2022 Extreme Reader Challenge

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2022 Extreme Reader Challenge

Looking for a new challenge or way to add variety to your reading life? Sign up for Tacoma
Public Library’s Extreme Reader challenge! During this year-long adventure, you’ll explore new
titles and authors, read more diversely, and connect with fellow book lovers in your community!
Sign up today for the 2022 Extreme Reader challenge!

Visit the Completion & Rewards section to learn more about registering and reporting through Beanstack.

The Basics

The challenge begins on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The final day to register and report is Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022.

  • Read 50 books (teens can read 25) in 50 weeks from 55 categories to complete the
    challenge and become an Extreme Reader
  • Adults and teens (age 13 and over at time of sign up) are eligible for the challenge
  • Books read must apply to current category list
  • Participants must have a valid Tacoma Public Library card to register

Categories & Recommendations

At a loss for what to read? Staff-curated booklists are available for many of the categories and are linked below. These booklists will take you directly to the Tacoma Public Library catalog, where you can place holds and add titles of interest to your library account.

2022 Extreme Reader Categories 

1. A book about an historical figure, opens a new window
2. A book about or including a wedding, opens a new window
3. A book about starting over, opens a new window
4. A book cover that has your favorite color on it
5. A book cover that shows a person from behind, opens a new window
6. A book from a genre you don’t normally read
7. A book from ALA’s Challenged Books lists, opens a new window
8. A book from one of these two celebrity book clubs: Oprah’s Book Club or the Read with Jenna Book Club, opens a new window
9. A book of your own choosing
10. A book published in 2022 (Fiction) (Volume 1, opens a new window) (Volume 2, opens a new window)
11. A book published in 2022 (Non-fiction) (booklists released quarterly for this category duo!)
12. A book published more than ten years ago, opens a new window
13. A book set in a restaurant, opens a new window
14. A book set in a school, opens a new window
15. A book set in the Caribbean, opens a new window
16. A book set on the East Coast of the United States, opens a new window
17. A book set outdoors, opens a new window
18. A book set somewhere you want to visit
19. A book that begins with a disappearance, opens a new window
20. A book that centers a refugee’s experience, opens a new window
21. A book that discusses body positivity, opens a new window
22. A book that focuses on mental health, opens a new window
23. A book that fulfills a category from a previous Extreme Reader challenge year, opens a new window
24. A book that involves time travel, opens a new window
25. A book that makes you think, “Just one more chapter!”
26. A book that takes place in a country that starts with the letter A, opens a new window
27. A book that takes place in a magical world, opens a new window
28. A book with a beverage in the title, opens a new window
29. A book with a cardinal direction (north, south, east, west) in the title, opens a new window
30. A book with a character who works in a library, opens a new window
31. A book with a day of the week in the title, opens a new window
32. A book with a five-star rating in the TPL catalog, opens a new window (access link for directions!)
33. A book with a heart, club, diamond, or spade shape on the cover, opens a new window
34. A book with a number from one through twelve in the title, opens a new window
35. A book with a protagonist who has a pet cat, opens a new window
36. A book with a protagonist who has your dream job
37. A book with a robot, cyborg, or artificial intelligence, opens a new window
38. A book with a snake on the cover, opens a new window
39. A book with a star on the cover, opens a new window
40. A book with a title structure of “The _____’s _____”, opens a new window
41. A book with best friends, opens a new window
42. A book with the name of a color in the title, opens a new window
43. A book written by an Asian American author, opens a new window
44. A book written by an author whose first or last names begins with T, P, or L, opens a new window
45. A book written by an author whose last name is six letters or more, opens a new window
46. A book written by one of your favorite authors
47. A book written by multiple authors, opens a new window
48. A book written by someone who is no longer living, opens a new window
49. A fantasy book inspired by the Middle East, Southeast, or South Asia, opens a new window
50. A horror or paranormal story, opens a new window
51. A Jane Austen novel, or a retelling or adaptation of one, opens a new window
52. A locked-room mystery, opens a new window
53. A philosophical literature or philosophy book, opens a new window
54. A southern gothic novel, opens a new window
55. A space opera, opens a new window

Completion & Rewards

Extreme Reader registration and reporting will take place on Beanstack, a virtual reading tracking system. Through Beanstack you can log categories you’ve completed on a computer or mobile device by visiting the Beanstack website, opens a new window or downloading the Beanstack app, opens a new window. For more information on using Beanstack, visit our Beanstack FAQs, opens a new window.

