The 2020 European Reading Challenge

January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021




Welcome to the 2020 European Reading Challenge! Participants choose their own level of commitment and tour Europe through books. And there is a prize for the person who visits the most countries between the covers. Please join us for the Grand Tour!

The European Reading Challenge has been going strong now since 2012. Thank you to those loyal participants who have joined in since the beginning! And welcome to those joining us for the first time or those who are coming back again.

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below.)

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the standard list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
NOTE: Even with Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries counts.


Participants can read as many books as they want and are encouraged to visit as many European countries as possible. The Jet Setter Prize will go to the person who reads (and reviews) books from the greatest number of different countries (see below).

But not everyone wants to compete for a prize, review books, or read a lot of books. You can "complete" the challenge by reading one to five books from different countries.

To participate in the challenge, sign up at the levels below. If you want to go on to compete for the Prize, keep reading!

FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.
FOUR STAR (HONEYMOONER): Read four qualifying books.
THREE STAR (BUSINESS TRAVELER): Read three qualifying books.
TWO STAR (ADVENTURER): Read two qualifying books.
ONE STAR (PENSIONE WEEKENDER): Read just one qualifying book.


The participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five) will get a $25 gift card to Powell's Books (can be used in store or on line). Participants living outside the US will get a $25-equivalent gift card to the Amazon store in your country, if possible. If you live in a country where neither Powell's nor Amazon will work, then sorry, you are out of luck.

Each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. This means that only one book from one of the four UK countries will count. Only books reviewed count towards the prize.


I'm going to try to get some European Reading Challenge action going on Instagram, now that lots of book lovers do their blogging on IG, either in connection with a traditional blog or just with bookstagram. 2020 will be the first year I've tried to launch the challenge over on Instagram, so if anyone has ideas how to make that work, please share!

And if you are on Instagram, please find me. I'm on IG under my name, Gilion Dumas. Let's follow each other, share some bookish love, and do this European Reading Challenge "across platforms" as they say.

Likewise, if you do your bookish activities on other social media, participate in this challenge wherever you like to post. Sign up here with the linky if you can share a link, or in a comment if it is easier.

Hashtags so we can find each other: #ERC2020 #europeanreadingchallenge #readeurope


  • Sign up here using Mr. Linky under the "PARTICIPANTS" heading below. Please use a link to your challenge post, not your blog home page.
  • Read all books between January 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. I like having 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays. However, if you participated in the 2019 European Reading Challenge, you can only count books read in January 2020 for one year – either the end of the 2019 challenge or the start of the 2020 challenge – you don't get to count one book for both challenges.
  • If you do not have a blog, please leave a comment below with the level you are signing up for, and your list of books if you want to name them now, and I will add you to the list.
  • You do not have to commit to your book choices now; you can change your mind about books at any time.
  • Overlap with other challenges is allowed – and encouraged! Have ideas for good overlapping challenge opportunities? Please leave links in comments.
  • Re-reads count. Audiobooks count. E-books count. Self-published books count.
  • As you progress, please link to your reviews on review list page. Reviews are not necessary, unless you are going for the Jet Setter Prize, in which case only books reviewed count. If you do not have a blog, put your reviews in a comment on the review list page. When you finish, please link to your wrap-up posts on the wrap-up page. If you don’t have a blog, please leave a comment on the wrap-up page with a list of the books you read and the countries.
  • You can copy and paste the challenge button. Or, if you want me to send you the code, please leave a comment with an email and I will. I cannot figure out the fancy ways of giving button instructions. 



  1. Hi Gilion, I'm back!
    Thanks for hosting again this year. :)

  2. Love this challenge. Thanks for keeping it going! I'm hoping to do much better in 2020.

    1. Thanks Joy! I’m glad you are back in 2020 even if your 2019 tour was shorter than planned.

  3. Hey Gilion, I just joined, but I mistakenly put in my blog home page first. Sorry. You can remove that one!

    1. Thanks for joining Laurie! I deleted the extra entry.

  4. I too am glad to see this challenge every year. I will start working on my sign up post.

    1. Thanks Tracy! I look forward to seeing your sign-up post.

  5. Thank you for hosting this challenge again this year, Gilion! I loved taking part in 2019, so you can count me in again for 2020! :)

  6. Ohhh I love this I'm in ♡

  7. I'm so excited to see you are still hosting this challenge. I tried to do it several years ago but there was just too much going on that year and I hardly read at all. But this year I'm hoping to rock it!

    1. Thanks Stacey! I’m glad you are back. I’ll come visit your post.

  8. Looking forward to this challenge. I already read French books and books from the U.K.

  9. I'd like to join this challenge! I'm going to shoot for the adventurer level initially and am planning to read Paris to the Moon and A Woman in the Polar Night (by an Austrian author).

  10. One of my favorite challenges, I'm back for another year. I haven't been able to post much in the last year, but I'm glad for the challenge to keep me reading books from various countries. Thanks for hosting!

  11. A newfound challenge that sounds fun! I'll try and go all in :) Thank you for hosting.

  12. I'd mentioned on Twitter, but I just got around to making the sign-up post. Thanks for hosting this again!

  13. Super excited to do this challenge!

  14. Hi!
    I don't have a blog, but I would like to create an instagram account for reading challenges only. Can I still participate in the Jet Setter Prize? My reviews will be in Italian (but I hope to be able to translate all of them into English), but published on Instagram.

  15. I'm planning to participate again this year, too! - Kathryn @ St. Clement's Daughter

  16. I'm back for another year of chasing the Jet Setter Prize! Sign me up!

  17. I participated a couple of years back but never finished the challenge. I'm excited to participate again this year and I'm determined to complete it! :D

  18. Are we allowed to change books once we've linked reviews?

  19. Missed it the last couple of years. Signing up again at the Five Star level. Thanks for hosting it year after year.


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