Reading Challenge for 2020

I’ve been a book lover my entire life. Yet over the last decade or so, I’ve found that I am reading less and less. With a day job, writing full time, and family/church responsibilities, time is at a premium. Yet I don’t want to lose the pleasure of discovering new characters and adventures inside the covers of unexplored tomes. So I’ve started looking for new motivations to help me keep reading a priority. Last year, I attempted to keep a list of all the books I had read. I think I lost track somewhere around fall, but I did find satisfaction in seeing over 20 books on my list before I stopped keeping count. I know that’s small potatoes for many of you, but it was encouraging to me.

This year I’m going to try something with a little more accountability and hopefully a lot of fun. Inspired by many fun reading challenges circulating around social media, I decided to create one for my Facebook group – The Posse. I asked for their input in coming up with the categories, and nearly all the ones you see on my list are iterations of their suggestions. Here’s what we came up with . . .

We tried to create a list with a lot of flexibility to allow for personal taste and interest while still giving us the motivation to try something new or perhaps stretch our literary comfort zone just a bit.

You don’t have to be a Posse member to use this reading challenge, but if you want to participate with other readers and join in the discussion, we’d love to have you! We talk about all kinds of other things, too, including brainstorming ideas for my books. But at the beginning of every month, I’ll be posting the upcoming reading challenge category, and at the end of the month, I’ll create a post where everyone can talk about the book they read, how it fit the category, and what they thought about the story. It’s strictly for fun, so if you need to skip a month or two, that perfectly fine. Just join back in when you can. Personally, I’m hoping to use this as a motivation to read more as well as an accountability piece to keep me going even when life gets busy.

If you’d like to join the Posse and our Reading Challenge – Click Here.

  • Have you ever participated in a Reaching Challenge? Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you have any reading-related book goals for 2020?
Karen Witemeyer
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:


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  1. This sounds like a fun reading challenge.

    1. Thanks, Janine. I hope you join in the fun!

  2. Good morning. I do a reading challenge every year through goodreads. I LOVE IT. It keeps track of every book and every review I write, that way I can look back over all the books I’ve read for the year & at the end of the year it send me a completed list. I love it, because it stores all my books and reviews from previous years. I have so much fun with it and I have My two best friends, Stephanie & Glenda, who do it as well we have so much fun.
    I am going to copy down your posse list that looks like fun something I can also add to my challenge for each month.

    1. Avatar

      I agree GR’s is the best way to keep up with what we read! I love that app! Thank you for introducing me to it!

    2. Using Goodreads is a great idea, Tonya. I’ve never tracked my reading there, but maybe I should start. 🙂

  3. Avatar

    Fun challenge! I don’t have a problem with reading time. I have a problem getting household chores done because of reading….I hope you have an awesome 2020!

    1. Ha! I hear you, Stephanie. Who needs a clean house when fictional lives are hanging in the balance? Priorities, people!

  4. I too read a lot, and love to beta and ARC read – I usually only read cowboy books so I know I would fail your challenge – thanks for the option though!

    1. There’s no failing, just fun, Teresa. I’m sure you could find a cowboy author who’s fist name starts with T – One of our former fillies, Tracy Garrett could fill that slot. And if you have a TBR pile, you’ve got February covered. Going outside the US in March could be tricky, but Australia has some great cowboys. That could work for you. Hank the Cowdog could work for your children’s lit. I don’t know what year you were born, but westerns have been around a long time, so hopefully you could Google and find something suitable. June is right up your alley with the cowboy on the cover. If you don’t like non-fiction you could skip July, or maybe find a biography to read about your favorite real-life cowboy. August only requires a verb, so I’m sure you could manage that. I have two of my own I could recommend – STEALING the Preacher and More Than Words Can SAY. If your last initial is F, I imagine you could find a cowboy hero or heroine to match. In Oct – classic is in the eye of the beholder. I’d consider Louis L’Amour or Zane Grey classics. Then with all the great cowboy books coming out this year and all the fun Christmas stories the fillies write, November and December would be a piece of cake.

      All that to say – there’s no pressure to participate, but if you want to, you can do so while still staying true to your first love when it comes to genre. 🙂 Just takes a little creativity.

  5. This sounds like a fun challenge. I am not sure I would want to do it I am just to slow at reading.

    1. No problem either way, Quilt Lady. You can join us for a month if you want or just do it on your own if you feel like it. I’m still working on my January book that I started more than a week ago. It’s a great book, but I have so little time to read. So I completely understand the slow reading issue.

  6. This is absolutely brilliant, Karen! What fun ideas to get back into reading. Love, love.

    1. Thanks, Pam. I’m really excited about it. Put a little spark back in my relationship with books. Ha!

  7. That does sound like fun! I decided this year to try to keep track of the books I read. I’ve not done that since I was doing library reading things during the summers. I’ve already read 8 books this year! I think I’m off to a pretty good start!!!

    1. You are off to an EXCELLENT start, Trudy! Keep up the great reading!

      1. I needed to add, most of them I’ve also reviewed! Some aren’t at that point, yet, but I’ll be reviewing when they are!

        1. Wonderful, Trudy! Reviews are such a blessing both to authors and to other readers. I appreciate you taking the time to do that.

  8. I’ve never done a reading challenge since I don’t have an enormous amount of reading time. I’m excited if I get over 25! Being a reviewer makes me keep reading so I love that accountability.

    1. I’m in the same boat, Susan. I’m hoping my being in charge of the challenge will keep me accountable. 🙂

  9. Hope you’re able to find time for reading.

    1. Thanks, Denise. It’s sad how little time I have for it these days. Makes me look forward to retirement. 🙂

  10. I’ll be signing on to this challenge. We are on vacation so I will have to fine a book while we are out to fit the first challenge. This will be fun.

    1. Hooray! Excited to have you join us, Patricia. 🙂

  11. Cool challenge! I just discovered Karen Witemeyer’s work. I’ve read four of her books and one novella in the last month. Good stuff. I hope that Heaven has a library so that all of the worthy material produced on earth can be discovered by those who missed it during their time on earth.

    1. Donald, you just made my day! I’m thrilled that you have enjoyed my books. And I LOVE the idea of a giant library in heaven. What a lovely way to spend eternity. 🙂

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