Reading Greatly in 2023: The Durham Tech Library Reading Challenge

A little unfinished business first–

Need to fill out your 2022 challenge form? Here it is! Since we’re a little late releasing the new list this year (and everyone deserves a little grace sometimes when we’re able), you’ve got until Friday, January 13, 2023 to complete and submit the 2022 Reading Challenge form.

If you’ve already filled it out, no need to do it a second time.

Want to revisit old challenges? Check out our new Read Great Things Challenge LibGuide website for the ghosts of reading challenges past.

Durham Tech Library Read Great Things Challenge 2023

What is the Read Great Things Challenge?

The Read Great Things Challenge is a personal reading challenge sponsored by the Durham Tech Library that encourages folks to diversify and/or increase their reading goals by completing books throughout 2023 that fit into at least 10 of the following 12 categories:

  • A book with an animal, vegetable, or mineral in the title
  • A book in a completed series of two or more books
  • A book about or featuring a game
  • Genre challenge—Pick one!: Historical nonfiction, microhistory, historical fiction, or alternate history
  • An author’s first book
  • A book in a format you don’t usually read (audio, ebook, graphic novel, workbook, epistolary, etc.)
  • A book to improve your mental or physical health
  • A book about an experience different than your own
  • A book about teaching or learning
  • A book that piques your curiosity [free space!]
  • President JB Buxton’s Choice: A book about your local community and/or culture
  • A book recommended by a Durham Tech Library staff member or on the Library blog

Our goal is to highlight a different category on this blog to help you out, but you can always ask a librarian for recommendations if you can’t think of a book to read for a certain category (which conveniently fills that final and most awesome category). This post will be updated with links to category-specific book lists as they appear on the blog.

How do I participate in the Read Great Things Challenge?

It’s pretty simple –just start reading! You don’t have to sign up and you can start at any point in the year and read the books in any order you like. You will need to choose books that fit into at least 10 of the 12 categories by the end of Fall Semester (December 2023) to complete the challenge. All books must be finished during the 2023 calendar year. We don’t care when you start them or how long it takes you.

What kind of book counts as a “great thing”?

All books count–hardcover, paperback, ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, comic books, library books, books you own, books you’ve borrowed… If it fits into one (or two) of the categories and you’ve finished reading it in 2023, that counts. We’re not here to judge or assign reading levels. Textbook or assigned reading for class can count, too, as long as you read the whole book. Books you read with or alongside folks younger than yourself can count too if you’d like.

Can I count a book for multiple categories?

One book can count for up to two categories, so if you read strategically, you can complete the challenge by only reading 5 books in total. Your time is valuable; feel free to multitask. We aren’t judging. We want you to win.

How do I win the challenge? (And what do I win?)

To win and complete the challenge, you should finish books throughout 2023 that fit into at least 10 of the 12 listed categories and then fill out the online completion form (preferred) or drop your paper form off at the Main Campus Library. In late December at the end of the Fall Semester, we’ll have bookish prizes available for those who bring their completed book list to the library or fill out the completion form.

You’ll also get a personal sense of satisfaction and bragging rights. (And who doesn’t love those?)

Do the books have to be from the Durham Tech Library?

Nope, but we’re glad to point you in the direction of one already in our collection. We have some great books just waiting to make it on your list.

View, download, or print a copy of the checklist and challenge guidelines: Read Great Things 2023 Challenge Checklist [pdf]

You can also join our Durham Tech Library Reading Group Team (via Microsoft Teams).

More questions? Email library @ or Meredith Lewis at lewisma @

About Meredith Lewis

Meredith is a librarian at Durham Tech on both the Main and Orange County Campuses.