How To

5 More Tactics to Withstand a 24-Hour Readathon

Tiffany Hall

Staff Writer

Often to be found curled up on her couch in a blanket, regardless of the weather outside, Tiffany Hall is what you’d call an “indoor person.” An inquisitive student aspiring to obtain a degree in economics, Tiffany's main obsessions are reading, screaming at Sudoku puzzles, making sarcastic remarks, and writing short stories that she aspires to get published one day.

Twenty-four hours can seemingly pass by in a flash or drag on forever. More and more, the book community seems to be embracing this time span and using the limited amount of hours to push their reading to the max. There is the ever-popular Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, the up and coming ReadathonByZoe, and the quarterly Four Seasons 24 Hour Readathon, just to name a few of many. The appeal of these shorter readathons is apparent in that they are a good way to get motivated to achieve some personal reading goals in a short amount of time. However, the strain of staying up for as long as possible within that 24 hour period can be taxing. Here are some ideas to keep you reading and help you crush that readathon TBR.

Stay Slightly Uncomfortable

We’ve all been there, lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning trying to keep heavy eyelids open to read those last few chapters. This problem can be even more apparent during a full day of reading. While it is certainly important to take breaks, and to take care of yourself, one way to keep making forward progress is to ensure you’re not in a position or location that will lull you into the embrace of sleep. The concept behind this idea is called the Yerkes-Dodson Law, which, in short, states that a certain amount of stress is necessary for a task to be completed optimally. Too much or too little stress will lead to lesser results. So, perhaps, pass up reading in bed and instead go for a slightly less comfortable seat on the couch. Ideally, you would find a place that isn’t so relaxing or so uncomfortable as to distract you from your page-turner.

Buddy Reading is Best Reading

What is it about reading the same book as others that makes it so much more exciting? Whatever the reason, the hype that grows through reading the same novel is engrossing. Some readathons do provide challenges that can help you get plugged into the group. However, even if they don’t, buddy reading is still a great option to give you that same feeling of understanding. Afterward, you all can debrief and talk about that thing that happens on page 394. Having a community that supports you and that you can talk to during a readathon can give you the motivation you need to keep trucking along.

Audiobook It Up

Consuming page after page of text isn’t always the best option. When you hit that twentieth hour, it’s possible headaches, eye fatigue, and tiredness could take over. So, I suggest listening to your body and taking a break. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep reading! Audiobooks provide a unique opportunity to still stay immersed in the storyline, without overexerting your eyes. With services online that let you buy or rent audiobooks, you need only look to find an audio copy of the book you’re currently reading.

Take Strategic Breaks

So, you’ve hit a wall. You’re utterly exhausted and you can’t stand the thought of another word being in your presence. Take a break! But to make sure you’re motivated to come back, try to make it intentional. Find a place in your novel where there is a natural stopping point, and then pass that. Not having a conclusive stopping point could help you stay curious and might make it more likely that you’ll come back for more of the storyline.

Make Your Own Readathon

Who says that you have to join an already existing readathon? Sometimes timing can be wrong, or you get to the fated day and it just doesn’t work out. Give yourself a break and pick a date that works better for you. If you’re really just interested in seeing how much you can read in 24 hours, there’s nothing wrong with making it a private affair. It might take some pressure off, letting you enjoy what you’re doing for what it is.

There you go! Five more ideas on how to maximize your reading during a 24 hour readathon. Do you have some additional tips and tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Here is some more advice regarding 24 hour readathons: