How To

24 Hour Readathon Survive (and Thrive) Tips

Andi Miller

Staff Writer

Andi Miller is a proponent of fauxhawks, gaudy jewelry, country music, and writing. When she’s not publicly relating at her day job or teaching university English courses online, she’s a hardcore reader, social media addict, 10-year book blogging veteran at Estella’s Revenge, and host of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Her favorite literary snacks are comics, literary fiction, and foodie memoirs. Her favorite real snacks are Froot Loops, fried catfish tails, and serial Twitter unfollowers. Blog: Estella's Revenge Twitter: @EstellasRevenge

24hourlogoAbout three years ago (of its eight year life so far), my buddy Heather and I took over Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon from some excellent predecessors. Foremost among them, a great blogger and community leader named Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf. Sadly, Dewey passed away in 2008, but as a group, we’ve kept this event going strong to honor her and what she gave to book bloggers.

These last three years have been a steep learning curve for Heather and myself as the event has grown from around 400 readers every April and October to over 1,500 readers every season. With all this practice, we think we have the Readathon down to a science!

If you’re new to the Readathon, these tips are for you.

Readathon is not just for bloggers. It started with a bunch of bloggers, but now we’ve infiltrated just about every corner of the interwebs and the world. If you like to read, you can Readathon.

Have a varied stack of reading material. You don’t want to get too bogged down or burned out. I suggest a sampler platter of novellas, YA, comics, and maybe one longer thing in case it grabs you and won’t let go.

If it ain’t workin’, toss it! Life, and Readathon, are too short for boring books. If it hasn’t grabbed you by the nose hairs, get rid of it and start something new!

Hold off on the e-reader for a bit. While digital formats are WAY convenient, if you’re like me, they will tire your eyes out much faster than a paper book. See how far you can get with print and save the e-reader for short stints.

Don’t forget the food! There’s nothing worse than having to get out of your jammies and away from the books because you forgot to grocery shop. While coffee and energy drinks can be a great kick start, remember to hydrate and have some healthy noms on hand. If you decide to go all the way, you’ll feel REALLY sick in the final hours of the event if you haven’t taken care of yourself throughout the day.

You can Readathon even if you have kids, pets, or obligations. There’s no mandate that says you have to go hardcore and read the whole time. In fact, we provide multiple avenues for you to have fun, dip in and out, and appreciate the power of the online book community. Our hashtag is out of control on #readathon day, we host hourly games (mini-challenges) through, and there’s a massive stack of prizes up for grabs thanks to our prize donors (Book Riot among them!) and hourly “door prize” giveaways. Take a minute to stretch your fingers and join the online party. You can also find us on Instagram and Goodreads.

Ready, set, go! We are unique in that we start this event at the same time all over the world. Check out the start times page to see when your time zone gets going!

Oh, there are cheerleaders. We have a brigade of intensely excited readers who want to make sure you’re having a great time. Those are our cheerleaders. You can opt out of having them visit you, but they just might find you anyway. #rahrahreadathon

Don’t waste another minute. Go on over and sign up as a reader because we think it’s pretty cool to see who’s with us on Readathon day and how many book brains have joined up to nerdgasm over the written word. If you have questions, hit us up!