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Readathon tips – Five ways to have fun with readathons

This entry is part 17 of 32 in the series Read-a-thon

Easy and fun readathon tips

Are you afraid of readathons? Does the mere thought of reading for 24 hours give you the hives? I doubt you are alone but you might be surprised at how many readers enjoy and participate in readathons — yes, even those scary 24-hour ones. What you need are some friendly, fun readathon tips.

Have a massive readathon at the library - readathon tips

Types of readathons

When it comes to readathons, there are several types that tend to recur. The Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon is a major semi-annual event that draws hundreds of readers who gather virtually to pour over books and tweet and share their experiences. Other readathons are like the two-month read-along where readers sign up to read one book over a period of time. Examples are The Moby Dick Big Read and the current Monte Cristo Read-Along.

Readathon tips and ideas

Readathon activities 



Schedule breaks. Add some fun non-reading but related activities. Don’t plan to sit glued to the pages for hours upon hours. If you’re planning to read a big book like The Count of Monte Cristo or Anna Karenina, look for a movie version to provide a good break. Don’t forget the popcorn.

Social media is a big readathon activityGet social. Participate in the Twitter parties or Facebook groups and pages that are often set up to encourage discussion. Don’t worry if you don’t get the whole #hashtag thing. Join in anyway. Better yet, find a couple of reading buddies to share in the experience.

Share what you’re doing with your virtual friends. Use your blog, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. You’ll find instant support even from your non-readathon friends. Create a readathon log. Many readathon participants enjoy blogging, vlogging, or logging their reading experience as they go so other participants and friends can keep up with their reading activities.

Adding a literary twist to your readathon snacks and food is a fun readathon tipEmbrace your inner readathon foodie. Indulge yourself. Many readers find a glass of wine and a bite of chocolate to be the perfect accompaniment to turn the page. Plan ahead and stock up food, drinks, and snacks. Provide a literary twist. Reading the Russians (War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov)? Create your own private Russian tea room and prepare Russian dishes like borscht or blintzes. (You might also enjoy a quick Spring Frittata or an easy open-faced sandwich.)

Play with your readathon environment. Do you have a special comfy reading chair or particular space? Maybe you prefer a rocking chair outside on the veranda. Can’t read without your favorite furry friend? No problem. Create the reading environment that will encourage you to read and allow you to sink into the story and be carried away. Music? Sure, but I’d stick with instrumentals.

There you have it. Five readathon tips that offer playful options for your next readathon challenge. There’s no reason to think a readathon has to be a full-blown page-turning marathon. The idea is to enjoy the experience. So pull up that comfy chair and let’s get started.

I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts, ideas, and readathon tips in the comment section below — and say hi during the readathons, too.

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Series NavigationReadathon challenges and tips – Dewey and the Count of Monte Cristo24-Hour Readathon end game
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  • Kate @ Kate’s Book Nook

    Awesome tips. If you are looking to read the full 24 hours, though, one could try mixing up the mediums. Like include some physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks. Change reading locations. Maybe go to a coffee shop or a bookstore and read there for a while. Go to the park and read. Or change from the bedroom to the living room. I find that moving and helps me stay awake.

  • Heather

    I had trouble getting past the guy in front of those piles of books. I wondered if he was passing by and just sat down to read, had a big problem and needed to go to Book Readers Anonymous, or had found all the books that Goodwill couldn’t get rid of and had stored somewhere in the back of a warehouse.

  • http://www.downthewriterspath.com/ Vikk Simmons

    Great idea to move. That is so important. It’s always nice to change the environment, too. Sometimes I just wander outside and read for a bit on the patio. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. Really appreciate it.

  • http://www.downthewriterspath.com/ Vikk Simmons

    I know, I love that photograph. It does raise so many questions. Great photo for a visual prompt writing exercise. Hmmmmm–