Reading All the Great Things in 2020: Challenge Yourself

A new year, a new list of categories for the Durham Tech Read Great Things Challenge! 

Durham Tech Library Read Great Things Challenge 2020

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 2020 that fit into at least 10 of the following 12 categories:

  • A book of short stories or essays
  • Someone else’s favorite book
  • A book recommended by a celebrity book club
  • A book that has won an award
  • A book about nature or the great outdoors
  • A book that is part of a series
  • A bildungsroman [a novel focusing on the spiritual or psychological growth of the main character, often from childhood to adulthood; also called a coming-of-age novel]
  • A book that has been translated into English from another language OR a book in a language other than English
  • A controversial book, either currently or at some point in history
  • A book with a one-word title
  • A book about or that features voting or civic engagement
  • A book suggested by a Durham Tech librarian either in-person or on the Durham Tech Library Blog

Our goal is to highlight a different category on this blog each month 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).

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 2020) to complete the challenge. All books must be completed during the 2020 calendar year.

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 read it/want to read it in 2020, 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. 

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.

How do I win the challenge? (What do I win?)

To win and complete the challenge, you should finish books throughout 2020 that fit into at least 10 of the 12 listed categories and then fill out the online completion form or drop your paper form off at the Main Campus Library. In mid-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.

More questions? Email library [at] durhamtech [dot] edu or Orange County Campus Librarian Meredith Lewis at lewisma [at] durhamtech [dot] edu.

View, download, or print a copy of the checklist and challenge guidelines: Read Great Things 2020 Challenge Checklist [pdf]

Not into this years categories but want to challenge yourself to read more in 2020? Plan on participating but want to up your reading goals beyond the 5-12 books for this challenge? Keep an eye out for our upcoming Durham Tech Library Above Average Reading Challenge: 20 Books in 2020 reading initiative.