As spring slides into summer, my mind shifts to the possibilities of road trips, beach time, and poolside barbeques — all of which offer (hopefully) extra time to indulge in pleasure reading. And while pleasure reading can mean relaxing with breezy paperbacks or chilling thrillers, sometimes it means taking a chance on something new.  

Now is a great time to catch up on the NoveList Reading Challenge. The NoveList Reading Challenge offers 12 unique prompts — one for each month — designed to help you (and your customers!) stretch those reading muscles and step out of your comfort zone. Even if you missed a month or have yet to start, you can start any time of the year! Use the free printable to find and display all 12 prompts.  

And while we always support your right to choose any book which strikes your fancy, the variety of choices can often be overwhelming. That's why we decided to create a special set of reading lists to go with the challenge.

Inspired by a suggestion from one of our BookChat customers, the NoveList staff have whipped up some hand-selected staff picks that you will find inside the NoveList database for each month of the year. This new feature allows you to complete the challenge on your own schedule and use NoveList to find our favorite books that fit those tricky categories (how would YOU search for an orange cover?). To find them all, check the recommended reads lists on the front page of NoveList or search: TI Challenge AND ND Recommended Reads

If you work in a library, share the challenge with others to cultivate a culture of reading.  

  • Encourage your staff to do the challenge together, including all library workers.  
  • Promote the challenge to your customers and invite them to join you, setting up a year-round display that changes to match the prompt.  
  • Host book discussions where people share what they read or ask brave volunteers to book talk their thoughts for social media posts.  

In these uncertain times, when libraries are coming under fire for simply offering access to a variety of reading material, reading challenges offer those of us who advocate for reading an opportunity to practice what we preach — encouraging other readers to step into new worlds and new perspectives and savor all the experiences reading can offer.  

Want to stay informed about other changes and updates like this? Sign up for NoveList News and get monthly updates, readers’ advisory tips, and ideas emailed directly to you.

Lindsey Dunn is a Content Strategy Coordinator for NoveList. She is currently reading The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson.