9 Reading Challenges For Adults To Take In 2016

As the final hours of the year slip away from us, book nerds everywhere scramble to finish the books they planned to read in 2015 and look forward to new titles to read in the coming year. There are plenty of reading challenges for adults to take in 2016, and — whether you did one this year or not — there's no reason not to task yourself with reading more in the new year. Make it your New Year's Resolution, if you have to, but get reading.

If it's been a while since you cracked a book, don't worry! The biggest book nerds fall off the wagon now and again. I went from reading everything I could get my hands on in grade school to barely reading at all in high school and college. I don't think I ever went a whole year without reading a book, but — aside from the Great Harry Potter Marathon of 2008 — I didn't make time to read like I used to.

Even though I didn't complete the reading challenges I started in 2015, it's still the best reading year I've had in a while. At the time of this writing, I've read 56 books this year, and I'm kinda-sorta hoping to finish one more before the big, shiny ball drops. I have no idea how many books I read in 2014, but trust me, it was nowhere near 50-something.

This is all to say that a reading challenge might be just the thing you need to make yourself fall in love with reading all over again. This is just a small sampling of what's out there, but you should be able to find a reading challenge or three here that works for you. It might not be easy, but it will be rewarding, trust me. Here are nine great reading challenges for adults to take up in 2016.

1. #BustleReads Challenge

Obviously I want you to take the #BustleReads Challenge; I wrote it! The 20 items on this list are designed to make you read diverse books, including books by women and writers of color, nonfiction, and literature in translation.

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2. Goodreads Reading Challenge

This offering from Goodreads is probably the loosiest-goosiest reading challenge around. Just select the number of books you want to read in 2016, log your activity on Goodreads, and they'll do the rest. It's the only reason I know how many books I read this year, I swear.

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3. Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge

There are 24 tasks on Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, which means you only have to read two books each month in order to complete it. For Goodreads members, the folks at Book Riot set up a group you can join if you want to discuss your reading challenge progress.

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4. POPSUGAR's Ultimate Reading Challenge

With a whopping 40 tasks, POPSUGAR's Ultimate Reading Challenge is one of the longest in this roundup. It's full of inventive items to check off, such as "[a] book with a blue cover" and "[a] book from Oprah's Book Club," so you're bound to have fun with it.

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5. Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Bev Hankins' designed the Mount TBR Reading Challenge to get folks reading the books that they already own, but have never read. Considering that's, like, 75 percent of the books I own, I'm definitely taking this one up. What's cool about the Mount TBR Reading Challenge is its tiered setup, so, whether you want to read 12 books or 120, there's a place for you.

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6. SciFi and Fantasy Book Club Challenge

The SciFi and Fantasy Book Club on Goodreads reads two books every month. To participate in this challenge, you just have to read the books they're reading or have already read. There's a 12-book minimum, but trust me: you won't have any trouble finding some great titles here.

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7. Read the World Challenge

Avil Beckford brought this one to my attention. Her Read the World Challenge consists of a month-by-month reading plan designed to make you a more well-rounded person and a better entrepreneur. With 60 titles needed to complete the challenge, it's not one for the faint of heart, but Beckford provides plenty of helpful lists to guide your book selection process.

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8. Modern Mrs Darcy Challenge

This cute, 12-book checklist works as a standalone, but it will also blend perfectly well with whatever other reading challenges you want to take in 2016. If you're a reading challenge newbie, you should consider starting here.

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9. Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge

This is exactly what it sounds like. Just read all eight Anne of Green Gables books in 2016, and voila, you're done! Of course, there's no reason you can't tack this on to any other reading challenge you decide to take, and challenge creator Elyssa Nalani encourages you to do just that.

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Image: Jourden C/flickr