Reading Challenges

This year, a record number of students & professionals attended our speed-reading, memory & productivity courses in over 100 cities around the globe!

When I ask attendees what their motivation was when they signed up, a common reply is that they simply want to get more reading done.

Well, it’s once again that time of year where we determine new year resolutions. And one of the most popular resolutions, besides eating better and losing weight, is to read more.

Does that include you?

If so, I want to challenge you this year to read more than ever before!

Below are some ideas and challenges to help make it happen. This is by no means a one size fits all approach, so feel free to choose your own adventure!

Here are the challenges from most difficult to least difficult:

If you feel that these challenges are too difficult, skip to the bottom of this post so you can learn How To Read Faster.


Need Some Book Recommendations?

30 Books in 30 Days

This is by far the most challenging path to follow, but it can be done if you are able to set aside the time, be disciplined and read efficiently. If you need to speed  up your reading, you might want to consider taking one of our online or in-person speed-reading courses to help you.

We’ve done this challenge in past years (Can You Read 30 Books in 30 Days?) with the help of our free speed-reading tool: AccelaReader. You’ll need to carve out specific times of the day that you can always dedicate to reading. To maximize your time consider utilizing audiobooks. Audible has a free trial that essentially allows you to get 3 free audiobooks through this link. There are also a number of free audiobook apps that you may want to review.

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Do you want to make reading a habit for the entire year? It’s entirely possible for you to read a book per week. This surely will take some discipline and dedication of time, but it can be done even with an average reading speed. You’ll need to start working on a reading list. You may already have a stack of books waiting to be read, but if you don’t, scroll back up to review our book recommendations for some ideas.

Reading will need to become a daily habit. You could be reading an hour each morning. How about an hour at night? You could be reading during your commute (try audiobooks) or while doing chores. Any small bits of down time can be utilized. Replace any binge-watching you might do with reading and you’ll be amazed how much can get done.

12 Books in 12 Months

This challenge might be for you if you’re extremely busy. You’ll “only” read 12 books the entire year, but make them count! I say “only” because most people read less than 4 books per year. If you can do 12 in a year, you’re doing 3x better.

Now is the time to figure out which books are most important to you. You’ll need to dedicate one per month and plan on getting it done. Keep in mind that most books have less than 30 chapters. So if you’re simply getting a chapter done per day, you’ll be well on your way. Make it a habit and you might surprise yourself and end up reading more than you intended.

365 Chapters in 365 Days:

Read Tolstoy’s Classic, War and Peace

Woody Allen - I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in 20 minutes. It involves Russia.

This challenge is much easier than those listed above. So if you are strapped for time, but still want to read something that would be considered a personal milestone, this book is for you.

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, is considered by many to be one of the greatest novels ever written. Most editions are well over a thousand pages, but don’t let that scare you. You can go through this book at any easy going pace of a chapter a day for an entire year. In fact, there is an amazing community on Reddit (r/ayearofwarandpeace) dedicated to doing this challenge! There you’ll find a reading schedule, daily discussion, an awesome podcast that discusses each chapter.

Given the length of the book, there are many characters to remember. Do you have trouble keeping track of names?

You can check out this handy character list (spoiler free) to help keep things in order. And if you’re new to War and Peace, you may want to visit this helpful guide: 10 things you need to know (if you haven’t actually read it).

How To Read Faster

speed reading book blur

What if you could read 2-3 times faster and still understand everything? Imagine how much more books you could get through. Boosting your speed takes practice and dedicated training. If you’re looking for that, you’re already in the right place. We have a variety of online courses to help you read faster and improve comprehension:

  • Level 1: Speed Reading Foundation Course
  • Level 2: Speed Reading Mastery Course
  • Level 3: Advanced Comprehension & Memory

Register Here

I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to get more reading done this year. Feel free to comment below on the type of challenge you plan to pursue or ideas you may have. Happy New Year!

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Paul Nowak

Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.