It’s no secret that all of us here at CBLDF want you to spend time reading. Reading reduces stress, improves vocabulary and increases empathy. Parents who read to children, even after the children can read on their own, are more likely to inspire their children to read for fun. Part of free expression is getting to participate in the marketplace of ideas, and fully utilizing that right comes from reading widely. In the past CBLDF has recommended joining or even starting a book club, or offered suggestions for adding comics into year-long reading challenges. But this year we’re going one further and doing a CBLDF Read (Something) More challenge to help kick start this decade with fun ways to read more or read off your typical shelves. All year long we’ll be offering picks to help complete prompts, suggestions from some of your favorite creators as to their picks, free resources, and more! The more readers out there participating, the better the experience for all of us, and the more fun stuff we’ll come up with to keep you reading all year long. So, check out the rules (there aren’t any) and the prompts below, and let’s kick off 2020 the best way ever: curled up with a comic!
I wasn’t joking when I said there aren’t any rules. Anything goes. Use comics, books, plays, audiobooks, and poetry to find works that fit your prompt and fit in your life. If you’re not sure if something fits a particular prompt – it does. This is about reading, there are no wrong answers as long as you’re reading. The list is 24 prompts, so two titles a month, and yes you can reread stuff you’ve read before. If you don’t have time to do that, find a few books that fit as many prompts as you can, there are no rules. We’ll be releasing a worksheet in early January if you want to print it out and keep track of your titles, as well as other fun printables and resources for the participants throughout 2020. When you post about it on social media, tag us in what you’re reading and use the hashtag #CBLDF24. If you have any questions, ask us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
This reading challenge is just one small way we can all turn towards the coming year, not with fear, but with hope. If 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, let it be one where we continually envision a brighter future through the things we read and the way we encourage our community. In many of our lifetimes, comics have turned from a niche group of dedicated fans into a huge part of mainstream culture. With active participation and positive interaction, we can try and bring back that niche vibe on the grandest scale. And in the meantime, we get to read a lot of cool things and talk to a lot of cool people.
Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about the 2020 Reading Challenge and start picking out your first book!
Patricia Mastricolo is the editorial coordinator for Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. When she isn’t writing about the erosion of the First Amendment, she can be found on Long Island making counterfeit David Bowie Religious Iconography and teaching her cats how to dance. The graphic novel she’s chosen to start off 2020 with is Pantheon.