Tips for Participating in a Readathon

Reading can be a solitary activity, but bookworms across social media are always finding new ways for readers to connect to discuss their favorite books, authors, and more. Readathons are a fantastic way to check books off of your TBR and to make new bookish friends! Whether you’re a total newbie or a frequent participant, here are some tips for making the most out of your next readathon.

Tell the world
Or at least, your book friends! Use the readathon’s hashtag to announce your plans to participate on social media. This is a great way to meet fellow readers who are also joining in.


Create a TBR
Check to see if the readathon you’re participating in has a theme or specific challenge to complete, such as historical fiction or filling out a bingo card. This will help to decide which books are added to your to be read pile. If the readathon doesn’t have a theme, you can choose any books that you’ve been meaning to read, but I have a few tips for how to narrow the list down…


Go for bite-size books
When selecting readathon books, consider their length. Short books such as novellas and graphic novels will make for fast and easy reads.


Take advantage of audiobooks
Audiobooks are fantastic for readathons because they allow you to multitask. You can cook, clean, workout, go for a walk, or even just relax on the couch as you listen. 


Go for variety
When reading books back-to-back for a readathon, try switching up genres to keep yourself from feeling fatigued. If the readathon has a theme such as science fiction, try books by different authors, different formats, and different subgenres (such as a space opera and a sci-fi romance).


Find a buddy
Friends not only help us stay accountable, they also make everything more fun! See if your best book buddies want to start a group chat to keep each other updated on readathon progress.


Set a goal
A goal will help you shape your TBR pile and the time you need to set aside for reading. Feel free to be as ambitious as you want, but I personally always aim for a goal that feels realistic and comfortable so I can truly enjoy the readathon experience without feeling stressed about not meeting my target.


Find a playlist
This tip may not be for everyone, but personally I love to put on instrumental soundtracks while I read to help create a relaxing and comforting space where I can lose myself in a book.


Prepare snacks
Who wants to waste precious reading time in the kitchen? Stock up on snacks that are easy to eat, or prepare them in advance so that when you’re feeling peckish you can grab and go.


Schedule time to read
Real life loves to get in the way of our reading time. If you’re participating in a readathon, it’s helpful to block off certain windows of time (especially if you’re joining a 24 hour one!) or to give yourself a number of pages you plan to read each day. Readathons for specific books or series may even have day-to-day chapter breakdowns to help guide you.


Plan to take breaks
It’s not uncommon to see bookworms joke that “bookmarks are for quitters,” but when it comes to a readathon, make sure to take breaks whenever you need them to recharge. Go enjoy a meal with your loved ones, take a walk, catch up on a favorite TV show. Your book will be there when you’re ready to dive back in. 


Share your progress
Posting updates on your social channels using the readathon’s hashtag or Goodreads account is a great way to hold yourself accountable while updating other participants on your progress.


And when you’ve finished… write reviews!
Once the readathon is finished, give yourself a well-earned rest to bask in your success. Then make a plan for leaving reviews of all of the books that you’ve read while they’re still fresh in your mind. Need some review writing tips? We’ve got you covered.


Have fun
Readathons should be fun, first and foremost. If you find yourself stressing, don’t be afraid to lower your goal or put down your current read and pick up a new one. Reach out to your fellow readathon participants if you need a boost!

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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