A Reading Challenge for 2023
Looking for a gentle challenge for 2023? Consider joining our relaxed yet structured Book Bingo! The prompts are designed to suit a wide range of reading tastes, with room to stretch yourself as much or as little as you want to.
The challenge is suitable for those just getting into reading, or anyone who wants to re-discover the joy of books after a break or reading slump. In fact, the bingo board could be an ideal place to start — just choose a prompt which interests you to get started (more on choosing books below). Not to limit bookworms... the challenge is perfect for avid readers too!
Book Bingo is completely free to take part in, and there's no pressure to follow a schedule — just go at your own pace and enjoy the journey! We hope to build a community with others taking part in the challenge, where you can share thoughts on books chosen for each prompt.
We'll suggest a range of books as a series of blog posts early in the year, and will also run an informal online group with a book selected to fit one prompt each fortnight. If you read along throughout the year, you'll complete the bingo card while connecting with fellow readers!
Intrigued? Take a look at the prompts below, and read on for more info...
When Will Book Bingo Run?
The challenge started at the beginning of January, though the first scheduled book read won't begin until the week beginning 16th January. The challenge will officially run until the end of 2023, and this is where the structured parts of Book Bingo will finish, but we will continue to cheer you on your reading journey whenever it is :)
How Do I Participate?
Simply keep a record of the books you read which fit each prompt. You can do this in any way that you like, whether in a diary/notebook/list, phone app, your social media profile, or superimposing the book cover on each square as you complete the prompts.
We will print cards to give out in the shop if you prefer a physical record. There will be a blank grid on the back to fill with the book you read for each prompt.
We also encourage sharing of your book choices, and celebration of completed bingo lines, via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by tagging #pickabookbingo. We'll play along there too, and it will be great to collect a feed representing the variety of books read as part of the challenge!
How Do I Sign Up?
If you want to officially participate and be entered into the end of year prize draw (more on this below), then please email email@example.com with a quick note saying that you are taking part, so that we can make sure to keep in touch and let you know of any updates you might need throughout the year. If you pick up a Book Bingo card in the shop, we'll offer you the option to leave your email address with us so that we can keep you updated.
You're also very welcome to join in online without officially signing up to the challenge, and there's no deadline to let us know you're participating if you want to join partway through the year.
How Can I Choose Books for Each Prompt?
The prompts are deliberately open ended to allow room to stretch in a direction to suit reading tastes. There's still some challenge in finding books to fit each category, and in order to complete the full card it's likely that most people will read at least one thing they might not usually pick up. There's no problem at all with interpreting the prompts creatively, as long as you can see a loose connection to the prompt. If it makes sense to you, then it's fine by us to count it :)
If a book fits more than one prompt, then you can choose which to allocate it to (and swap it later in the year if this better fits with your other choices).
Root through your TBR piles, pick out books you've been meaning to read, or have a browse in the shop to see what catches your eye. Most likely you'll find books to fit some of the prompts very quickly.
If you need help choosing books for any of the prompts, we can help! Over the first few months of the year we will write a series of blog posts packed with book ideas and different avenues to explore. Each prompt will have its own post dedicated to suggesting books for that segment of the challenge, and we hope you'll find something just right for whichever prompts you are stuck on. Check back on the website mid-January for a posting schedule and the first of the blog posts.
We recommend starting with the prompt which most calls to you, whether it's firmly within your usual reading, or something you've been meaning to try. Getting a few easier boxes ticked at the beginning makes the whole thing feel so much more manageable! Then, by the time you move on to some of the more challenging prompts, there will be guidance from the blog posts and inspiration from other readers who've started with different squares on the card.
Alternatively, you could join the Book Tree Read Along...
What is the Book Tree Read Along?
The Book Tree Read Along is a flexible reading group to fit around busy schedules. It is 100% online, and not time bound, so you can drop in and out of conversations and come back with thoughts which pop up later. You're also welcome to chat about the books read in the shop (at least one member of the Book Tree team will have read each book), or organise informal gatherings via the forum. If there's enough interest for a particular book then we'll happily host a pop-up book group session in the bookshop!
Every fortnight we'll read a book which fits one of the prompts. There will be a forum group dedicated to each book, where you can share your thoughts and connect with others who have read along.
You can complete the whole challenge this way by reading along with us, or drop in and out for the books you're most interested in. While the forum page for each book will be most active during the fortnight the book is scheduled to be read and in the following weeks, it will remain open all year if you decide to read the book at a later date or start the conversation early.
Where Can I Find the Latest Info About the Challenge Read Along?
We'll announce all 25 books in the week beginning 16th January. If you're subscribed to our email mailing list you'll be the first to know.
There will be a dedicated page on the website which will list the books, reading schedule, and links to the forum pages for each of the 25 prompts. We'll update this page at the same time as the above. You'll also find the chosen books in the shop from mid-January.
Even better, all Read Along books will be 20% off in the shop all year for everyone, whether or not you choose to read them as part of the challenge.
How Will the Prize Draw Work?
There are two levels to the prizes, one to reward customers who buy their challenge books at Pickering Book Tree, and one to celebrate the achievement of completing the challenge wherever books are sourced from.
The Customer Reward: if you buy your challenge books from Pickering Book Tree you will be rewarded with vouchers to spend with us for every completed line. The simplest way to join this is to take a physical bingo card from the shop, and let us know at the till which prompt a book is for at the time of purchase (or pop back later with a receipt). We'll stamp the front of the card in the relevant square, leaving you to fill in the back of the card as you read the books. If you change your mind about which prompt you'd like a book to count for, no problem! We'll find a way to amend the card on a case by case basis.
If you shop with us remotely, simply let us know when you order the book which prompt you are reading the book for and we'll keep a record.
A £5 voucher to spend at Pickering Book Tree for every completed line. There must be no overlapping squares for a line to count.
For a fully completed card you will receive a £25 voucher.
The Prize Draw: you will receive one entry for every completed line of this year's Book Bingo up to a maximum of five entries (for a completed card). Lines can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal, but there must not be more than one overlapping square for a line to count as its own entry. Winners will be chosen at random from all entries early in 2024, and will be informed by email.
To enter the prize draw you will need to send us your completed bingo lines by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of 31st December 2023. This could be as a list of the prompts completed and books chosen for each, a photo of your completed card (as long as the photo is clear enough to read), book covers digitally superimposed on the bingo grid, or links to relevant social media posts (if your account is set to public so that we can see the posts).
Alternatively, if you have a physical Book Bingo card, you can take this into the shop and we will record your number of entries and contact details.
One prize of a £50 voucher to spend at Pickering Book Tree
One prize of a £20 voucher to spend at Pickering Book Tree
Three prizes of a £10 voucher to spend at Pickering Book Tree
Everyone entered into the prize draw will receive a Book Bingo Winner discount card, which will give you 10% off all purchases at Pickering Book Tree throughout 2024.
Any questions not covered? Drop an email to enquiries@pickeringbooktree and we'll be happy to help.
We hope to see you on the journey, and read some brilliant books together in 2023!