2021 Reading Challenge: Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid

Here it is…The Scented Library and The Redolent Mermaid’s fourth annual reading challenge! We’ve almost made it to 2021, *small sigh of relief, hearts full of hope and fingers crossed. If you, like myself, didn’t complete 2020’s challenge, no judgement. It turns out I’m not a pandemic reader and I’m ok with that. We all get a do-over and praise for coping, however we needed to, just to get through last year.

Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid challenge list:

  1. It’s the end of the world as we know it…—an apocalyptic tome, dystopian nightmare, or something set in/about the year 2020.
  2. Choose a book from an independent book store.
  3. Reclaim her name—choose from a multitude of titles which feature generic pronouns; “girl”, “woman”, “wife”, “lady”, or “she”, and discover the true story of the character. Or, select from the sponsored list by the Women’s Prize for Fiction of 25 authors who used male pseudonyms to publish.
  4. Shelf control—pick up a dusty, neglected book that’s already sitting unread on your shelf.
  5. Big Book Energy😉—level up with an 750+ pager.
  6. Bright lights, big city—get lost in a Metropolis, real or fictional.
  7. Small town vibes— find yourself in a cozy village setting, where everybody knows your name.
  8. Don’t you, forget about me— relive the 80s, whether it was your glory days or decade of excess, choose a throwback book from that time, either set in the 80’s or published in the 80’s.
  9. Embrace your elemental—align with a fiery, earth, air or water feature in title/on cover.
  10. Rule of 3—three main characters, a friendly trio, love triangle or 3 objects on the cover.
  11. Font geek—if an appealing typeface catches your eye, give the book a try.
  12. Book that bites—snakes, bones or teeth on the cover or the title.
  13. Go to the dark side—villains, rogues, bad bois or anti-heroines–pick your reading poison.
  14. Note your improvement—read up on your favorite hobby, or new interest.
  15. Book with a map.
  16. Story set in, or written during the 1920s.
  17. Comfort read—need a feel-good story right now, who doesn’t? The cozier, the better.
  18. 2021 is the Year of the Ox, read a story with themes of hard work or manual labor. “Without labor, neither knowledge nor wisdom can accomplish much.”
  19. The UN declared 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables- pick a book that has a cover ripe with edible plants.
  20. Choose a book with regency couples- the art of smoldering eyes while maintaining social distancing.
  21. Space Force, astronauts back on the moon and missions to Mars- read something out of this world.
  22. Social Justice- read a book to provide more perspective.
  23. Animated film adaptation.
  24. Cooking up something more than just food in the kitchen: a chef inspired tale.
  25. Poetry: Lyrical limericks, buried metaphors and big feelings. Dive right on in.
  26. Find small moments of adventure with some short stories.
  27. Christmas in July anyone? Find a holiday centric story to read out of season.
  28. Brush up on a Native American tribe or historical event involving Native Americans.
  1. Pick a candy read, a fluff read, a junk food read. You know the kind. The guilty pleasure you can fly through in a day or two that makes you smile and reminds you that not every book has to be top shelf literature to be enjoyed.
  2. Royalty reading: monarchies of the past, present or fantastical times.
  3. Thinning of the veil- tales involving ghosts, spirits or spectral phenomena.

Note that we added a bonus prompt this year, but as a reminder, this is a no pressure challenge. Whether you join us for all, a handful, or one or two, our hope is to inspire you to pick up a book and remember to share it with us! Julie and I felt in tune with each other for this year’s choices and I am looking forward to all the discoveries a new book challenge brings.

Share your reads here, over at The Redolent Mermaid or find me on Instagram @the_scented_library ❤

2 thoughts on “2021 Reading Challenge: Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid

Add yours

  1. I am so excited to have something relatively small to look forward to- the browsing for a book that fits a prompt, the thrill of the read, and then the satisfying check mark that I accomplished a small task that was actually pretty fun (usually). I hope this new year brings a ton of cool reading experiences to us all. Thank you for being my book buddy.


    1. And right back at ya’ book buddy. I am steadily diving into reading more at the moment and even dedicating allotted time a few nights a week to unplug and read! A practice I haven’t done in years. Looking forward to seeing what everyone drums up this year to fulfill the prompts, as always thank you for the collaboration.<3


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