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Once you sign up for Beanstack, the Extreme Reader challenge matching your age range (adult or teen) will be presented under the Reading Challenges. If you’re already signed up for Beanstack with Tacoma Public Library, you can find the Extreme Reader challenge under the ‘Challenges’ section of your account.

Through the Beanstack tracking system, registration, reporting, and completion can now take place at any time during the challenge year. Registration is available throughout the entire challenge!

Several engaging features are available through Beanstack. You can add friends and ‘compete’ with your progress, plus users can leave reviews for books!

Extreme Readers who are unable to register and complete through Beanstack may contact extremereader@tacomalibrary.org or JoLyn Reisdorf at 253-280-2929 for more information.


Rewards for each year will be awarded after the challenge year has concluded. The last day to complete the challenge is Saturday, December 17, 2022.

Updates & Challenge FAQs

Check back here for corrections, updates, and frequently asked questions!

Challenge FAQs:

  1. Can both fiction and non-fiction titles count towards the challenge?

Absolutely! Either fiction or non-fiction titles can be read for any category unless the category itself states otherwise.

  1. Does the subtitle of a book apply to category parameters?

Unfortunately, it does not. If a category requires a specific word or parameter, that content needs to be included in the main title.

For example, for the category 'A book with a royal moniker in the title,' the book "A Princess in Theory" by Alyssa Cole would count whereas "Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens" by Jane Dunn would not fulfill the requirements.

  1. Do audiobooks and graphic novels count in this challenge?

Absolutely! Both audiobooks and graphic novels are just another way to tell a story. As long as they are at the appropriate reading level for the participant, they are acceptable formats. 

  1. Do juvenile books count towards reading challenge?

As Extreme Reader is based on the honor system, we hope that participants will honor the nature of the challenge with their reading selections. Teen and higher level Juvenile books count, but other lower level books (easy readers, picture books, and board books) will not be accepted. 

  1. I love podcasts; both fictional and non-fiction storytelling varieties. Can they count towards the Extreme Reader challenge?

Unfortunately, podcasts cannot be counted towards the Extreme Reader challenge.

  1. If I sign up for the challenge later in the year, can books I’ve already read be applied to the challenge or can I only count books that are read after I’ve officially registered?

Any books read between the program start and end date can be counted towards the challenge,
regardless of when you register.

  1. Can I read one book and apply it to multiple categories?

 Each title you read can only fulfill a single category.

  1. If I read a book for the challenge that I’ve already read before, does it still count?

Absolutely! If you read through a book during the challenge, it can be used, regardless of how many times you’ve read it in the past. 

  1. I’m not old enough to register, can I still participate?

To officially sign up for the challenge through Beanstack, participants must be 13 or older by the time the challenge ends on December 17. However, anyone can use the category list to steer their reading for fun!

  1. What if I’m too young to sign up, but will turn 13 during the challenge?

You can still register for the challenge and register once you’ve met the age requirements, as long as that happens before the challenge and registration ends. Any books you’ve read since the start of the challenge in January will count, even if you weren’t registered at that time 

  1. How do I pick which challenge level to join if I’m 18, or will be turning 18 during the challenge year?

Currently, the only difference between the challenge levels is the book requirement to complete. Beanstack will automatically show you which challenge you are eligible to participate in when you register.

Connect & Contact


Connect with fellow Extreme Readers in the TPL Extreme Reader 2022 Facebook group! Share what you’re reading, support fellow participants, exchange tips and reading recommendations, interact with the ER staff team, and make book loving friends! This group is for registered participants only, registration is required prior to joining the Facebook group.


Stay up to date on announcements, challenge updates, and more through our Extreme Reader email newsletter! Don’t worry about signing up; if you’ve registered for the challenge, you are already on the mailing list.

Missed a newsletter? No problem! Previous editions will be linked here after they’ve published:

Volume 1 - February 2022, opens a new window

Volume 2 - April 2022, opens a new window

Volume 3 - June 2022, opens a new window

Overbooked Book Group

Overbooked is our low key, no pressure book group for Extreme Reader participants. We meet up throughout the year for fun socializing – where members can talk about what they are reading, share recommendations, and discuss the challenge. Dates and locations for Overbooked meetups are announced via the Extreme Reader newsletter and Facebook group. Currently, all Overbooked meetups are conducted virtually through Zoom. 


Please reach out to the Extreme Reader staff team at extremereader@tacomalibrary.org , opens a new windowwith any questions, comments, feedback, or concerns!

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