Extreme Book Nerd

Extreme Book Nerd

January 4 to December 18, 2021

Extreme Book Nerd is a popular, year-long reading challenge hosted by the Idaho Falls Public Library. Participants read 50 books in 50 weeks (25 books for kids and teens) to earn prizes and the title of Extreme Book Nerd.

There are separate challenges for kids, teens, and adults:

Extreme Book Nerd for Adults

Adults may choose between 2 reading challenges:

#1 Extreme Book Nerd

This is the original program.
Read 50 books in 50 weeks.
Read from predefined categories.
The prize is a zip-up hoodie.

  Learn more …

#2 Book Nerd Your Way

This is the alternative program.
Read 50 books in 50 weeks.
Read on any topic you want*.
The prize is a color-changing tumbler.

  Learn more …

* Some format and reading-level restrictions apply

Extreme Book Nerd

Now in its 7th year, Extreme Book Nerd is the IFPL’s original year-long reading challenge. To earn the prize, read 50 books in 50 weeks, selecting your titles from predefined reading categories. This challenge starts January 4 and ends December 18, 2021.

Extreme Book Nerd Reading Log

As you read books for the challenge, record the titles/authors under the appropriate categories in your Beanstack reading log.

Prefer to use paper? During the challenge you are welcome to track your reading with our printable reading log. You may also use a journal, a spreadsheet, or a list. Just remember that your books must be entered into Beanstack before reporting completion at the end.

  Printable reading log (11 x 17″)
  Journal tabs (Avery 5160, MS Publisher)

Picture of the adult reading log

Extreme Book Nerd Reading Categories

Following are the 2021 categories for the adult Extreme Book Nerd challenge. Participants must complete all 50 categories to earn the prize. Titles that are linked have a downloadable bookmark to help you find books on the topic:

  1. Has North, South, East, or West in the title
  2. Has a black cover
  3. Has a building on the cover
  4. A book from your to-be-read list
  5. Has a celestial body in the title or on the cover
  6. Published under a pseudonym
  7. A wild card (pick up at 3rd-floor desk)
  8. Has a conjunction in the title
  9. A book you hadn’t planned on reading
  10. By an author with a last name 5+ letters long
  11. About someone you admire
  12. About a mom/dad/grandparent
  13. An alternative history
  14. Has Life or Death in the title
  15. Has a cover with realistic artwork
  16. Has a crime in it
  17. Title has double letters (e.g., tree, wood)
  18. Author with the same name, first or last, as one of your loved ones
  19. Set on a farm or in a rural location
  20. A book from a library display
  21. About a major world event
  22. A book you own but haven’t read
  23. Has a circus or carnival in it
  24. A book of satire
  25. Has Love in the title
  26. A book from the 2020 NPR Book Concierge list
  27. Has a one-word title
  28. An adult nonfiction book
  29. Set in the British Isles
  30. A debut novel
  31. Published in the 1900s
  32. Has a verb in the title
  33. (Title is like) The _____’s _______
  34. Has multiple narrators
  35. A graphic novel
  36. Set in two time periods
  37. Suggested by another Extreme Book Nerd
  38. Published before you were born
  39. A book you love (read it again)
  40. Has a title from, or story inspired by, another literary work
  41. A book you read in high school
  42. An Andrew Carnegie award nominee
  43. From the library’s “Read for Empathy” display
  44. Has Book in the title
  45. Set in a place conquered by the Roman Empire
  46. A book recommended by an IFPL librarian
  47. Listen to an audiobook
  48. Has a cover with shoes
  49. Adult Nonfiction 800s
  50. A book published this year

  Print these categories (8.5 x 11″)

Extreme Book Nerd Prize

Picture of the prize hoodie Participants who finish the challenge on/before December 18, 2021 will receive this exclusive Extreme Book Nerd zip-up hoodie.

Note that to receive this prize you must show your completed reading log to a library staff member before the end of the challenge.

Details and Restrictions

Only 1 category per book. You cannot use the same book for multiple categories. Books you read for other challenges (e.g., summer and winter reading) or for book clubs can be counted for Extreme Book Nerd as long as they fit into one of the reading categories and are completed by December 18, 2021.

Books at the junior fiction level or higher are acceptable for adult participants. Books that will not be accepted include junior nonfiction, intermediate fiction, easy readers, and picture/board books. Magazines are also not accepted.

Official participation in Extreme Book Nerd is open to Idaho Falls Public Library patrons only. Prizes must be picked up in person by the participant or a designee.

Book Nerd Your Way

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Now in its 2nd year, Book Nerd Your Way is an alternative to the traditional Extreme Book Nerd challenge. It is well suited to those who love to read, but may not have the flexibility or desire to read from the library’s categories. To earn the prize, read 50 books in 50 weeks, selecting almost any title you wish (see details below). This challenge starts January 4 and ends December 18, 2021.

