Friday, May 28, 2021

2021 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge!

Ten years ago, I came up with the idea to use the relaxed freedom of summer to tackle some of the biggest books on my to-be-read shelves that I'd been wanting to read but never seemed to have the time for.  My book groups take time off during the summer, so with fewer interfering commitments, I declared it The Summer of the Big Book and really enjoyed delving into some hefty tomes, like The Passage and Pillars of the Earth.

It was so much fun that nine years ago, I created this challenge so that YOU can join me. And here it is Memorial Day weekend again and the unofficial start of summer 2021. I hope you'll join in the fun!

And please note that if it is the start of winter where you live, you are still welcome to participate!

The Details:
Hey, it's summer, so we'll keep this low-key and easy!
  • Anything 400 pages or more qualifies as a big book.
  • The challenge will run from Memorial Day weekend (starting May 28 this year) through Labor Day weekend (Labor Day is September 6 this year).
  • Choose one or two or however many big books you want as your goal. Wait, did you get that?  You only need to read 1 book with 400+ pages this summer to participate! (though you are welcome to read more, if you want).
  • Sign up on the first links list below if you have a blog or YouTube channel, to leave your link so others can visit. No blog? No problem! Just sign up in the comments below or in the Goodreads group if you don't have a blog or YouTube channel.
  • If you have a blog or YouTube channel, write a post or record a video to kick things off: you can list the exact big books you plan to read or just announce your intent to participate, but be sure to include the Big Book Summer Challenge pic above, with a link back to this blog. It's fine to kick-off your Big Book Summer as part of another post or video.
  • Write a post or record a video to wrap up at the end, listing the big books you read during the summer.
  • You can write progress posts or record progress videos if you want to and/or reviews of the big books you've read ... but you don't have to! There is a separate links list below for big book reviews, progress updates, and wrap-up posts/videos.

That's it!  Go check out your shelves and your TBR list and sign up below!

What kind of books "count"? All kinds! Middle-grade, YA, graphic novels, classics, all genres, all types--as long as they are at least 400 pages. See my list of Big Books on BookShop for some great ideas, based on what I have read in previous Big Book Summers.

Don't have a blog? No problem! You can still participate in the challenge. Just leave a comment in the Comment section below, stating your goals for the Big Book Summer Challenge, or sign up in the Goodreads group by leaving a comment in the Sign-Up discussion.

And if you DO have a blog or YouTube channel, you are still welcome to join the group on Goodreads for the 2021 Big Book Summer Challenge, where we can talk about Big Books and our progress on the challenge.

Check out my own list of books to read for the challenge this summer.

At the end of the summer, there will be a Big Book Giveaway! After Labor Day, I'll select one name from among the participants (bloggers and booktubers who leave a link below as well as those without a blog/video who sign-up through the Goodreads group) and will send the winner an Amazon gift certificate.

And help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media with #BigBookSummer (you can follow me at @suebookbybook on Twitter and/or the Facebook page for this blog and/or check out my YouTube channel). Challenge updates will be posted in all of those places.

Link-up your 2021 Big Book Summer Sign-Up Posts and Videos here--be sure to include a link to your kick-off blog post (not your homepage) or video directly. (See below for the Links List for updates, reviews, and wrap-ups.)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Link-up your Big Book Reviews, Updates, and Wrap-up Posts & Videos here:


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.




  1. I'm looking forward to this! Thanks for hosting!

    1. So glad you're joining the fun this year, Melinda!

  2. Happy 10th Anniversary, Sue, and thanks for creating/hosting this super fun challenge! I'm finalizing my list today. :)

    1. Thanks, Chris! Can't wait to see your Big Book Summer plans! And I so appreciate the shout-outs on Book Cougars!

  3. I just added my sign-up post in the InLinkz widget above! I'm really excited to participate in the challenge this year, and I appreciate you hosting it!

    1. So excited you decided to jump in and join the fun this year! You've got some great books lined up!