Last year I achieved a win in my first NaNoWriMo back in November, and I am very much ready for another challenge in the reading/writing world. One of my friends shared a link to Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, and I knew I had found my challenge. It’s quite simple: prepare a stack of books and attempt to keep reading for 24 hours. I feel like this is an event I have been training for since I first started to read.
Of course committing to reading for a full 24 hours is not without it’s hazards. Staying awake for the whole Readathon is probably not going to happen for me, but I do plan to get started at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, which is the start time for my time zone. I will program the coffee maker, so it is ready to go when the clock hits 5! Participants are encouraged to share their Readathon progress on social media, so I will also be taking periodic breaks to leave updates here and on Twitter and Facebook.
A full 24 hours is a long stretch to commit to reading. I have saved up a few episodes of the podcast Selected Shorts to give myself a way to listen to stories when I can’t commit to sitting and reading paper books. This should have me covered during walks, cooking or anything else that takes my attention away from the printed word.
One of the best things about the Readathon has been the community of readers interacting online. The Readathon Facebook group has been a never-ending stream of stacks of books and comments about how each reader plans to attack their pile when the event starts. Reading a book is often a solitary activity, but if you are a bibliophile or have friends who are, you know that we cannot resist talking about our favorite books and what we are reading. Now imagine what happens when a bunch of avid readers share beautiful pictures of stacks of carefully curated books. More than one reader has lamented that their stack is growing bigger through suggestions from other readers. Yeah, book nerd problems!
In an age when so many articles online have comments sections riddled with hateful speech and insults, it is nice to have an online community that is dedicated to the love of reading. I found something similar in the online NaNoWriMo community where comments all tended to be supportive and friendly. It’s refreshing.
A number of people asked me why I did NaNoWriMo. After all, there are no prizes for a win other than a completed first draft. I can anticipate some folks have a similar question about the Readathon. To me, it’s like any challenge. Take a marathon. Most people who run such a race don’t expect to win. They do it for the joy of completing something that pushes and challenges them. I see NaNoWriMo and the Readathon in the same way, and I also like the idea of people all over the world attempting to spend 24 hours immersed in books.
Stay tuned for more updates. To see when the Readathon starts in your timezone, check out this list of times around the world.