Book Nerd Your Way Reading Log

As you read books for this challenge, record the titles/authors in your Beanstack reading log.

Prefer to use paper? During the challenge you are welcome to track your reading with our printable reading log. You may also use a journal, a spreadsheet, or a list. Just remember that your books must be entered into Beanstack before reporting completion at the end.

  Printable reading log (11 x 17″)

Picture of the Book Nerd Your Way reading log

Book Nerd Your Way Prize

Picture of the prize cup Book Nerd Your Way participants who finish the challenge on/before December 18, 2021 will receive an exclusive color-changing tumbler.

Note that to receive this prize you must show your completed reading log to a library staff member before the end of the challenge.

Details and Restrictions

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In Book Nerd Your Way, you may read almost anything you want. While books at the junior fiction reading level are acceptable, no other books from our children’s department will be accepted. This includes junior nonfiction, intermediate fiction, easy readers, and picture/board books. Magazines of any kind are also not accepted for this challenge.

Only 1 category per book. You cannot use the same book for multiple categories. Books you read for other challenges (e.g., summer and winter reading) or for book clubs can be counted for Extreme Book Nerd as long as they meet the requirements above and are completed by December 18, 2021.

Official participation in Extreme Book Nerd is open to Idaho Falls Public Library patrons only. Prizes must be picked up in person by the participant or a designee.

Facebook Group

facebook.com/groups/extreme-book-nerd

If you enjoy sharing what you’re reading and want to ask other book nerds for recommendations, join our Extreme Book Nerd Facebook Group.

While official participation in the Extreme Book Nerd challenge is restricted to Idaho Falls Public Library patrons only, everyone is welcome to follow along with the challenge in their home communities and discuss the books they are reading in this Facebook group.

To maintain the focus of the group, we encourage members to focus their discussions on the reading challenge and not use the group for marketing or other spammy purposes.

Extreme Book Nerd for Teens

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Also in its 7th year, Extreme Book Nerd for Teens is a variation of the classic challenge adapted specifically for busy teens. Read books from 25 of the 26 categories on the reading log. Extreme Book Nerd for Teens starts on January 4 and ends December 18, 2021.

Note that teens can also participate in the Book Nerd Your Way challenge. This option would require teens to read 50 books in order to earn the prize.

Extreme Book Nerd for Teens Reading Log

Teens, as you read books for the challenge, record the titles/authors under the appropriate categories in your Beanstack reading log.

Prefer to use paper? During the challenge you are welcome to track your reading with our printable reading log. You may also use a journal, a spreadsheet, or a list. Just remember that your books must be entered into Beanstack before reporting completion at the end.

  Printable reading log (8.5 x 11″)

Picture of the teen reading log

Extreme Book Nerd for Teens Reading Categories

Here are the 2021 categories for the teen challenge. Participants must complete 25 of the 26 categories to earn the prize. Titles that are linked have a downloadable bookmark to help you find books on the topic:

  1. Has a black cover
  2. From your to-be-read list
  3. A wild card (pick up from 3rd-floor desk)
  4. Has a conjunction in the title
  5. By an author with a last name 5+ letters long
  6. About a mom/dad/grandparent
  7. Has a cover with realistic artwork
  8. Author with the same name, first or last, as one of your loved ones
  9. A book from a library display
  10. From the 2020 NPR Book Concierge list (visit the website)
  11. A young adult or adult nonfiction book
  12. A debut novel
  13. Published in the 1900s
  14. Has multiple narrators
  15. A graphic novel
  16. Published before you were born
  17. A book you love (read it again)
  18. A title from, or story inspired by, another literary work
  19. A book you read in high school (or middle school)
  20. An Andrew Carnegie Award nominee
  21. From the library’s “Read for Empathy” display
  22. A book recommended by an IFPL librarian
  23. Listen to an audiobook
  24. Has a cover with shoes
  25. A book from the adult nonfiction 800s
  26. A book published this year

Extreme Book Nerd for Teens Prize

Picture of the prize hoodie Participants who finish the challenge on/before December 18, 2021 will receive this exclusive Extreme Book Nerd zip-up hoodie.

Note that to receive this prize you must show your completed reading log to a library staff member before the end of the challenge.

Details and Restrictions

Only 1 category per book. You cannot use the same book for multiple categories. Books you read for other challenges (e.g., summer and winter reading), book clubs, assignments, etc. can be counted for Extreme Book Nerd as long as they fit into one of the reading categories and are completed by December 18, 2021.

Books at the junior fiction level or higher are acceptable for teen participants. Books that will not be accepted include junior nonfiction, intermediate fiction, easy readers, and picture/board books. Magazines are also not accepted.

Official participation in Extreme Book Nerd is open to Idaho Falls Public Library patrons only. Prizes must be picked up in person by the participant or a designee.


For more information about any of these programs, call the library at 208-612-8460 or send us an online message.