Dewey Decimal System Challenge

The Dewey Decimal System is a way to put non-fiction books in order, arranged by discipline, not subject. It is often used in public libraries and schools and was created by Melvil Dewey in 1876.

There are ten Dewey Decimal classes;

  • 000 – Computer Science, Information & General Works
  • 100 – Philosophy and Psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • 300 – Social sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Science
  • 600 – Technology
  • 700 – Arts & Recreation
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History & Geography

In late 2017 I had realised I naturally gravitated towards a few of the classes and ignored others completely – I wanted to expand my non-fiction reading. The usual Dewey Decimal System Challenge can be to read one book from each of the ten classes. But just ten books? I wanted something a little more challenging which would open up even more opportunities for me to discover new things; both about the world and about myself.

Dewey Decimal System Decade Challenge

It just so happens that the ten Dewey Decimal classes can divide further. The next division is into ten more subclasses (except 040 which is currently unassigned – used to be ‘Biographies’.) A challenge was born*

I’ve been keeping a record the old analogue way – a notebook. I’ll now use my blog to;

  1. Track my reading progress of 100 books
  2. Share mini reviews of the books
  3. Add recommendations of other books within the same category

Although I’m doing the challenge there’ll be other books that will catch my eye/interest that have the same category to books I’ve completed for the challenge – I’ll be reading those too but marking them separately to the books I read for the Challenge.


As I’ve mentioned, I’m not new to non-fiction and so can quickly ‘fill in’ quite a few of the subcategories with books I’ve already read. But I chose to start afresh in 2018. I also decided not include any re-reads so I would be pushing myself to both read in categories I’d not read and new books in categories I enjoyed. So;

  • Rule 1 – Start from January 2018.
  • Rule 2 – No rereads.

*I quickly found out through a few Internet searches that others had also set themselves a similar Challenge. Of course they had.