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2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge Page Banner

What exactly is the 2023 IHS Reading Challenge?

The short answer is it’s a fun event to get people to read more sapphic books!
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. You can join at any point during the 365-day span just by picking up a book and starting to read.
  • To promote the widest variety of women-loving-women stories, the IHS team has selected 100 categories, ranging from age-gap romance to sci-fi, and everything in between.
  • IHS will feature two categories each week (50 weeks in total) and will share a list of book suggestions on our website. Some of them will even be on sale! You are in no way obligated to read only the books we showcase. As long as a book fits a category, that works!
  • Throughout the year, we ask you to keep track of all the books you read for the challenge. This can be a handwritten list, a document, a spreadsheet, or whatever you prefer. We’ve also put together a PDF with all the categories if that’s helpful. Click here to download.
  • There are five different levels you can achieve, special events every week on social media, plus lots of prizes to be won. But the best reward of all is reading some fantastic SapphFic books!

Why should I get involved?

Because reading is fun!

Not a good enough reason? We also have prizes!

Depending on how many books and categories were completed, you can qualify for up to five different end-of-the-year prize drawings:

  • Garnet Level$50 Amazon gift card
  • Topaz Level$75 Amazon gift card
  • Sapphire Level$100 Amazon gift card
  • Amethyst Level$150 Amazon gift card
  • Emerald Level$250 Amazon gift card

But that’s not all. We have weekly and monthly prizes, too. In fact, there are so many good things, we created a special page just to explain all the prizes.

But what are the levels?

There are five levels with increasing difficulty:

Garnet Level Badge

Garnet Level: Read at least 15 books from 15 different categories.


Topaz Level Badge

Topaz Level: Read at least 25 books from 25 different categories.


Sapphire Level Badge

Sapphire Level: Read at least 50 books from 50 different categories.


Amethyst Level Badge

Amethyst Level: Read at least 100 books from 100 different categories.


Emerald Level Badge

*Emerald Level: Read at least 200 books from 100 different categories.


You can find out more about the levels, including earning multiple Emeralds, here.

How do I get started?

That’s an easy one!
  1. Download the category list.
  2. Pick a book.
  3. Read.
  4. Write down the book and category when you finish.
  5. Submit a level-up form each time you reach a new milestone.

That’s it! There is no need to register before you start.

If you want to make things more fun, we suggest joining a reader group.

The next best thing to reading is talking about what you’re reading. IHS has a Facebook group where we would love to hear about your reading progress. We also have a Goodreads group for those who prefer that platform.

Plus, since the next best thing to reading is talking about what you’re reading, you’ll find plenty of other SapphFic book lovers to chat with and get even more book recommendations.

Is there a complete list of rules?

Yes, we do have a rule page, and we suggest you check it out before you begin.

Here is a complete list of the rules, including all the details about entering our giveaways. For added fun, try reading them out loud like you’re doing a voiceover in a pharmaceutical commercial.

What are the 100 categories?

We’ve pulled together a complete list of all the categories, plus short definitions of each.

You can find that list right here.

Or you can download the PDF (does not contain definitions).