The Fifth Annual #Bookaday Challenge

Every year, I prepare for summer with the same comforting rituals. I buy a pack of Goody black hair elastics and new flip flops. I write end-of-year notes to my students. I recheck my summer travel plans. And I publicly announce my intention to read a book for every day of summer break.

This ambitious challenge began as an attempt to catch up on the landslide of books piled around my house and reconnect with my reading life. Over the years, the Book-a-Day challenge has evolved into a social event connecting readers who share book recommendations and celebrate reading. Nerdy Book Club fun fact, I “met” Colby Sharp for the first time when he joined the Book-a-Day Challenge on Twitter in 2011. Mini Book-a-Day events pop up during spring and winter breaks, and literacy gurus like Teri Lesesne post book titles under the #bookaday hashtag all year.

That book on your nightstand for the past two months? That biography someone gave you last Christmas? That cascading pile of journals on your office floor? Isn’t it time? Won’t you join me in the Fifth Annual Book-a-Day Challenge?

Imagine languid days reading an entire book in one sitting. Picture yourself staying up past midnight to finish one more chapter. Summer (reading) is coming.

The rules (more guidelines, really) are simple:

Read one book per day for each day of summer vacation. This is an average, so if you read three books in one day (I know you’ve done this!) and none the next two, it still counts.

You set your own start date and end date.

Any book qualifies including picture books, nonfiction, professional books, audio books, poetry anthologies, or fiction—children’s, youth, or adult titles.

Keep a list of the books you read and share them often via a social networking site like goodreads or Twitter (post using the #bookaday hashtag), a blog, or Facebook page. You do not have to post reviews, but you can if you wish. Titles will do.

Let me admit a secret. I probably won’t make my Book-a-Day Challenge this year without reading more than a few picture books and graphic novels to hedge my bets. You probably won’t either. Book-a-Day is not a competition. It’s an opportunity to enjoy marvelous reading experiences and rededicate ourselves to daily reading. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we read, or how much, or when. What matters is that we have fun and indulge in our favorite leisure activity—reading a lot of books!

I like a little bit of everything, but here are ten books I plan to read:

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appeltsugar man swamp

Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Dreams and Shadows by C. Thomas Cargill

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

Red River Stallion by Troon Harrison

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Winger by Andrew Smith


I hope you have an adventurous summer both inside and outside the pages. Please share the books you plan to read this summer and help our reading lists grow.


Donalyn Miller is a fourth grade teacher at Peterson Elementary in Fort Worth, TX. She is the author of The Book Whisperer and the upcoming Reading in the Wild. Donalyn co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk (with Nerdy co-founder, Colby Sharp), and facilitates the Twitter reading initiative, #bookaday.