A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

The Home Library Reading Challenge

Many of us are searching for something we can hold onto right now. A sense of normality, the absence of fear, a story to escape in—a feeling that will extend us past our limitations, and past this seemingly never-ending month of physical distancing.

As readers, we know we can find such a haven in the pages of a book. With this illustrated Home Library Reading Challenge, we invite you to envision the possibilities in what you already have on your shelves. “Look no further,” this list tells us, “we have everything we need right here.”

We have been preparing for this challenge for years: building up our bookshelves, fortifying our lives with authors who inspire and soothe us simultaneously. (And, if you’re anything like the SAL team, buying new books before you’ve read the stack that’s already on your nightstand.) Now is the time to enjoy the collected treasures we keep in plain sight.

We hope this challenge inspires you to comb through the unread books sitting wherever you’ve set them last, and to find new interest and hope in them:

Here’s how the challenge works:

Download the challenge card here. (The card is writable, so if you don’t have access to a printer, you can fill it out digitally!) Then, simply search your home library for books that fit each category. As you finish each book, fill in your card with the author and title. Share each book you’re reading in hopes of inspiring another person’s next read. Submit your completed reading challenge by Monday, June 1, and be entered to win two tickets to any SAL event of your choice.

Details on submitting your completed challenge card:

Email your completed challenge to by Monday, June 1. Or, submit your challenge by posting your completed card by tagging us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and including the hashtag #homelibrarychallenge in your post.

Once you’ve cleaned off the old titles that have been gathering dust, order new titles from your favorite indie bookstores—many are delivering. Together, we can welcome new stories into our homes and our hearts.

Tremendous thanks to Madeline Kernan for the art, and to Danielle Palmer-Friedman for the categories!

Danielle Palmer-Friedman is a freelance writer obsessed with ice cream, local theater, and taking leftover food home.

Madeline Kernan is an illustrator and outdoor preschool teacher currently living in Queen Anne. You can find her artwork on Instagram @mordgey. She also accepts work on commission. For details, contact her at

Posted in Creativity