With the first week of 2019 coming to a close, it is time to settle on your annual reading challenge. Reading challenges are a great way to encourage yourself to read more, often times with vast amount of online support and neat printables, while not requiring actual IRL commitments like book clubs do. That is, except for reading. They definitely require you to read in real life.
The other major difference between book clubs and reading challenges, is they push you a lot further because the terms are a lot looser. So while a book club might only require you to read 12 books this year, they have to be a specific 12 books, 11 of which are picked by people that aren’t you. Reading challenges usually offer vague and interesting prompts that you can determine what qualifies as counting, and often allow comics, audiobooks, ebooks, and of course library books to complete the challenges. With these advantages they easily expect you to hit 52 books this year, so it’s important to get started now.
A cursory glance around the internet shows that there aren’t specific reading challenges for those interested in reading more comics, but that a lot of reading challenges are open to interpretation, so you could easily use the prompts to read more graphic novels in 2019. Here are some of the favorite’s found around the web.
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge
This is the big one. While the Popsugar name may not evoke the image of leather wing chairs in literary salons, they’ve crafted a huge reading challenge with interesting prompts, advanced options for the avid readers, and over 21,000 participants eager to support each other through their online forum. Fans of these challenges have crafted spreadsheets to help other participants, and lists of books to help fill the requirements if you get stuck. Take a look at the prompts below and some of the suggestions for comics that could help fill them!
- A book becoming a movie in 2019:
Did you know Hellboy is getting a reboot? Or for those a little less bothered by the nuanced difference between a movie and a tv show, 2019 should hopefully see the Netflix release of the highly anticipated Locke & Key.
- A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction):
The Umbrella Academy (which is also appearing on Netflix in 2019) is written by the frontman for My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way (and beautifully illustrated by Gabriel Bà, who is not a famous musician but still pretty amazing).
- A book with a plant in the title or on the cover:
Look closely at The Sandman: Overture cover and you may find just what you need.
- A book about family:
This prompt is a great chance to read or reread some amazing graphic novels about the complicated nature of family. First two that come to mind? Fun Home and Stitches. Both groundbreaking works of breathtaking honesty. Both memoirs created in full by their subjects. Both worth reading. Pick one you haven’t read for this prompt and save the other for A reread of a favorite book prompt.
- A book by two female authors
Consider getting creative with this prompt and picking a graphic novel like Pretty Deadly with a female creative team.
Beating The Backlist
Novelknight has designed an immersive challenge with a wide range of prompts aimed at killing off the stack of books you already have decided you want to read, but haven’t gotten around to – aka the dreaded #TBR list. The prompts for the whole year are available ahead of time for those who like to plan things. If not, following along on Instagram will get you each month’s prompts along with other participants choices.
This novel read along also has bonus content like a 2019 Backlist Bingo Board participants can download. As well as the ability to join your Hogwarts house to earn points for Slytherin or whoever’s colors you sport.
Here’s an example of January’s prompts and the looseness with which you can interpret them (parenthesis contain editor’s picks for each prompt):
- January 3rd: 2019 TBR (Supposed to be one of the best GNs of last year, Vision)
- January 10th: Best Beginnings (Finally read the first volume of Bone)
- January 17th: Resolutions (Read more nonfiction like MARCH Trilogy)
- January 24th: Backlist Wishlist (Definitely My Favorite Thing is Monsters)
- January 31st: New to The Shelf (Grabbed a copy of Infidel after hearing its name on a bunch of Best of 2018 Horror lists)
Share your favorite reads with CBLDF all year long by tagging us on social media. We’ll be reading along with you!