April 2017

Warm Up: Twenty-four or One, There’s No Wrong Way to Readathon

This April will be my 16th Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

Wow, that actually makes me feel really old.

The first Readathon meme I ever made.

Out of the past 15 Readathons, I managed to last the full 24 hours just once or twice (and I totally napped). I had a lot of fun participating all day and all night those times, even though I was pretty much comatose come Sunday.

And I’ll admit, back in the early days of my blog, I felt compelled to do the whole 24 hours, because wasn’t that the whole point of a 24 Hour Readathon?

My first Readathon Pile O’ Books, my insanity on full display.

So I tried, hard, to stay awake. I made sure that I wasn’t working either the Saturday of Readathon or the Sunday after. I skipped events and birthday parties, because I was serious about Readathon. To be honest, I was probably a little too serious. Because when I would inevitably fall asleep (and once or twice it was in the early hours of Readathon because my pre-Readathon night’s sleep was horrible due to all the excitement), I would wake up feeling panicked, like I had failed.

Then a few years ago, my friend (and now blog partner, Kim) and I signed up to go to a book event in April. It was out of town, so it meant a long day away from my computer. When I found out that Readathon was scheduled for that same day, I was genuinely upset. I don’t think Kim knows how close I was to canceling our plans (sorry, Kim). But I stuck with my plans (which had been a long time in the making) and instead I woke up early, posted a little about Readathon, and then went to the book event and had a great time. We got home that evening, and I participated several hours online.

All the goodies I came home with from that book event. 🙂

And the world didn’t end because I had to step away from my computer for most of Readathon. I had tons of fun because I wasn’t under self-imposed pressure.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of people say they can’t do Readathon because they have other plans- work, weddings, parties, cleaning the grout in their bathrooms.
But, readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret- You don’t have to Readathon all 24 hours. You can do it for just one hour, or two, or twenty minutes now, and three hours later. You can read five books, or none. You can tweet the entire time and only do the challenges. Seriously, you don’t have to read AT ALL. You can sleep in, and start Readathon late. You can go in without any kind of plan at all, or you can have a whole schedule of posts and tweets and spreadsheets filled out in anticipation.

Nerd it up your own way!

Part of the reason I so adore Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is because it plugs me into our community of readers. I love the excitement, the snacks, the book piles, the posts, the cheers, I love it all! And even spending a few minutes on April 29th will be worth it.

Come Saturday the 29th, I’ll be working the morning shift at Fountain Bookstore and then heading over to Kim’s house because our book club is meeting to discuss our current read. I’ll wake up early and post about Readathon, I’ll be checking in as often as possible on Litsy and Instagram and Twitter. When I get home from book club, I’ll spend a few more hours online and maybe reading (definitely Twitter cheering).

It’s great when I can spend the whole 24 hours to focus on Readathon, but it’s also great to know I can drop in and out anytime during the event. And so can you!

So, join us. Leave your fields to flower… or just join us for an hour!

~Kate @ MidnightBookGirl

Thank you so much, Kate! You’ve done so much for us over the years. This is EXCELLENT advice! Follow Kate on Twitter at @Midnghtbookgirl or her blog (where you’ll find all her social links!).

April 2017, Uncategorized

Warm Up: Why Readathons Make the Book Community Stronger

Hi, my name is Dannii and I am a self-confessed bibliophile. Ever since the age when meaningless squiggles turned to letters on a page, I have been obsessed with reading. It was not until relatively recently, however, that I discovered the wonderful people of the online book community.

I know, I know. Where had I been?

Late 2015 I watched my first Booktube video (Sahsa Alsberg’s, if you’re wondering) and I created my own bookstagram and GoodReads accounts the very next day.

2016 was the year of my very first readathon, and I don’t think it was until that time that I realized how equally infatuated I had become with both reading and the wonderful people who proclaimed their shared passion as mine, on the internet.

Being a reader was always in my blood. Being surrounded by people who never understood or appreciated my ardor never dulled my captivation with books. It did, however, dull something inside of myself. I never stopped reading. But I did stop talking about reading. Reading was not only my escape but became the only sphere I had in which to be truly myself.

I lost a part of myself in all these years of living almost, what felt like, a double life. One in which every night I would travel to past times and fantastical lands, trade the everyday for the make-believe, perform feats of breathtaking magic, fall in love over and over again, and never tell a soul about it the next day.

The internet provided a space for me to not only share this hidden part of my myself, but for me to be, finally, understood.

Reading, by its very nature, is a solo activity, often suited to those with an introverted nature. How wonderful that this singular-person activity could be shared online with like-minded people and even transformed into a group event in the form of a readathon. How wonderful to lose myself in a book and find myself in the realization that hundreds or thousands of others are performing the very same activity, at the very same time as myself.

Readathons, and their controlled times of fevered reading, enlivens us to share our passions and to delight in the sharing of others. It encourages us to loudly proclaim what we love and to proudly mark ourselves as part of this open and inclusive community.

During a readathon, we become not several individuals performing the same activity, but a banded and passionate army of bibliophiles; promoting our love, our true selves, and, most importantly, each other.

Find your thing and you’ll find your tribe. Shout it loudly as you hold them close. I found both my passion and my people, and they are all of you.

Thank you so much, Dannii! You can follow Dannii on Twitter at @dannii.elle.reads or at United by Pop where she is a blogger.