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A Year of Purposeful Reading

A Plan for Reading: Read, Learn, Understand!

A Year of Purposeful Reading

(also known as: “A Year of Reading Dangerously”)

This is planned list of reading categories designed to help you learn about diverse people and settings you haven’t yet experienced.

Reading with a plan will enhance your life by opening your eyes while opening your heart.  Even if you end up not liking the book or disliking the characters, you will learn new things and you will become a more well-rounded person. 

Reading with a plan will awaken your desire for lifelong learning and purposeful reading.

How this works:

Start your year of purposeful reading any time of the year, don’t wait for a new year’s resolution.  If you read slowly, plan to read one book a month.  If you’re a fast reader, aim for two books a month (maybe find an appropriate fiction and nonfiction pairing).

Reading can be accomplished in a variety ways:

  • Read a print book, an e-book, or listen to an audiobook.  Try listening to audiobooks when you’re driving, cleaning, or working out.  There is always time to read.
  • Read with a friend or family member, or even a larger group.  You will find you will want to talk about these books.
  • Read aloud to someone you love. Don’t worry, it will get less awkward the more you do it and you will get better reading aloud in no time!

Each tab on this guide will offer a monthly "theme." Each theme will include sample titles, but feel free to choose other books than what is listed.  Let us know if you find a book you would like to see on that month's list!

Month-by-Month Summary:

Month 1: Read a memoir or biography about someone who overcame adversity to become a role model or leader.

Month 2: Read a travel memoir or a book (fiction or non-fiction) featuring a setting you would like to visit someday.

Month 3: Read a book guaranteed to make you cry.

Month 4: Read a book about the transformative power of education.

Month 5: Read about reading.

Month 6: Read a book featuring a character who has a different religion than yours.

Month 7: Read a book revealing economic struggles or characters in poverty.

Month 8: Read about living during wartime. Bonus: Choose a book that is written from a non-American perspective.

Month 9: Read a book that takes place in a decade before you were born.

Month 10: Read a book focused on social justice. Themes might include issues of civil rights, race, or gender.

Month 11: Read a book about a character with a physical disability or struggling with mental health.

Month 12: Read a book focusing on the refugee experience.

BONUS MONTH: Read a challenged or banned book.