AtoZ Reading Challenge Blog Reading Challenges

What to do if your book starts with A, AN, or THE | 2021 AtoZ Reading Challenge

January 9, 2021
books that start with a, an, the

By far, one of the questions we receive most often concerning the AtoZ Reading Challenge has to do with how to decide what letter a book fits with. The biggest culprits of confusion are those pesky articles at the beginning of the titles.

What if my book starts with A, AN, or THE?
What letter does it count for?

books that start with a, an, the

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If you’re reading a book that starts with A, AN, or THE (also known as articles), it can often be a little tricky to figure out what letter of the alphabet they fall under (when you’re joining a reading challenge like our own AtoZ Reading Challenge). I’m here to tell you that it’s SUPER EASY to answer that question.


Take the article (a, an, the) and move it to the back of your title. Easy peasy.

Example: The Boyfriend Project >> Boyfriend Project, The
Therefore, your book counts for the letter B.

This is the simplest way I have found to explain this to our AtoZ-ers and it’s helped me remember the tricky little rule for years.

books that start with a, an, the

What else do you want to know?

What other book-related (or AtoZ Reading Challenge) questions do you have? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll answer yours in one of our upcoming posts!

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February 2021 AtoZ Mini-Challenge
January 2021 AtoZ Mini-Challenge

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  • Reply Jo Linsdell January 9, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    I’ve done that in the past. This year I’m trying to include them though. E.g. for A I read A Secondhand Lie.
    This type of post is really useful though. Will be keeping an eye out for more Q and A posts about the challenge.

    • Reply Bookstacks & Golden Moms January 16, 2021 at 8:26 am

      I’ve seen people who separate them out both ways. This is just our personal preference, as I don’t feel that “a”, “an”, or “the” really add anything to the title and there are SOOOOOOOO many books that start with those articles.

  • Reply DJ Sakata January 9, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    I always have to fight my computer as it will automatically list them by alphabet.

  • Reply Ashleigh January 10, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Iโ€™ve always wanted to participate in this challenge

  • Reply Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf January 10, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Excellent and helpful post for us challenge-takers!

  • Reply vidya January 10, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    of course!!

  • Reply Whispering Stories January 11, 2021 at 5:23 am

    I don’t do challenges but this is how I put my books when placing them on shelves on in files on my computer.

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