Discussion: Readathons

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hi Everyone! 

I have a very special treat for you today. Today Katie (@KatieHarness1) is visiting us to discuss her topic of Readathons :) 

Thanks Katie for stopping by and sharing with us!

Discussion: Readathons

   If you have been a part of the book community - following blogs, twitter, and vlogs - then you know of several readathons (or 'read-a-thon'?) that go on throughout the year. Some are themed, some have challenges and most are one week long. The goal of all readathons are to help us lower our TBR numbers and catch up with our Goodreads yearly challenge. I like to participate in several a year, but lately with my home life not being what it was like before when I had more free time my thoughts on readathons have changed a little. I felt like discussing my thoughts on readthons - what I love and dislike about them, share my favorites and give some tips. Let me know in the comments down below what your thought on readathons are! 
   I love readathons. The idea of completing themed challenges is enticing because it makes picking a book from your TBR even more enjoyable. I'm one of those people who love a good themed party or dinner when I'm out with my friends and I love the challenge of finding things that coordinate with the theme. This is how I feel about finding books for readathons. I have so many physical books on my TBR that it is refreshing to find a new reason why I should pick up a certain book next. I love lists and I love having new lists of books to create for each readathon. (Hence my love of the meme 'Top Ten Tuesday'.) I feel like this is a common trait among bibliophiles and bookworms. I also love how the book community comes together and interacts more during this timed event. On Twitter there are Twitter sprints and you read as much as you can when the moderator starts time intervals of 15 minutes up to an hour. There are usually hashtags and accounts on Twitter for the readathons to help you find new people with similar book tastes and to stay up-to-date with the events or challenges. Sometimes there are even prizes when challenges are completed. Lately, hosts have been using Instagram and having challenges completed through pictures on the platform. For me, that social media platform is one I will never use for readathons or giveaways. Instagram will always be for my personal use. I feel people are just wanting more followers on Instagram for the sake of followers. The pictures are Instagram are amazing, but I prefer use an app that takes pictures like Instagram's and post it on Twitter where I dedicate my bookish life (aside from Goodreads and my blog). That's just my choice. Aside from my refusal to use Instagram (I still follow numerous Bookstramers!), there are many appealing reasons to join a readathon and you definitely should try one at least once. There is a readathon for almost every topic and people are creating them all the time, like for a certain author, genre, holiday, book type (graphic novel, short books). You can find one by perusing Goodreads, Youtube, or Googling for it. 
   As I said before, my current home life is not as relaxed or carefree as it once was. I can't spend a whole day reading as I used to (which saddens me greatly!!) so my thoughts on readathons have changed a little. Almost to the point of, "What's the use other to help me curate my immediate TBR?" As a readathon lover this makes reading life feel obsolete. Yes, I might be a little dramatic there. I just finished listening to Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling so her writing style might be influencing mine right now. Anyway, to join a readathon you don't necessarily need to devote every waking moment to reading, but you do need to prioritize reading more during the event than you normally would. Like, instead of Netflix and chilling with your husband during an evening you read instead. In my case I could then fit an extra two hours of reading which would really help me out. However, as a bibliophile and bookworm I believe I am already prioritizing my life around reading as much as possible.... So would I still say I am participating in a readathons even though I have the same pace and time dedication as I do any other day? This is not such a huge question and important train of thought, but I have been thinking about it and I want to know your opinion on the matter! My point is: Do I even bother saying I'm participating when the amount I read won't change? I could still choose different books to go with the challenges and make it themed -which is fun. That is what I do for readathons now to say I am participating it it. In addition to having specific books to read I also choose the smaller books I have to feel more accomplished. I know the amount of time I dedicate won't change for me during readathon, but I still want to feel somewhat productive. If I read a 500 page book a week as my normal pace I could switch it with a graphic novel, a small short story collection, and a shorter and quicker YA novel. I would still get around to those books at some point in the year, but just for this one week I am prioritizing them. I will say that it gives me a boost to my self-esteem when I see I am ahead by two books on my Goodreads challenge, but it isn't necessary helping me with my page/day ratio. 
   Readathons are still fun, but not as useful to me anymore. I already dedicate as much time as I can to reading, but this is not the case with everyone. Not everyone can prioritize reading and readathons can give them a great boost to their reading progress. Making readathons not obsolete, but a great incentive to get a few books finished they have been meaning to get around to. I feel readathons mean differently for people depending on their age and responsibilities. As a 14 year old your reading productivity is different between summer and the school year. How do you manage to keep reading when you have homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities? Do readathons greatly impact your number of books read? How about those who have full-time jobs and who have families? Do you even participate in readathons, do you have time? I feel now that there are a few readathons during the year I will set time aside for and currently I prefer monthly readathons. Aside from responsibilities you already have do you feel too much pressure to read an enormous amount in the certain time span readathons limit? I feel like that just sets me up for failure if I stress on reading everything that I want to read. It's important to remember readathons are just for fun and any progress is great. Below I have listed some of my favorite readathons and some currently happening. Link are given to their Goodreads, Twitter, or Youtube.   


My Favorite Readathons to Participate in:

#TBRTAKEDOWN hosted by @leaninglights 
  -I really like this BookTuber and her read-a-thons are fun with interesting challenges.
BOOKTUBE-A-THON hosted by Ariel Bissett
  -First readathon I ever participated in. 
ARC AUGUST hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. 
#RYBSAT (Read Your Bookshelf-a-thon)
#TOMETOPPLE hosted by Thoughts on Tomes


My Tips for Readathons:

+ Pick the smallest and quickest books you know you can get through. (Even though The Host by Stephenie Meyer is enormous I read it in 24 hours.) 
+ Graphic Novels and Manga are good options.
+ Even if classics are small that doesn't mean you will fly through them.
+ If applicable, plan and prep all your meals for the duration of the readathon.
+ Use the Twitter sprints to binge-read as much as you can. The common goal of reading and talking about your current read is motivating.
+ For Twitter sprints have snacks and hydrate on the side.
+ Move your entire life around to read 24 hours in a day. 
Just kidding.
+ Plan all your reads that fulfill challenges with extra options to choose from depending on your reading mood.
+ Remember to relax your eyes.
+ Have your preferred reading spot and ambiance that you need.
+ It might be fun to time yourself for 5 pages or so and see if you can read faster for every 5 pages. Like a mini-challenge to yourself if your book isn't as great as you thought it would be.
Audiobooks are okay in my book as well. Especially if you have to commute to work or class. 
+ I need to be away from electronic devices to make sure I get lost in a book. 
+ If reading on your ereader it helps to not have the progress on the bottom.
+ Have a variety of genres to read.
Don't compare yourself to others! You should read for YOU and any progress is great!


Do you like to participate in readathons? Which are your favorite? What tips do you have?


Upcoming Readathons for October:
SPOOKTOBER (Month-long) Challenges Oct.. 1-20, Actual Readathon Oct. 23-29
#COUNTDOWNTILGG Readathon/Bingo (3 Months Long)
#BOOKBUDDYATHON Round 3 October 22-28
#AYEARATHON October is about Mental Health
#VICTOBER Victorian Period Books for October

*The Little Book Owl has a read-a-thon calendar HERE.*

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