Welcome to the world of Readathons.
Readathons, for those of you who don’t know, is basically reading as much as you can for as long as you can, with the bookish part of twitter and instagram rooting for you as hard as they can. Similar to a marathon, readathons allow people to challenge themselves in how long they can read and how many books or pages they can read before it ends. Readathons can last anywhere from 24 hours, to a month, to even a year.
Readathons are some of the best ways to get books knocked off your TBR, meet new bookish people (there are always sprints and cheers going on twitter and instagram) and even discover new books.
So you decided that you wanted to enter one, you began and you have your TBR and it’s only hour 2 and you already are done with reading and books and have no clue what you were getting yourself into. So I thought I would help you out with some tips and tricks to not only get the best out of your readathon, but also to help you complete it. (Maybe not win, but completing is the next best thing)
First thing is that you have to decide what readathon you are doing. Some of them require challenges (i.e. read 7 books in a week, read a book over 300 pages, read a book outside) and some of them don’t. (i.e. for the hourly ones such as the #impromptu24, #24in48 and #dewey’s24 they require you to try and read for at least 24 hours.)
You need to decide what is right for you. If you are more of a goal oriented person, then by all means find one that gives you goals and challenges, but if you would rather see how many books you can read in a set time, then go with an hourly one.
In the past 2 weeks, and into the start of August, I have completed 3 readathons and started another one. The one I’m doing right now is a month-long readathon, which might be better but is also hard because I have to really make sure that I am completing all the challenges while keeping up with my reading.
Now comes the tricky part, choosing your TBR. Here’s where I call mine a tentative TBR because I’m a huge mood reader and usually what I pick out, never sounds interesting once I get there. If you are also a mood reader, don’t set it in stone. Give yourself several options, especially for challenges, so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
Tips for surviving your readathon:
1-Make sure you stay hydrated. Water baby. Without water your ability to function makes you do really dumb things, and it’s not advisable to be so focused on the book to forget that you haven’t had anything to drink all day long. And then when you get up you collapse because you have no water. Seriously, hydrate.
2-Get up and move. Don’t just stay in once spot for reading, that’s the best way to get cramps and have your legs go numb. Try to at least every hour or so get up, stretch, move. It’s not good for your muscles to stay in one position for that long, and it actually makes you kinda bored with the reading because your body is so stiff. Move yourself.
3- Make sure you have a wide variety of books handy. I’m not just talking different genres (though yes do have those) but also audio, e-books, physical. The reason being that even if you don’t like audio books (I’m one of those people) it’s a nice thing to just listen to something and give your eyes a rest. Let’s say you are trying to cook dinner, and man you just don’t feel like reading. Pop your audio book on and you can do things while reading. (And yes, audio books are reading)
4-going along with that last tip, make sure you have different genres of books. Have some poetry, graphic novels, biographies, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Don’t just stick to one genre, that’s a good way to get burned out before you even begin. I personally love to get some graphic novels before readathons because not only do those go fast, but you also can get a bit of a break from words on the page.
5-Know your limits. Look I get it, we all want to be able to read for 24 hours straight without stopping, but seriously, if you know your mental health needs some sleep, if you are not the best after missing sleep, then what you need to do is read for a while and then sleep. Don’t exhaust yourself just for a simple readathon. Make sure you are taking care of you first and foremost. Also this should go without saying but make sure you are eating. No food makes people hangry and then you don’t want to read, you just want to eat. Schedule time to eat, to breathe, to not read if you have to.
6-Don’t be afraid to DNF (do not finish) a book. If you are bored, if it’s not something you are getting into easily, if you are just having a hard time with it, quit that book and go to the next one. There is nothing saying that you have to keep reading the same book if you don’t like it.
7-Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and when reading this is no exception. Some people can get through a book which is great, and some people get through about 6 or so and that is also great. The point of the readathon is to have fun and read what you can. Not what others think you should or what you aspire to, but just what is good for you. Maybe challenge yourself to complete one book in the 24 hour period, maybe try to read for 3 hours straight. Whatever it is, make sure it’s what is a good challenge for you, not for your friends or for who is doing the readathon with you.
8-Don’t be afraid to check in on twitter and bookstagram or booktube. I mean, that’s where you found out about it right? So check in, cheer others on, join in the reading sprints (small bursts of reading that last from 5 minutes to an hour) show off your TBR. Sometimes our reading feels lonely and with readathons and with so many people joining in, it actually makes us feel not as alone. Plus, you might just make some new bookish friends during this, which is always fun. Where else can you gush about books to people?
So there you have it, some very important tips to surviving your first readathon. What about you, fellow booknerds? You have any tips or tricks I missed for surviving readathons? Have you completed any readathons? Did these help you? Let me know below!
Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!