Boston Public Library Announces Reading Together: A Yearlong Challenge

Each month will represent a new theme, connecting Bostonians through reading 

BOSTON – December 28, 2020 – The Boston Public Library today announced Reading Together, a yearlong reading challenge for the year 2021. While many Bostonians remain isolated due to the global health emergency, Reading Together challenges BPL patrons to read a book each month that falls under a suggested theme. The themes were chosen to broaden perspectives and connect readers across the city throughout the year. 

WHOReaders of all ages and all language speakers are encouraged to participate in the yearlong challenge. Recommended booklists corresponding to the monthly themes are available for adults, teens, and children at Readers are also welcome to choose their own books each month, and to share their recommendations with others participating in the challenge.  

WHENReading Together will take place throughout the year, each month representing a new theme. (However, readers may explore the list out of order if they prefer.) The monthly themes are: 

  • January: A Book About the Past 
  • February: A Debut Author 
  • March: An #OwnVoices Book 
  • April: A Book with Pictures 
  • May: An Author of Color 
  • June: An Award-Winning Book 
  • July: An LGBTQ+ Author 
  • August: A Book in Translation 
  • September: A Staff Pick 
  • October: A Story Under 100 Pages 
  • November: An Author Born Outside the United States 
  • December: A Book About the Future 
  • Bonus: A Book Recommended by a Reading Together Participant 

Each month, the library will have a recommended Community Read title for adults, teens, and families to read and discuss together. For the month that these books are Community Reads, they will be available as eBooks with no wait list in Overdrive, and a library-wide book discussion will be held at the end of the month. Patrons can find the list of Community Reads at, and will be able to register for the monthly book discussions at 

WHERE: For now, all Reading Together book discussions will be held virtually, and patrons will be able to participate in the yearlong challenge from home and through BPL To Go. 

HOW: Patrons will be able to track their progress using the Beanstack app or website at, under the BPL’s Reading Together program. They can also track their progress using one of the BPL’s Reading Together bookmarks, which will be handed out to patrons through the BPL To Go program.  

Patrons can share feedback and recommendations through Beanstack, by emailing, or by returning their bookmark to any branch offering BPL To Go service. 

Participants ages 13+ can also discuss the books they’re reading – no matter where they are in the challenge – on the BPL’s Reading Together forum, hosted on Discord. 

WHY: Community is the heart of the BPL. One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that at a time when Bostonians need each other more than ever, communities are unable to gather in person to share experiences and support one another. In 2021, the BPL’s Reading Together yearlong challenge strives to give Boston’s community of readers an opportunity to read diversely, recommend books to each other, and discuss their reading together. 

For more information on the Reading Together yearlong challenge, booklist recommendations for each month, the monthly Community Reads, information on using Beanstack, and more, visit