Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

“I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way.” – Rory Gilmore

When I finished binge watching Gilmore Girls last year, and I still had to wait a few months for A Year In The Life to be released, I dived into the online world of Gilmore Girls and quickly found there’s such a thing as a reading challenge containing all the books ever referenced in the series: the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. Now, as a fervent reader and a Gilmore Girls fan, this challenge had my name written all over it. The list is quite long: it has 339 books on it. And that’s without the books that were recently referenced in A Year In The Life.

Why would I want to participate?

First of all, on the reading list are a lot of mustread classics that I still haven’t gotten around to reading. Participating in this challenge provides for extra motivation to actually pick them up and read them.

Second, I can’t resist a list. Really, I can’t. Especially when it has books.

Also, it’s a great excuse to buy new books! Can’t resist that either, of course. And not just new books, but books that are generally deemed classics, or are at least viewed as worth reading (otherwise they wouldn’t have been mentioned in the series, I figure). So it’s a good way to improve my personal library!

Furthermore, if it’s good enough for Rory, it’s good enough for me. Because when it comes to reading, Rory is my spirit animal. Her valedictorian speech at Chilton warmed every bookworm’s heart, she can spend hours in a bookstore, and books were actually part of her education at Yale.

Enough reason to take part in this challenge? I think so!


Where can you find the Rory Gilmore reading list?

You can find the list all over the internet, but of course you want to make sure all 339 books are on it. Also, since it’s such a long list, you’re gonna want to be able to find the books you’re looking for, so an alphabetically structured list would be preferable. At List Challenges, you’ll find a list in alphabetical order, where you can easily tick off the books you’ve read. The amount of books you’ve read will be calculated for you automatically, so no math needed! If you, like me, would prefer an offline list to physically tick off books, I can also recommend checking out Callaloo Soup for a free printable booklet. Of course you can also find the list on tons of other websites, including Buzzfeed.

Which books have been added in A Year In The Life?

A big part of the reason why I was anticipating the Netflix series, was that there surely would be new book to add to the list. And the new season didn’t let us down, because about 20 books were added to the already sizable list. On Goodreads, 20 titles have been added. However, some of those titles are already on the original Rory Gilmore reading list, so my list-loving heart hates seeing them on the list twice… Here are the new titels:

  1. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
  2. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  3. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays – David Foster Wallace
  4. Cyrano de Bergerac – Edmond Rostand
  5. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman – Nora Ephron
  7. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondo
  8. Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  9. The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy – Isaac Newton
  10. My Struggle: Book 1 – Karl Ove Knausgaard
  11. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

How many of these books have I read?

At this moment, I’ve read 51 books out of the 339 books on the list. Also, I’ve read 3 of the 11 books mentioned above. I hope to read a bunch more this year, but I don’t have a set goal when it comes to the time in which I want to finish the challenge (if I ever manage to do that). If anything, I hope to come across some books I’ve been wanting to read anyway, and maybe some that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.


Every bookworm who’s interested in reading more classics and is a sucker for lists and challenges should at least take a look at this challenge! Are you already participating or are you considering taking up the challenge? Let me know!

22 thoughts on “Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

Add yours

  1. I haven’t watched the series yet but I think I’m going to participate in this challenge. It’s a great way to discover new books. And your doing really well in it. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! There’s no direct need to watch the series of course:) Like you say: it’s a great way to discover new books. You’re not necessarily gonna want to read all the books on the list, because it has all the books ever referenced, so not all of them have necessarily been read by Rory, some have just been briefly (often jokingly) mentioned. So making critical choices is key. Unless you’d love to read random biographies of politicians, of course, then be my guest;) And thank you! Most books I’d already read before starting the challenge – you’re bound to be able to cross off quite a few too I expect!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still going to watch the series. I wanted to see it forever and here in Germany a private tv company (sixx) started to show reruns of the series so it’s pretty convenient to get into the series now. And I’ll just check the books out and see how many books I’m really going to read. But I already got myself the printable booklet. So I will see.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Until now I only read 6 books from the list. But I already own dozens of other books that are on the list but which I haven’t read yet.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A separate Peace, the catcher in the rye and the 2 Harry Potter books. So not much. But I like the books that are mentioned on the list. And there are so many I didn’t know of yet.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m definitely going to take a look at this challenge. I love Rory and we even share a birthday! I’m still watching Gilmore Girls but I’m not progressing very quickly, because sometimes I can get a bit tired of the show… Maybe that’s just this season, though (I’m in s3).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was surprised to see I head “already” read 41 of the books for the challenge, so now I’m using it as a list of ideas for books I could pick up when I feel like it… and maybe I should finally watch the show soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post! I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan and have had this list on my radar for a while. I’ve only read 30 of the 339, but actually own quite a lot of them, and have planned at least a few of the classics for this year! Will reassess progress at the end of the year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve just started the challenge. I went out yesterday and got 1984 from Barnes and Noble. There are a lot of classics that I can’t wait to read on this list! I wish you the best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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