The 7 Book Challenge is actually pretty straight forward. Your goal is to read one book in Spanish per week, for seven weeks. You’ll also track your progress along the way. At the end of the 7 Book Challenge you’ll be able to compare your Below is the full outline to completing the 7 Book Challenge:
- Figure out your reading level. Reading something that is too difficult can be frustrating. Getting frustrated is the enemy of completing the challenge. Instead, select books that are at your level. A book is at your reading level if you can understand 90% of the words easily (i.e. You don’t have to look them up).
- Record your baseline fluency. To record your beginning fluency in Spanish, do a free write. First, get out a piece of paper and a pen. Next, set a timer for 10 minutes and begin writing. The topic is up to you, but you should write as much and as accurately as you can. When writing, don’t stop to look words up, and don’t get stuck thinking about grammar. Instead, keep writing for the whole 10 minutes. The idea is that you turn off your conscious mind, and let the language in your head bubble up naturally from your subconscious. Don’t stop writing until the 10 minutes are up! When you have finished, be sure to save this free write. You’ll use it at the end of the 7 Book Challenge.
- Select your first three books. They can be any books in Spanish (they don’t necessarily have to be listed here on spanishbook.club). Pick books that are at your reading level, but also books that sound interesting. Don’t pick a book they sounds boring… You don’t want to give up because a book wasn’t up your alley! For instance, don’t pick a sports book if you don’t like sports!
- Read one of these books per week for three weeks. Here you are looking to read for fluency. In order to complete the challenge, you’ll need to read a fairly good clip. On the other hand, you should also aim to read for comprehension. Without understanding what the text says, this is an exercise in futility.
- Do another free write for 10 minutes. Follow the same instructions from step 2.
- Pick three more books. If the reading level you chose before was too easy, challenge yourself to go up a level. For example, if the beginner books were too easy, try some of the intermediate books.
- Read one of these books per week for three weeks. Spread them out. You don’t need to finish the books in one sitting. In fact, it’s better that you spread out each book over the whole week.
- Do another free write. Follow the same instructions from step 2.
- Select and read your last book. This book should be the most challenging out of all of them. If you haven’t moved up a reading level yet, now is the time to do so. You should still pick a book that you think will keep you interested.
- Do your last free write and compare. ¡Felicidades! You successfully completed the 7 Book Challenge! How did you do? Did you find that your writing improved? How much? Did you write more words in the first or last free write? Do you notice yourself thinking in Spanish more as you are writing? Do some of the words and phrases you read pop into your head more easily? All of these are signs of improvement!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the 7 Book Challenge again and up your Spanish game even more! Below you will find an example 7 Book Challenge.
Example 7 Book Challenge
- Baseline Free Write Before Reading
Week 1: Superburguesas
Week 2: La clase de confesiones
Week 3: La vida loca de Marta
- Free Write 2 after three weeks and three books
Week 4: Ataques de hambre
Week 6: Mi propio auto
- Free Write 3 after six weeks and six books
Week 7: La espía huérfana
- Final Free Write after seven weeks and seven books. Compare this to your baseline free write.