Hey all, Dani here.
I love readathons. I think they are really fun events that generally help to increase the number of books I read. For the most part, I feel like I do a pretty decent job with readathons and so I thought perhaps I can share some of the tips and tricks that help me get through them.
Now, I guess I should start with a general disclaimer. Just because these tips help me doesn’t mean that they will work for everyone.
Next I suppose I should clarify what I mean by readathons. When I’m talking about readathons I am referring to 24 Hour reading events, weekend reading events, or week-long reading events. For me personally if it lasts for a full month then it is a reading challenge.
So some of the tips I give will be more helpful for all the readathons, while some others are more useful for a specific type of readathon. Okay, let’s just jump into some of these tips and tricks.
Number 1: Announce Your Participation
The most important tip I can give is to let people know that you are participating in a readathon, specifically that you may not be as active or available for social media, social calls, etc. for the duration of the event. Seriously, it has been so helpful for me. And honestly, not just with readathons, but also with events like NaNoWriMo. Letting people know that you are going to be doing something that you feel strongly about and want to dedicate your time to for a day, a weekend, a week, whatever, can be pretty liberating and wonderful.
Number 2: Catch Some ZZZs
For my second tip, I totally recommend getting a good night’s sleep before the readathon starts. When it comes to 24 Hour readathons, having a full rest might mean that you can stay up for the whole duration. Of course this tip can also extend to making sure you get enough sleep for the entirety of your readathon.
Number 3: Don’t Forget to Eat
Snacks! I find that having a good stash of snacks significantly helps me with my readathons. By planning my food and snacks ahead, I don’t have to waste time during a 24 Hour Readathon trying to figure out what I want to eat or where I want to go to get something to eat. It is a serious time saver. Plus, not gonna lie, sometimes during a readathon you need a little energy pick me up, and snacks are a wonderful way to get that.
Number 4: Schedule Reading Time
Okay, so this tip is definitely aimed more towards a week long event. Schedule reading time during the readathon. Obviously during a week long readathon, most of us have work and/or school, and sleep is necessary. Outside of that you might have other obligations. If you schedule an hour or two of reading into your day every day then you can get some serious reading accomplished.
Number 5: Read, Read, Read
Read every time you have a free moment. Again, this one definitely suits a longer readathon than a shorter one. If you leave the house, take a book with you, and if you find yourself waiting for an appointment, or if you get to work a few minutes early, etc. pick up your book and read. Trust me, those minutes all add up in the long run.
Number 6: Take Breaks
So here’s the thing…even during a readathon, it is important to take a break periodically. Get up and take a short walk (though if you feel the need to listen to an audiobook while you walk then that’s fine). When I take a break, I do a quick social media check. During the readathons I participate in, I like to do status updates on my Instagram. So every time I finish a book, or at least every couple hours, I’ll log on and browse through the readathon’s hashtag just to see how other participants are doing. The trick with this is to limit your social media time. Only let yourself have a few minutes.
Number 7: Read Some Shorter/Quicker Works
This is one of my favorite tricks or cheats for readathons. It really helps to boost my books read total, and it feels really good to start off feeling successful. I like to start my readathons with a couple of quick reads. For this I use volumes of manga, a novella or two, or a couple of short novels. Being able to fly through a book in 30 minutes to an hour per book helps me to feel like my 24 Hour Readathons are super-productive.
Number 8: Hydrate
While this one could include this one with the snacks tip, I feel like it is important enough to warrant its own section. Whether this hydration means drinking plenty of water, or having tea, coffee, etc on hand, that’s up to you. I like to get myself a nice assortment of coffees and teas so that I can either make drinks that correspond with what I’m reading or that just sound good at the time. Perhaps you need to have a six-pack of your favorite soda/pop ready so you can have a pick me up to survive your reading marathon. Much like with snacks, I like to have my beverages planned and purchased ahead of time.
Number 9: Have Fun
Obviously this goes without saying, the best way to have a successful readathon is to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re reading, then set it aside and grab whatever book you really want to read right then and there. If you need to get away from your books and spend a couple hours socializing with friends, then that is perfectly fine. Yes, readathons are meant to help with reading productivity, but any amount of reading–even if it is just a sentence or a paragraph–is fine. So what if someone else has read ten books during the readathon, while you only managed one. That is one more book than you read before this event.
And I do believe that is all the advice I can think about passing on, at least right now. I’m sure I’ll remember something after this post has gone live. And for the rest of you who participate in readathons, if you have some tips to share, please feel free to let all of us know in the comments.
That is all from me today. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.
7 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Surviving a Readathon”
Good points. I don’t find time to read continuously, hence I haven’t participated, maybe one day….
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I hope someday you do get to try a readathon. They are quite fun.
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Great advice! Theres no way I could go a full 24 hrs. though. I have to have sleep! Lol 😂
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I typically go for something like 16-18 hours. A couple 2 hour long naps during the event is really helpful for me. But there are people who can and do stay up the whole 24 hours.
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