State of the Stacks: 2020 Challenges Edition

We’re officially in 2020 and, while most people tend to set goals before a new year actually starts, I—well, I don’t. And that’s especially true when it comes to reading goals. For me, books are mostly about having a good time, so I try not to turn them into work. However, I’ve stumbled into a couple of reading challenges that are both fun and low stakes that I’ve decided to participate in. Read on to find out more about them and other bookish updates on this week’s State of the Stacks.


Goodreads: My best cataloging friend when it comes to my personal book collection. I’ve participated in their reading challenge the past few years, so I’m back again with 100—which should be doable. I’m currently seven books ahead of schedule, but that’ll definitely fluctuate.

Here’s a link for anyone who wants to connect over there.

2020 Library Love Challenge

Like many book lovers, I can’t hide my adoration for libraries. Fortunately, last year Jonetta at Blue Mood Café introduced me to the Library Love Challenge hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Books of My Heart.

Some Guidelines:

  • Runs: January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. You can join anytime.
  • Put a sign-up post on your blog or dedicate a public shelf on Goodreads or LibraryThing and link it back to the hosts.
  • Read at least 12 books from the library. There’s no maximum or limit, so keep those librarians busy.
  • All formats (print, e-books, or audiobooks, etc.) are welcome. If it came from a library, it counts.
  • No genre-shaming here. Read whatever you want.
  • Crossovers from other challenges are allowed, including re-reads.
  • Use #LibraryLoveChallenge when sharing your reviews, library pictures, etc.

As if you needed more incentive to join in, Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Books of My Heart are offering up monthly giveaways, so be sure to check out their sign-up posts for more details.

The Levels:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books

I’m always at my local library, so I’m tackling Library Card on Fire: 60+ books.

And even if you’re not participating in this challenge, be sure to make a librarian happy by checking out a library this year.

Circulation Desk

I’ve really been trying to get through books that have been on my TBR pile for ages, which has been fantastic. Apparently past-me had great taste in books and I’m reaping all the benefits in the present. And of course, I can’t let a week go by without a cozy mystery or two…

Currently Reading: Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA by Richard English
Just Finished: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Up Next: Beating About the Bush by M.C. Beaton
TBR Pile: Fat Cat at Large by Janet Cantrell

Reading About Books

If you’re not reading a book, the next best thing is reading about books. Here’s a selection of news and essays I enjoyed this week:

  • January 1 marked Public Domain Day, as works published in 1924—from Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue—officially entered the U.S. public domain.
  • The Guardian’s Alison Flood pays tribute to M.C. Beaton, famed author of over 160 novels.
  • One lucky glass bottle collector discovered a series of rare printing blocks used to produce the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in a “junk” lot.

That’s that— the State of the Stacks.


  1. We definitely share the same outlook about challenges, Christopher! I only join those that fit my reading goals easily. Good luck💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! If not, I know I’ll start stressing about staying on top of challenges, and who wants that? Happy reading this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. volatilemuse says:

    Interesting, thank you. Best of luck with your challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. macsbooks311 says:

    These are great challenges. I used to join a million and they really helped me to diversify my reading. Now I do two: The Goodreads Challenge and the A to Z challenge. Otherwise, you guys keep me on my toes with all of your great recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point, too. I enjoyed doing the historical fiction last year because it made me actively explore a genre I like but hadn’t read much of. But yes! Reading everyone’s reviews challenges me to just keep up with so many amazing books.


  4. lghiggins says:

    I love the level names in the Library Love Challenge—clever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who among us doesn’t want a Library Card on Fire distinction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lghiggins says:

        🔥😂Everybody reading a book blog would want this!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t really plan out my challenges either, there’s a couple I like to do every year but most of the time I just jump on board anything that catches my interest and looks fun. I wish you the best of luck with yours! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! No sense in turning reading into work. It can be fun diversifying my reading or making new connections in the community, but I’m all about as little pressure as possible. And good luck with any challenges you tackle this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. alisbooks says:

    I totally agree with you that reading should be fun! I participate in lots of challenges, but I do them for fun and a challenge, not to make it stressful. I certainly wouldn’t do them if that’s how I felt while participating. I hate seeing when bloggers stress themselves out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always feel so bad when I see bloggers apologizing for missing an arbitrary deadline or feeling bad for not reaching a challenge goal. It’s like—you’re fine! Life will go on. Go read a book and relax.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s