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Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge



Always books. Never boring.

This year’s Read Harder challenge is presented by Libby.

Meet Libby. The one-tap reading app from OverDrive. By downloading Libby to your smartphone, you can access thousands of eBooks and audiobooks from your library for free anytime and anywhere. You’ll find titles in all genres, ranging from bestsellers, classics, nonfiction, comics and much more. Libby works on Apple and Android devices and is compatible with Kindle. All you need is a library card but you can sample any book in the library collection without one. In select locations, Libby will even get your library card for you instantly. Learn more at Happy Reading.

Welcome to the fourth edition of Book Riot’s annual reading challenge, the 2018 Read Harder challenge, created and written by Rachel Manwill. Every year, more and more of you discover and complete Read Harder, and with every new edition, we give you 24 tasks that will invite new genres, new authors, and new worlds, both real and imaginary, into your reading life.

This year, you’ll find many new tasks and many that take previous years’ tasks and add another layer of complexity or interest. Hopefully you’ll find tasks that excite you and tasks that push your reading boundaries. I’m particularly delighted with this year’s batch and I personally can’t wait for January 1st to get started.

Just as in years past, there are 24 tasks, averaging two per month over the course of the next 12 months. You may count one book for multiple tasks or read one book per task. I’ve said it the last three challenges, so it bears repeating: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post. We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out. That’s what this is—a perspective shift—but one for which you’ll only be accountable to yourself.”

If you want a bit more accountability nonetheless, add a social element to your challenge, or need some help with challenge books, the Read Harder group on Goodreads is an excellent resource throughout the year for sharing your reading plans, discussing the tasks, and finding new books to fit the challenge. You can also check in all over social media with the hashtag #ReadHarder. And join Book Riot Insiders for access to an exclusive Read Harder podcast where Josh and Sharifa will offer suggestions, highlighting a new task each episode.

Click here for a downloadable and editable PDF of the 2018 Challenge tasks.

We’ll be publishing lists for each of the tasks in the coming months to help you complete your Challenge.

Finally, here are the tasks!

  1. A book published posthumously
  2. A book of true crime
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
  4. A comic written and drawn by the same person
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
  6. A book about nature
  7. A western
  8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color
  • A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
  • A romance novel by or about a person of color
  • A children’s classic published before 1980
  • A celebrity memoir
  • An Oprah Book Club selection
  • A book of social science
  • A one-sitting book
  • The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
  • A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
  • A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
  • A book of genre fiction in translation
  • A book with a cover you hate
  • A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
  • An essay anthology
  • A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
  • An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

    Finished your 2017 Challenge? Don’t forget to take a picture of your completed list, email it to by Dec. 31st, and get a 30% discount at the Book Riot store! If you’re struggling for your last task or two, don’t forget you can search Book Riot for “Read Harder” and find help from our contributors for some of the trickier tasks.

    Don’t just read…Read Harder!

    And don’t forget to pick up one of our Best Books of 2017 boxes, which contain books that will satisfy some of the tasks!