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What is the OcTBR Challenge?

The OcTBR Challenge is a whole month dedicated to prioritising reading. It's a time to indulge in all the things you’ve been longing to read (or listen to) that life has pushed to one side into a teetering TBR pile. And, let’s face it, it’s cold in October, and the nights are fair drawing in: you might as well be reading!

What is a TBR pile?

Anything that you have physically, mentally, or electronically set aside To Be Read (TBR).

Who can take part?


I have a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia or ADHD. How do I take part?

You are free to choose any reading materials that suit your needs – for example audiobooks, flash fiction, short stories, poetry, or short graphic stories. 


Also, ask your local library if they have access to any dyslexia-friendly titles. These usually have the same quality content as mainstream titles, but are written in simpler language, are double spaced, and are printed on buff paper. Libraries may also have access to coloured overlays, if you suffer from visual stress. 


Any queries or problems, contact the OcTBR team and we’ll do our best to direct you to suitable support.

What am I allowed to read?

Almost anything! Fiction, non-fiction, books, short stories, poetry, plays, graphic novels, audiobooks, comics, magazines… if you can read it, or have it read to you, it all counts towards your OcTBR Challenge. And the more diversely you read, the more badges you’ll accrue too! 

The only stipulation is that the material should be new to you (what the OcTBR team have dubbed 'virgin reads'). 

I’m a slow reader. Can I still participate?

Yes! OcTBR isn’t a race, or about who reads the most.  OcTBR is about engaging with the reading you’ve been neglecting, and getting stuff read! You set your own goals, so whether you want to finish a book for once, or want to read more widely, or simply want to spend more time reading, that’s all in the OcTBR spirit! 

Do I have to pay for OcTBR?

Nope. Not a penny. Materials to record your progress are free to download and badges are copy-and-paste from our website.

Books can be expensive! Do I have to own a physical TBR pile to be involved?

Not at all.  The OcTBR team do love a good TBR tower picture (and will be calling for people to tweet their TBR towers on October 1st).  However, your TBR pile could be actual books, bookmarks on kindle or online, or simply a mental wish-list.  


We'd encourage you to borrow books or ebooks from libraries, do book swaps, or even read a writer friend’s unpublished manuscript! Several big online ebook sellers offer a 30 day free trial, if that sort of thing appeals to you.  If you sign up at the start of October it should give you access to titles for free (just remember to unsubscribe before the end of the month!). 


The only thing we would 100%, totally, fist-shakingly, teeth-grindingly, oh-so-pleadingly ask you NOT to do, is to download pirated books (or physically steal them, obviously). This damages authors’ livelihoods, and the book industry, and is not in the OcTBR spirit, at all.

What are badges, and how do I earn them?

Badges are icons you can award yourself when you hit any of our pre-set goals.  Examples include reading something that's over a hundred years old, or a short piece of non-fiction, or a book outside of your favourite genre. The badges will be available to download or copy-and-paste from the OcTBR Challenge website. They aren’t obligatory – they’re just a bit of fun. 


And yes, you could be sneaky and tweet them all when you’ve not really achieved them.  However, as our prizes aren’t specifically allocated to participants who have earned the most badges, the only person you’d be fooling is yourself. Naughty.

Your site mentions prizes – does everyone get a prize?

There are going to be prizes!  We are hoping to have a few book-related prizes, donated by generous authors, publishers and booksellers, to issue at the end of the OcTBR challenge.  These will be sent out to certain people who really enter into the spirit of the event.  Sadly, we can’t send something to everyone, but we’re trying to nab as many prizes for our participants as we can. 

Note: Prizes will be editor’s choice (picked by Dan, Anna and Kathryn) and the editors’ choices are final.  Any prize refused by an OcTBR champion will be issued to another selected participant. There is no monetary equivalent, and family and close friends of the editors are excluded.

Why should I take part in the OcTBR Challenge?

Not only will you get the chance to cover a LOT of reading, but we will also be uploading free bookish content, such as reviews, interviews and blog posts.  Most importantly, we hope you’ll have fun!  You'll be interacting with other OcTBR Challengers, tweeting and posting your progress, and taking part in reading discussions and book recommendations.  What's not to love?

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to take on those TBR towers?


Register your email below now!

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