Diversity on the Shelf 2016

December 27, 2015

Alysia has stopped updating her blog, and I really love this challenge, so I have decided to host it for the upcoming year.

Diversity on the Shelf 2016

The purpose of the challenge is super simple: make a goal to read books by and/or about people of color throughout the year to encourage other readers to have a more diverse reading experience and to support diversity in the publishing industry.

The challenge runs Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016. Books read before Jan. 1, 2016 do not count toward the challenge.

Leave a comment or make a post stating what level you want to participate in and link up below. If you don’t have a book blog, but have Goodreads or Library Thing, etc., you may use that to participate and post your links as long as you set up a public dedicated shelf for the challenge.

1st Shelf: Read 1-6 books
2nd Shelf: Read 7 -12 books
3rd Shelf: Read 13 – 18 books
4th Shelf: Read 19 -24 books
5th Shelf: Read 25+ books
Need ideas for what to read?

Books can be any format, genre, or length that have been published at any time as long as they are by or about a person of color. Choose your books as you go or create a to-read list! Use the books for other challenges! It’s all good. Again: the only requirements are that the books be by or about a person of color and read in this year.

Oh, and to clarify: “about” means a main character, not a secondary or tertiary character. If a book has multiple narrators or POVs and one of them is a POC, it counts. Otherwise, nah.

At the end of the year, I’ll do a giveaway for people who meet or exceed their initially stated challenge goal. So that means you can go up a level (but not down!) as the year goes on. The only requirements will be signing up here (sign ups close on Dec. 1, 2016) and writing a wrap up post or linking to your completed shelf by the end of the year.

And that’s it! Sign up below, grab the button, and spread the word. I’ll answer any questions in the comments.


Welcome to the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge!


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  1. Bina @ If you can read this

    Hi! Love this challenge and it fits my reading preferance anyway, but since I no longer have any assigned reading I can leave the white dudes behind. Thanks for hosting and I’ll do a sign-up post on my blog soon :)

    • Akilah

      Yay excellent!

  2. Jessie

    So glad to see someone is hosting this challenge for 2016. I didn’t do much reading last year, so I hope to at least read a handful of books with some diversity for this year.

    • Akilah

      1st or 2nd shelf, do you think?

  3. magalys

    I’m really excited for this challenge! I don’t read much white male authors but I do read a lot of books by white women. I didn’t even realize it until I saw my review of 2015 on Goodreads.

    • Akilah

      Same here. So glad you’re doing the challenge. Welcome!

  4. Crystal

    Hi! I was so glad that you picked up this challenged. I was worried that it wouldn’t exist this year and I had enjoyed it the past two years. Thanks for stepping up to do it. I’ll post reviews from my blog Reading Through Life and over at Rich in Color and do shorter informal reviews on Goodreads. Thanks again.

  5. Crystal

    Ooops! I am going for 25+ books read and reviewed, but will aim for at least 50% of my total books read being by or about POC.

    • Akilah

      Yay me too! 50%, not reviewed. Fantastic.

  6. Lucia

    I’ve heard about this challenge via Bina’s post on her blog. I’m usually really terrible with reading challenges, but this is one is too good. I’ve been meaning to read more diversely for a couple of years, especially more books by people of color, but I feel like I never read enough. I’m hoping this challenge will help me and to find out about new authors. :)
    I actually signed up last week but I hadn’t decided on the number of books. Now I have decided: I’m going for 2nd Shelf.

    • Akilah

      Excellent. Welcome!

  7. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories

    Well joining in late but better late than never I hope! I co-host the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge so I think the Diversity on the Shelf challenge goes well with ours. I end up reading books that qualify for both. Glad you are continuing with the challenge!

  8. magalys

    I added a second link because my first one is disabled. :)

  9. Katy K.

    I’m joining late, but have been trying to read this on my own this year anyway. Thanks for hosting something to keep me accountable!

  10. Read Diverse Books

    So… my blog focuses on authors from diverse and multicultural backgrounds every week of the year. ahah.
    Can I still join???

    • Akilah


    • Akilah

      Excellent, welcome! If you want to be entered in the end of year giveaway, please create a post saying what level you plan to complete and add that link to the linkup.

  11. Glaiza

    This is my late sign-up for the 1st shelf but it’s always fun to share links anyway =)

    • Akilah

      Remember to add your shelf or sign up post to the linky!

      • Glaiza

        Added my GR shelf to the linky – I just went through my shelves to make it and was surprised that I’ve read 50 books with POC mcs this year – hope to add a few more before the year is out.

        • Akilah

          Yay! Excellent.



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