Read widely in 2023 with Briefly Write

Our Reading Challenge 2023 goes back and forth, back and forth…

Books on a swing
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Every year, readers are inundated with new books. Every year, readers are inundated with new “must-read” lists. And, every year, trillions of words go unread.

Accepting that you cannot read every page under the sun is the half the battle… not constructing a TBR pile that stretches to the moon is the other half.

Find your reading rhythm

The Briefly Write Reading Challenge 2023 is a guide to help you make the most of your encounters with books.

We encourage you to make the challenge your own. Chop and change – and choose which categories to ignore. Read as many books by as many different authors from as many different publishing houses… or read just one book or one author or one publisher.

The choice is yours! Whatever you decide, the fourth annual Briefly Write Reading Challenge is here to help you along the way.

Back and forth

Reading is both linear and cyclical. Linear because most readers of English read from left to right from top to bottom from beginning to end.

And cyclical because many will re-read at least one book in their life; or read a book they feel like they’ve read before; or read a different version of a story they have read before; or a translation of a book they’ve read in the original language; or a book that is stylistically resonant of another book; or a book that is thematically similar to another book; or a book that was first a play; or a book that recounts a historical moment; or a book that captures the essence of something they’ve seen or said or done; or a second-hand book someone else read before them…

This challenge aims to help you think about reading and re-reading in new (and old) ways in 2023.

Briefly Write Reading Challenge 2023

So here it is. Twelve categories to help structure your reading in 2023. Choose one category per month or read at random; the challenge (and the choice) is yours.


1. Read a book in one sitting

2. Re-read a book you read long ago

3. Read a retelling of a classic story


4. Read two books at once

5. Read a genre you normally avoid

6. Read a book from an independent press


7. Read a book in translation

8. Read a book recommended by a friend

9. Read a prize-winning book you missed


10. Read a book about activism

11. Read a second-hand book

12. Read a poetry book

Briefly Read

Throughout the year, we’ll publish features on all twelve categories to guide and inspire your selections. Please do get in touch below or on Twitter (@BrieflyWrite) to let us know what you think.

Briefly Read is also home to Briefly Reviews. We write thoughtful reviews of the books we are reading, mostly poetry collections and short fiction anthologies from small presses.

We hope you have a wonderful book-filled 2023!

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