What’s more fun than locking yourself up in your room and reading for 2 days straight? Reading with more people locked up in their rooms and updating each other’s progress online of course! This is why some very intelligent people came up with the concept of readathons. If you’re a regular follower, I’m sure you are aware that I do quite a bit of them. In fact, I have planned to take part in three of them this July. I started only July last year with the Summer Biannual Bibliothon and it was such a fun experience that I’m doing it again this year. Some might even go so far as calling me a readathon veteran. Since I’m also organizing a 48-hour readathon in July along with my friends, I thought I would share some tips and tricks to help you have a successful readathon experience.
Tip 1: Estimate how much time you will have
Before you even think of participating in a readathon, first ask yourself how much time you can afford to devote exclusively to reading. For 24 and 48-hour readathons, this is an especially important step. Make sure you are free enough over the duration of the readathon and keep your loved ones informed so that they can plan accordingly. Set aside rough chunks of time where you will read, keeping in mind that there will inevitably time wasted in getting food and other daily chores. Only commit if everything seems to fall in place or else the experience will be more stressful than fun.
Tip 2: Choose your TBR wisely
The trick to having a successful readathon is to pick the books you plan to read wisely. Keep in mind the duration of the readathon and see how much you can challenge yourself personally. Actually, readathons are meant to promote reading and all of the other stuff is secondary. If it’s a 24-hour readathon and you’re required to read 3 books, then pick shorter books that you can easily finish. Since most don’t have a restriction on the kind of books, it is better to include novellas, poetry collections, short story collections, graphic novels and comics. If it’s a week-long or month-long readathon, you can attempt to read longer books. Of course, these are just generic suggestions and if you have a lot of time or can read very fast, you can pick books that are longer. Try to pick books from your existing TBR to fit challenges rather than adding ones that you may not particularly enjoy just because they fulfil the challenge better.
Tip 3: Limit your social media use
Readathons are mostly held online these days, which is why participants are encouraged to engage on social media to discuss their reading progress. While it takes only a few minutes to update your status, social media can lure you in and you could waste precious reading time looking at cute cat videos. Remember to keep that to a bare minimum. It would really help if you were reading a book you couldn’t put down. This is more applicable for shorter readathons, but is still a good practice for longer ones as well.
Tip 4: Rotate between different formats
I know this may not always be possible for everyone, but if you have the means, keep your TBR such that it has a mix of physical books, e-books and audiobooks. This is because it’s not always possible to have a book in hand. I know that many people like to listen to audiobooks in the shower, while driving or doing other chores. That way you can be reading even as you’re doing other things. If you plan to go out for lunch or for some other reason, you can read your e-book on your way there and back. This greatly adds to your reading time and you can fly through your TBR.
Tip 5: Have fun!
I recently abandoned a readathon because I wasn’t keen on reading the books I had picked out. I’m a huge mood reader and this is why I often don’t make monthly TBRs. Also, life gets in the way sometimes and things don’t go as planned. You may fall behind because other things came up, because your mental health may not be the best, because you’re in a reading slump and so on. It is important to remember to only read as long as it’s fun. As soon as it becomes a chore or you’re getting stressed, take a step back and re-evaluate things. Continue only if you can and don’t hesitate to stop if you just aren’t able to cope any more.
As I mentioned before, I’m going to be doing 3 readathons in July. One of them is of course hosted by me and a group of friends, the Indian Lit Readathon. I’m being ambitious this time and trying to fulfil all the 10 challenges that we have. However, I’ve only decided 2 of the 4 books I might possibly read, which are –
- The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik (Book with a queer main character, book with an ethnic design on the cover and book based on Indian mythology)
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Book that was controversial/banned, book perfect for a rainy day and book that has won an award)
I’m also doing the OWLs magical readathon hosted by the Book Roast. It happened way back in April but back then I was too busy to take part in it. She recently announced the NEWTs readathon that would take place in August, so I decided to do the OWLs in July so I can take those subjects in the NEWTs. I’m aiming for the Outstanding grade, which is achieved by completing the prompt for 5 or more subjects. July always puts me in the mood for a Harry Potter re-read, which is why they feature prominently in this TBR. Here are the books I plan to read –
- Astronomy (Read a sci-fi novel) – Artemis by Andy Weir
- Charms (Read a fantasy novel) – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
- Defence Against the Dark Arts (Read a book featuring secret societies) – Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
- Potions (Read a book involving alchemy) – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
- Transfiguration (Read a book involving transfiguration or shape-shifting) – Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
The Summer Biannual Bibliothon is also happening in July, but they are yet to announce their reading challenges. Hopefully they will fit into the books I’ve already picked out for the OWLs readathon so that I don’t stress myself out trying to read too much. I’ll have a TBR up soon, so keep an eye out for that! I’ll also mostly be doing all of the blog challenges and this time I’m considering doing the Instagram challenges if possible.
Do you do readathons? If so, what are some of your tips? Will you be joining us for the Indian Lit Readathon? Let me know in the comments section below.