2024 Extreme Reader Challenge

2024 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 2024 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. 2, 2024. The final day to register and report is Saturday, Dec. 14, 2024.

  • 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.

2024 Extreme Reader Categories 

1. Article of clothing in the title, opens a new window
2. Author who has a relative that is also an author, opens a new window (Author 1)
3. Author who has a relative that is also an author, opens a new window (Author 2)
4. Author whose name contains an animal, opens a new window
5. Author you think is under rated
6. Author you would name a child or pet after
7. Based on a true story, opens a new window
8. Bildungsroman, opens a new window
9. Body of water depicted on the cover, opens a new window
10. Book you wish you could read again for the first time
11. Book you would read in a café 
12. Book you've been waiting for (or anticipating)
13. Booker Prize winner or shortlist nominee, opens a new window
14. Cake on the cover, opens a new window
15. Centers the Arab and/or Arab American experience, opens a new window
16. Character who shares your initials
17. Character who is a president of a nation, opens a new window
18. Character you could fall in love with
19. Choose a book of your liking
20. Dark Academia, opens a new window
21. Describes a party, opens a new window
22. Exceeded your expectations
23. Eye/s on the cover, opens a new window
24. Features a famous landmark, opens a new window
25. Features a mistaken identity, opens a new window
26. Found the title in a magazine or online article
27. From an author who passed away in 2023, opens a new window
28. Gritty, opens a new window
29. Hyphenated author name, opens a new window
30. Includes a competition, opens a new window
31. Includes a dedication, opens a new window
32. Includes hockey, opens a new window
33. Includes recipes, opens a new window
34. Lambda Literary Awards winner or finalist, opens a new window
35. Made you angry
36. Mood-boosting
37. One of the 5 Ws in the title, opens a new window
38. Orange cover (at least 50%), opens a new window
39. Other in the title, opens a new window
40. Photograph/snapshot on the cover, opens a new window
41. Popcorn Thriller, opens a new window
42. Rags to riches, opens a new window
43. Saw someone else reading
44. Set in a gym or health studio, opens a new window
45. Set in a place that no longer exists or has changed names, opens a new window
46. Set in Cuba, opens a new window
47. Set in the Midwestern United States, opens a new window
48. Stand-alone book
49. The 2024 Tacoma Reads adult or teen title, opens a new window
50. Title that made you laugh
51. Title with a word that ends in -ing, opens a new window
52. Title you think is terrible
53. Takes place during the Tudor Era (1485-1603), opens a new window
54. Type of dwelling in the title, opens a new window
55. Women's Prize for Fiction, 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 253-280-2979 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 14, 2024.

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. 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 participate in 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 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.


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 Facebook group.


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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