24 Hour Read-a-Thon | Part 1: Participation


Well, it’s been about six weeks since changes surrounding COVID-19 started. As we learn (and relearn) what our new normal looks like during this season of COVID-19, one of the biggest challenges seems to be motivation and time. People have turned to puzzles, Animal Crossing, workout videos, stress baking, etc. for entertainment and a sense of structure. Here at Pine Reads we, of course, turn to books. Maybe this is our chance to finally tackle our ever-growing TBR lists. There’s a silver-lining!

For years, I’ve heard about 24 hour read-a-thons, occasionally watching vlogs about readers’ experiences. About 13 years ago, a blogger named Dewey started an official event back in 2007, and has continued biannually through the twitter account @readathon. Every April and October hundreds of readers read as much as they can for 24 hours while encouraging each other through challenges and giveaways. Some readers stay up all night and put a pause on all other tasks, while others stick to their regular sleep and work routine.

The upcoming event will be on Saturday, April 25th, 2020, and I for one will be participating. This challenge is to celebrate reading, so it should be fun and enjoyable. By setting a few realistic goals, it can also be a rewarding accomplishment!

First, I’m choosing books that I’m really in the mood for. This way, I have an idea of what I want to read, but I have back-ups in case I need something different. It’s also important to be flexible if your list changes – don’t force yourself to keep reading if you’re just not into it. Switch it up!

I’ll start my 24 hours by re-reading one of my long-time favorites—Throne of Glass by Sarah j. Maas. I know I love the story, the first one reads fairly quickly, and I’ve been wanting to re-read it for a while. If I’m on a roll, I might continue re-reading the series. Keeping with the fantasy theme, I also chose Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, the first in a popular middle-grade series. Lastly, for something a bit different, I’m choosing Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, a YA mystery novel set in a New England boarding school.

Be sure to check out some of our most recent recommendations for some inspiration!

It’s also important to know what you want from this experience. While we’re at home, there is tremendous value in resting, especially as we process real disruptions, emotional stress, etc. However, working well and accomplishing an enjoyable goal can be just the encouragement one needs. So decide for yourself if you want to read a certain number of pages, follow along with the twitter challenges, sleep a full eight hours or just a nap or two, etc. Regardless, remember to take breaks (call someone, eat, nap, log your progress, etc.)

Personally, I’m ready to dive in and read. So, my goal is to finish three books that are each around 400 pages. I want to maintain my daily walk or run, so that will be a good break. Sleep is also important to me, but I’ll plan for a late night, early morning, and a few naps. I don’t care much for challenges, but I’ve invited a few friends to join me, and I’ll be documenting my experience.

These are just a few tips, but when it comes down to it, this is fun – I mean a whole day dedicated to reading!? Yes, please. Will you be participating? What do you want to read?

PRR Writer, Anna Gerwig