The 2021 European Reading Challenge! 

January 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022




Please join us for the Grand Tour of Europe through books! 2021 is the 9th year of the European Reading Challenge, which has been going steadily along since 2012. Participants choose their own level of commitment to complete the challenge and there is a prize for the person who visits the most countries between the covers. 

Thank you to those loyal readers who have joined in since the beginning! A warm welcome to those joining us for the first time or those who are coming back after some time off.

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 – fiction, nonfiction, novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, whatever. 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, part of Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. One book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not going to bust your chops 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).

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 Bookshop.org (UK) or the Amazon store in your country, if possible. If you live in a country where none of these options 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.


INSTAGRAM: The 2021 European Reading Challenge is on Instagram, so if you bookstagram, feel free to participate in the challenge on IG. Use the hashtags #europeanreadingchallenge and #ERC2021 so we can find each other.

Participating on Instagram includes posting your signup post, book reviews, and wrap up post on IG. You can link to your IG posts the same way you link a blog post. Please be sure to copy and past the link to the relevant IG post, not your IG feed! It's super easy to do on a computer, a little trickier on your phone (look for the three dot above the picture, to the right of your name). 

If you join in on Insta, please find me @giliondumas. Let's follow each other, share some bookish love, and do the 2021 European Reading Challenge "across platforms" as they say.

GOODREADS: 2021 is the first year I'm going to try the European Reading Challenge on goodreads. If you like posting your book reviews there, go ahead! 

You can link your goodreads reviews right into the linky on the review page. Again, please post the link to your review, not your goodread profile. 

OTHER WAYS TO PARTICIPATE: Likewise, if you do your bookish activities on other social media, participate in this challenge wherever you like to post. If you can figure out how to post a link to your sign up post and reviews, go ahead!

For example, on Facebook, you can click the "embed post" option (found under those three dots above each post, to the right of your name) and find the URL link for your post. Use it, not the link for your Facebook account. The post has to be public (grey globe). Other social media probably has similar ways to get the links to your posts. 

If you simply want to play along right here, leave comments on the right pages with your sign up plan, book reviews, and wrap up.


  • 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, 2021 and January 31, 2022. I like having 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays. However, if you participated in the 2020 European Reading Challenge, you can only count books read in January 2021 for one year – either the end of the 2020 challenge or the start of the 2021 challenge – you don't get to count one book for both challenges.

  • 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. Link to your review post or post your review in a comment. When you finish, please link to your wrap-up post on the wrap-up page or list your books and countries in a comment on the wrap-up page. 

  • Please copy and paste the challenge button. Please encourage other people to join! This is a great crossover challenge with other "read the globe" type challenges.

Please use a link to your challenge post, not your blog home page. 
If you sign up through social media, please use a link to your sign up post not your profile, unless it is not possible to do a sign up post with a link. 

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  1. Hi Gilion, I've just added my link. Thanks for the Challenge!

  2. Thanks for hosting again. I enjoy this challenge every year. Thanks for your easy-to-find links to sign up and post reviews.
    Avid Series Reader

  3. Only guaranteeing one book, but will aim for more.

  4. I love this challenge! Thanks for hosting it again! Last year I read 11 book from Europe :-)

  5. I'm eager to do the challenge! I had trouble getting the link to work. If it ends up I signed up multiple times, can you delete the duplicates?

    1. Hi Susan - I don’t want to delete the wrong one. No. 13 to Reading World works so I’ll leave it. Did you also post No. 19, that has a picture of a little dog and says Susan? That one doesn’t work – it doesn’t go anywhere. I will delete it. But I want to know if it was yours, or some other person name Susan who I need to track down and get a new link from. Thanks!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hi there Gilion! I've just decided this afternoon that we are also going to join you in the European Challenge. I think it can be great fun.

    Thanks for hosting this and I am looking forward to "travelling" to Europe. I've added my Linky.

    Lots of love,

    Mareli & Elza

  8. Hi Gilion I signed up again this year. I put the wrong url in my first link and couldn't figure out how to delete it so I'm on the list twice, sorry! Number 27 has the correct link. Thanks for hosting this again!

    1. Welcome back Nick! No problem - I'll delete the duplicate. Apparently I am the only one with the power to delete. :)

  9. Looking forward to this challenge again! Thanks for hosting.

  10. Looking forward to trying this challenge!!!

  11. Doesn’t seem to be letting me, so I’ll try later from my desktop

  12. It took me a minute but I'm in!. No 33 under "Angela Aurora" (Auroras_reading_chair in IG). Now I'm hoping the link works!lol Looking forward to choosing my books :)

    1. Thanks for joining Angela! The link works for me because I follow you on IG. I think people who don't follow you will get to your page and a notice that your account is private. They can ask to follow to see your post.

  13. Hi, Gilion -- I registered but put in my website link rather than my post link. Here's my post:
    Thanks for doing this -- great impetus to read something different!

    1. I fixed it -- no problem! Welcome to the challenge and happy reading!

  14. I would love to sign up but the magical wizard is not working for me - it got stuck for minutes on each screen, then froze completely.

    1. Sorry Mr. Linky was acting hinky for you Julé. I added your link. Glad you are joining us for the 2021 tour!

    2. Thank you! That's very kind of you to take the trouble. I'm enjoying mulling over possibilities and am aiming for the five books level.

  15. I'm definitely going to be reading more than one but not sure if I can do 5. We'll see...
    I put the home page link in by mistake,instead of this one - could you change it to https://bookertalk.com/whats-in-store-for-2021/

    1. I swapped the link for you Karen. It should work now.

  16. Hello. I signed up for it but do not know whether have been successful in linking it up. Here's my sign-up: https://ahotcupofpleasureagain.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/sign-up-european-reading-challenge/

    1. Yes, your link worked just fine! Thanks for joining again in 2021!

  17. Hi,
    I found this Challenge few days ago, and this is maid from heaven for me, I think.
    Unfortunately I did by mistake 2 adds to list. The last one (blue picture) leads to the right challenge page, where I will write also some in English. So, you may remove the first one.

    I am not sure, do I have to read books before 31.January 2021, as You write in begin in this page ("January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021"), but I have read now 4 countries from 1.January, so it does not matter :)
    But of course, I hope, that I have time to read whole year, as you write later.
    I don't use IG and from Good Reads I could not find where to join, so I write all in my blog. I hope it will be enough for Jet Sett Prize challenge too... but there is a lot of time to fix my problems.

    So thanks for challenge!

    1. Welcome to the challenge Kirsi! Thank you for pointing out my BIG typo at the top!!! I fixed it. The correct dates are Jan. 1, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022. I was on the old year when I made the post. I will delete your incorrect post and leave the correct one.

  18. Hi, I just added my sign up link, It will be my first year for this challenge and I am looking forward to it. My plan is to read at least 5 books but hoping for more. Thanks for having this challenge

  19. Having a terrible time getting the right links in the right places! Can't seem to share to the #europeanreadingchallenge account. Is it me?

  20. I didn't realise the challenge ran all year - I misread the dates, thinking it was just Jan this year. I should be able to do more than five, she said bravely.


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