Read Harder has 24 tasks designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books. With new genres, new authors, and new points of view, the challenge will (hopefully) help you discover amazing books you wouldn’t have otherwise picked up.
You may count one book for multiple tasks or read one book per task, and by no means do you have to stick to the recommended titles below. If you find another book that fits the task, go for it! (Let us know too, so we can add it to the list!)
The point of the challenge is to push yourself to expand your horizons and break out of set reading habits; the hope is that you’ll discover voices, settings, characters, formats, and more you may not have encountered without that nudge. Be accountable to yourself, share what you learned along the way, and enjoy the experience!
Stop by & check out our Read Harder shelf in store if you'd like to browse these books in person!
Read A Book You've Been Intimidated To Read
Everybody has that ONE title or series that just taunts them. Let this be the year you conquer it!
(Obviously this can be different for everyone, so these are some that seem to be universally daunting.)
Read A Non-Fiction Book About Anti-Racism
2020 brought rise to hundreds of anti-racism titles, so find one that hits hardest for you!
Read A Non-European Novel In Translation
There's a whole world of stories out there! Here are a few examples to get you started.
Read An LGBTQ+ History Book
The more you read about it, the more you realize how many LGBTQ+ folks are woven throughout human history.
Read A Genre Novel By An Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American Author
After the insane popularity of anti-racism & social justice titles this year, consider this a friendly & exciting reminder that a diverse bookshelf should have BIPOC authors throughout all of the genres!
Read A Fanfic
Okay okay okay, we know how much eye rolling this genre gets, and we know that it's not often that fanfiction actually gets published in it's own right, but we've found a few that you might not have heard of!
Read A Fat-Positive Romance
As someone who adores a more modern take on the oft-cookie-cutter romance genre, these are definitely worth a spot on your shelf.
Read A Romance By A Trans or Non-Binary Author
The amount of hatred trans folks in our society deal with daily is crushing & we should all be working towards better understanding of & empathy with our fellow humans. In the meantime, here are a few rays of trans romance sunshine! If you know of any other titles, please let us know! We need more!
Read A Middle Grade Mystery
When's the last time you checked out what children's fiction looks like these days? Do yourself a favour and give the genre a few hours of your time!
Read A SFF (Science Fiction & Fantasy) Anthology Edited By A POC
Anthologies are amazing for filling those little spots of free time. Treat yourself with a warm drink & a quick delve into another world!
Read A Food Memoir By An Author of Colour
The foods we eat tell their own stories full of depth and insight.
Read A Work Of Investigative Non-Fiction By An Author of Colour
Remember how we were talking about diverse bookshelves? Investigative non-fiction may feel bleak & heavy at times, but the wealth of information one can glean makes them worthy of a spot in your collection!
Read A Book With A Cover You Don't Like
Holllllly subjective Batman! Everyone has different tastes, so don't hold anything against us for our choices here! If you've got a book that you've read even though the cover fills you with 'ick', let us know!
Read A Realistic Young Adult Book Not Set In The US, UK, Or Canada
COVID might have you stuck at home, but it's all the more reason to step into a whole new country!
Read A Memoir By A Latinx Author
Did you know that memoirs & biographies are different? A biography chronicles someone's entire life, while a memoir sticks to one significant event in that person's life.
Read An Own Voices Book About Disability
Have you heard of the #ownvoices movement yet? The tag refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group.
Read An Own Voices Young Adult Book With A Black Main Character That Isn't About Black Pain
Stories of Black pain serve a vital piece in ending systemic racism, but let's not let these gorgeous stories of Black joy fade into the background! Let us know if you know one that was missed here: we'd love to add it to the list!
Read A Book By Or About A Non-Western World Leader
The US has dominated our news for far too long. (See ya Trump.) Take a look at some of the impacts leaders have had in other parts of the world.
(Several of these titles are written by or about people considered dictators in their countries. Their inclusion is not an endorsement of their views in any way. If you have some titles you think would better serve folks looking to build their knowledge in this area, let us know!)
Read A Historical Fiction With A POC Or LGBTQ+ Protagonist
Used to reading about straight, white, CIS characters? Add a whole nother layer of struggles & persepctives with POC/LGBTQ+ protagonist. Boom.
Also, 'nother' is totally a word. It's slang, BUT IT COUNTS. Merriam-Webster says so.
Read A Book About Nature Poems
British Columbia is a natural wonderland, but sometimes we're too caught up in our daily lives to see what's right in front of us. Poetry can offer us a glance at the beauty we might be missing.
Read A Children's Book That Centers A Disabled Character But Not Their Disability
There is a huge gap between the children in the world with disability and the characters they see represented at storytime. That gap is lessening every day though, so let's start sharing the stories that empower those kids without reducing them to their disability.
Read A Book Set In The Midwest
Okay, keep in mind that BookRiot is a US company & take these recommendations with a grain of salt. If you'd like to keep your setting Canadian, what sort of titles would you recommend? Prairies? Central Canada? Let us know!
Read A Book That Demystifies A Common Mental Illness
Normalizing discussion around mental illness is something we at Books & Company are 100% on board with. Shared experiences are how we all collectively help each other learn, cope, and hopefully thrive.
Read A Book Featuring A Beloved Pet Where The Pet DOESN'T DIE
WHY IN THE NAME OF EVERYTHING GOOD IN THE WORLD DO THEY ALWAYS KILL THE DOG?!?!
NO MORE. #letfidolive