50 Book Challenge for 2015?

50 book challenge

This is a guest blog from Stacey Croft. Stacey blogs about books on Pretty Books (on WordPress & Tumblr) and works as a Marketing Executive in children’s book publishing. She loves taking photographs of books, exploring London and visiting new bookshops and coffee shops. You can find her at @theprettybooks

You’ve probably come across the BBC’s Top 100 Books, but on social media, people have been getting creative and making their own lists. I discovered the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal and LibraryThing in 2009 and in 2010, I brought it over to Tumblr, where I’ve been running it over on Pretty Books ever since. Laura stumbled across my blog and invited me to talk a little bit about the challenge.

What is the 50 Book Challenge?

It’s first and foremost not a challenge that is meant to make you feel guilty about how much you are – or are not – reading. Even if you are someone who is constantly surrounded by books, like we are in the publishing industry, it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to pick up a book for fun, and participating in a reading challenge gives you that extra incentive.

It’s easy to join: choose an amount of books that you’d like to read next year (e.g. 25, 50, 75, 100, 200) and then read, read, read. Although it’s in the name, you do not have to read 50 books – pick an amount that suits you. I stuck with 50 originally as a recent graduate because I’d never before read that much in a year, and I genuinely found it a challenge, but as I became more involved in book blogging and publishing, my challenges ranged from 70 to 100. Most people enjoy making it a challenge, but not so high that they’ll never be able to reach it.

You decide which books ‘count’. I work in children’s publishing and I count some of the books I read for work, but not the picture books, although I’d count a single short story. It’s really up to you. You can make a list of the books you want to read before you start or you can choose books as you go along.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge

Stacey has

read 64 books toward her goal of 70 books.


How can I keep track of how many books I’m reading?

I make a list on Pretty Books (any excuse to make a list!), tag my book reviews with ’50 Book Challenge’ and use the Goodreads Reading Challenge.
If cataloguing your books doesn’t seem daunting to you, use the Goodreads Reading Challenge (they’ll launch a new one in early January). If you love lists, create one on Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, BookLikes, or on your computer or phone. You could tweet every book you’re reading using #50BookChallenge, write or film book reviews, create a Pinterest board or post photos of your books on Instagram. Whatever way you choose to keep track of your reading, you’ll find other readers doing the same and it’s a great way to ‘meet’ other book lovers online.

50 book challenge

What other reading challenges can I join?

If setting yourself a challenge to read x amount of books per year just isn’t for you, there’s many other reading challenges out there for you to join – and you don’t necessarily have to be a book blogger. On Pretty Books, I run a Classics Challenge, where I attempt to read one classic novel per month. There is no fixed definition of a ‘classic’, so my choices range from Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie to Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë, and I’ve signed up to the Re-Read Challenge, hosted by So Obsessed With and Belle of the Literati. From the British Books Challenge to the Debut Author Challenge, it’s likely that you’ll find one that you’re interested in, and if not, start one!

But remember, for the most part (because if you’re reading BookMachine, you’re likely part of the book industry), reading is for fun, so participate in a challenge to engage with fellow book lovers, read books that you never would have picked up before, and to motivate yourself when you’d rather be watching Netflix (which is okay too, by the way), but don’t ever feel guilty! My tip? Always carry a book with you.


Related Articles


Sign up to our Newsletter


* indicates required

BookMachine Ltd. will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at hello@bookmachine.org. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.