Ever heard of the term ‘readathon’ and scratched your head, wondering what on earth it might be? Maybe you stumbled upon the term in the depths of the internet or perhaps you’re seeing it for the first time here.

Regardless of how you found it, the mystery ends now. Let’s unwrap the idea behind a readathon, learn how to plan one, and explore the potential benefits it offers.

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What is a readathon?

Let’s break it down. A readathon is essentially a reading marathon.

It started as a fundraising concept where students raised money based on the amount they read. But since then, it has evolved into something bigger.

Today, a readathon is all about challenging yourself to read a set number of books within a set period of time.

A readathon can be a few hours or even weeks long, based on your reading goals. Imagine a dedicated reading time, a sacred space where your routine revolves around your books. Sounds like a dream for bookworms, doesn’t it?

what is a readathon

Different types of readathons

There’s a broad spectrum of readathons available out there, each offering a unique twist to cater to varied reading preferences.

Whether you’re looking to read at your own pace or seeking a themed reading adventure, there’s a readathon just for you.

Let’s delve into some of the types of readathons you might come across:

Casual readathons

These are the most flexible type of readathon where the rules are simple – read as much as you want, when you want, and what you want. There are no set reading goals or restrictions on the genre or book type. These are perfect for those who prefer a laid-back approach to reading and don’t want to feel pressured by time or book limitations.

👋 We host one of those right here at House Lucia!

Themed readathons

These readathons revolve around a central theme or genre. Whether it’s a month dedicated to reading historical fiction, a week of immersing in sci-fi adventures, or a couple of days devoted to romance novels, themed readathons add a bit of flavor to your reading routine. These are an excellent choice if you’re looking to explore a particular genre or theme.

TBR readathons

Overwhelmed by your TBR (To Be Read) pile? A TBR readathon might just motivate you to tackle that growing stack of unread books. These readathons focus on reducing your TBR list within a set period of time.

ebook readathon

Series or author-specific readathons

As the name suggests, these readathons involve reading books from a particular series or author. They provide a fantastic opportunity to finally start on that series you’ve been putting off or dive into the works of an author you’ve been curious about.

Reading challenge readathons

These readathons encourage participants to step out of their comfort zone by setting various reading challenges. Examples include reading a book with a blue cover, a title that starts with the letter ‘M,’ or a book from a genre you usually avoid. It’s a fun way to discover new authors and genres you might not pick up otherwise.

24-hour readathons

A test of endurance, these readathons challenge participants to read as much as possible within 24 hours. They can be a great way to maximize your reading time and are usually accompanied by a buzzing online community to help keep the motivation up.

cat read

Buddy readathons

In these readathons, you pair up with a friend or a group to read the same book(s) together. They offer an opportunity for discussion and shared experiences, enriching the reading process.

Regardless of the type of readathon you choose, remember that the primary goal is to enjoy the process and enhance your love for reading. Whether you’re binging a new series, discovering a new author, or simply whittling down your TBR list, a readathon can be a rewarding way to reignite your reading habit.

Why participate in a readathon

Why participate in a readathon?

So, why should you consider planning a readathon? Here are some reasons:

  1. Reignite your passion for reading: A readathon can be a fun and motivating way to pull yourself out of a reading slump.
  2. Tackle your TBR pile: Do you have a mountain of unread books? A readathon could be your golden ticket to shrink that pile.
  3. Binge-reading bliss: If you love to lose yourself in a story and read for hours, a readathon offers the perfect excuse to do just that.
  4. Make reading an event: Make the readathon more enjoyable by planning your favorite snacks, creating a cozy reading nook, and setting the right mood.
  5. Find a reading community: One of the most enriching aspects of participating in a readathon is the opportunity to connect with a community of fellow book lovers. Many readathons have associated online communities where participants can share their progress, exchange book recommendations, and discuss the books they’re reading. You can find support, motivation and perhaps even form lasting friendships.

Readathons might not suit everyone, especially those with tight schedules. But here’s the beauty of a readathon: it’s flexible. You can customize it to fit your lifestyle and reading preferences. A mini-readathon during your commute or lunch breaks? Go for it!

audiobook readathon

Joining a readathon

Not sure you want to host your own readathon, or perhaps you’re seeking a reading community to share the experience with? You’re in luck! There are already established readathons you can join. Here’s how you can do that and where to find them:

  1. Look for existing readathons: Readathons are popular in the online literary community. Websites and social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, TikTok (BookTok), and Discord host multiple readathons throughout the year. You can use search terms like “#readathon,” “reading challenge,” or “book club” to find these events.
  2. Understand the rules: Every readathon has its own set of rules, reading prompts, and themes. Make sure you understand what’s expected of participants before you decide to join.
  3. Sign up or register: Depending on the readathon, you may need to register or follow the guidelines. Some readathons might have a sign-up form, while others might only require you to use a specific hashtag when you’re sharing your progress or thoughts.
  4. Participate actively: Join in discussions, share your progress, and engage with other participants. The joy of a readathon is not just about the reading but also about sharing the experience with a community of book lovers.

As an example of an existing readathon you can join, I host a monthly readathon you’re more than welcome to participate in! You’ll find details about the upcoming readathon right here on this website.

Feel free to hop over to our Discord community as well, where you can engage with other participants, share your thoughts, and enjoy the collective energy of fellow book enthusiasts.

solo readathon

Planning your own (solo) readathon

Hosting a solo readathon needs a bit of prep work. Here’s a simplified step-by-step process:

  1. Set the duration: Decide the length of your readathon. For example, let’s say you choose a 48-hour weekend readathon. Given your sleeping and meal times, you’d have approximately 20 hours solely for reading.
  2. Estimate your reading speed: The average reader consumes about 3,000 words in 10 minutes. So, in a 20-hour readathon, you could read around 360,000 words. Let’s make it easier: this translates to around 720 pages of a standard novel.
  3. Pick your books: Now that you know your reading capacity, it’s time to pick your books. Maybe you want to devour a whole series, or explore a particular author’s work, or attack your growing “to-be-read” (TBR) list. Use platforms like Goodreads to calculate your chosen books’ total number of pages.

Then get to reading. A solo readathon is a lot of fun, and a good place to start before joining some of the existing readathons out there.

Getting to grips with readathons

Readathons are a reader’s secret weapon, offering a structured yet enjoyable way to delve deeper into your literary passions. They bring the joy of immersion, the thrill of exploring new narratives, and the satisfaction of finishing a book, all wrapped up in a cozy reading session.

Whether you’re aiming to blitz through a series, explore an author’s complete works, or reduce your TBR list, a readathon could be your path to these goals.

Remember, it’s all about enjoyment and immersion. So why not give a readathon a try? Customize it to your preferences, open that first page, and dive into a good read.