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5 Reasons To Participate In The 24 Hour Readathon

Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

Every April and October, I start counting down the days until Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It’s one of my bookish holidays, and I enjoy it so much that I’ve started getting evangelical about the event. So here are 5 reasons you should take the plunge and join in on the readathon on the 17th!

1) It’s the perfect opportunity to stay up all night with a scary book (or five)!

Although I love the April and October readathons, October’s is especially fun because I love a themed reading month. I try to fit in spooky books all month, but this way I get a chance to put together the perfect stack of horror novels and comics. Hey, since they’ll be keeping you up all night anyway, you might as well keep reading while you’re awake!

2) You can make a dent in your TBR!

My usual reading routine is fitting in chapters before bed and during lunch breaks, which makes having a full day dedicated to reading feel luxurious and productive. I often read more in a single readathon day than I do in an average month. If you’re falling behind on your Goodreads challenge or that TBR stack is threatening to topple, this could be the time to bring it under control!

3) You’ll be part of a 24 hour bookish party!

One of the great things about Dewey’s readathon is that it starts at the same time worldwide, which means everyone is in it together. You can spend hours cheering each other on, completing mini challenges, discovering new books and bloggers, and generally hanging out with hundreds of awesome book people. Check out the #readathon hashtag on twitter or become a member of the Goodreads group to join in!


If there’s anything that competes with books for priority during the readathon, it’s food. Part of the fun of planning a readathon day is preparing food and snacks in advance, especially if you’re going to try to last the full 24 hours. My advice as a readathon veteran is to balance healthy snacks with your sugar and caffeine so that you don’t make yourself sick before your reading time is up. Try to keep some snacks to look forward to throughout the day, when your eyelids are starting to droop. And don’t forget to keep to food you can eat while holding a book!

5) You can make it whatever you want it to be!

Most people who are unfamiliar with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon seem to imagine this is a grueling marathon of a reading day, where everyone reads nonstop for the full 24 hours, eschewing showers, food, work, and responsibilities. That may be true of some people, but there’s no need to go the extreme if you don’t want to. Most people adapt the readathon to work for them: plenty of people have to work the day of, but try to squeeze in extra reading before and after work. I would wager that most people don’t make it the full 24 hours and end up going to sleep when it suits them. You can absolutely participate if you can’t devote your whole day to it, and you can even join in by cheering people on if you don’t power read that day. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is a party atmosphere, and no one is going to hold you to any standards. If you just manage to read a few pages more than your average day, I’d call it a success!

So that’s where I’ll be on the 17th! Have you participated in a 24 hour readathon before? And if you have, what are your tips and tricks for making it a success?