are also running a 2020 reading challenge with 32 challenges, each of which has two options. Hosted by TBR and Beyond.

TBR Reading Challenge — read books from your TBR list for each of the 22 given prompts


Unread Shelf Project — A challenge encouraging bookworms to read, or donate, the unread books on their shelves. The 2020 challenge will be announced soon! Hosted by @theunredshelf on Instagram.


Vintage Mystery Extravaganza  — a challenge to read mysteries published prior to 1960. Hosted by Bev @ My Reader’s Block.

Virtual Mount TBR — Similar to the Mount TBR challenge, except this challenge is for books that you do not own (borrowed from the library, a friend, found on a free e-book site, etc…). No date limit like on Mount TBR. Hosted by Bev @ My Reader’s Block.


What An Animal Reading Challenge — Read books in which animals play major roles. Also counts a main character is, or turns into, an animal. Different levels based on how many books the reader wants to read. Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews.

What’s In a Name — Read books with titles that fit each of 6 different categories. Hosted by Carolina Book Nook.


1000 Books Project: Non-Fiction 2020 — a quarterly readalong challenge focusing on non-fiction books from 1000 Books to Read Before You Die. Hosted by Gather Together and Read.

2020 Reading Challenge Goodreads Group — an active group on Goodreads with over 20,000 members to help you reach your personal reading goals, along with monthly readalongs.

52 Books in 52 Weeks — Readers read 52 books that fit 52 categories throughout the year. Categories are flexible and up to interpretation. Hosted by Mommy Mannegren.

#letsreadindie — Read books that only published independently or through small publishing houses. Books can be any length and format. Hosted by As Told By Tina.

What About You?


Let us know in the comments what challenges you will be participating in or if you see a challenge that we missed! We can’t to hear all about your reading plans for 2020!

9 responses to “Matters of Shelf Control — 2020 Reading Challenges

  1. I always do the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge…maybe not successfully, but I try! She has fun, quirky challenges each month to get you to read different genres.

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