2017 Reading Challenge: 12 Ways to Kill Your TBR This Year

2017 Reading Challenge: 12 Ways to Kill Your TBR This Year


A new year means a new reading challenge. For each month of 2017, we’re setting a goal that will help us whittle down our ever-growing TBR piles. Last year, our editors shared the books they were reading for each month’s challenge. This year, we want to hear from you. Share your progress on each month’s challenges in the comments or by using #killyourtbr2017 on social media. At the end of each month, we’ll pull our favorite reader responses and feature them in an article!

At the start of each challenge, we’ll post a list of recommendations from our own TBR piles to inspire you. But if you hit a month where the challenge doesn’t apply to you, we dare you to pick up a book from your TBR pile that breaks you out of your reading comfort zone.

Here’s a look at what you can expect from the next year:

January: Read a book that supports your New Year’s resolution
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. To help you achieve your goals, pick up a book that encourages you to succeed. It can be a self-help title or a novel that inspires you. If you don’t have a resolution for 2017, take this month to read a book you wished you read in 2016 but didn’t have time for.

February: Read a love story
Love is in the air. A romance novel would be a perfect fit for this month, but if you want to get creative with your interpretation of a love story, we’ll accept that as well.

March: Read a book published the decade you were born
Bonus points if it was published the year you were born.

April: Read a National Book Award winner
The list of National Book Award winners spans everything from Sophie’s Choice to Brown Girl Dreaming. There’s definitely a book here that is also on your TBR list.

May: Read a book about mental health
The month of May is dedicated to raising awareness and spreading education about mental health. Do your part to learn more by picking up a book that touches on this important topic.

June: Read a book set outside of your home country
As summer rolls around, you’re sure to be itching for a trip. Pick a book from your TBR pile that takes you far away from your home country, and immerse yourself in a new place.

July: Read a book about an overlooked figure in history
Whether you reach for a biography or a work of historical fiction, take this month to explore a forgotten historical figure.

August: Read a collection of essays or short stories
We get it. The sun is out, the days are long, and you want to enjoy the last days of summer. Spend August with a collection that allows you to come and go as you please.

September: Read an entire series
We all have them: book series that have been on our shelves for far too long. We suggest aiming to complete a trilogy, but if you want to finally try to read A Song of Ice and Fire from start to almost-finish, more power to you.

October: Read a book that scares you
Maybe you’re intimidated by its page count, maybe you worry you won’t like it as much as everyone else, maybe it’s a genuinely frightening tale. Get in the spirit of the season and read a book that scares you.

November: Read a graphic novel or comic book
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Use this month explore a story told through both text and images.

December: Read a book about belief
’Tis the season for religious celebrations. Even if you don’t partake yourself, it’s easy to find a book that explores faith and belief. Perhaps you’ll go for a tale inspired by ancient folklore, perhaps you’ll pick up the Bible—the choice is yours.


Kelly Gallucci
Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of Bookish.com, where she oversees Bookish's editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors like Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Schwab, and Sabaa Tahir. She's just coming off of moderating an author panel at New York Comic Con. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and binging Netflix with her pitbull. She is a Gryffindor.


  1. My New Year’s resolution is to read 40 books this year. I started the year off with a book I knew would be a page turner: Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It’s the first in her 3 part crime series. Thank goodness there are 3 because this novel will leave you wanting more! Happy Reading!

  2. I have set my goal to read 60 books this year. That is 10 more than last year. But I read 81 books in 2016. Hopefully I will be able to read more in 2017. I have already read 4 books this year, and have started on 3 more. Happy Reading everyone!

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