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Read-a-thons: 24-hour vs. Week-long

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Read-a-thons: 24-hours or Week-long?

I have a confession to make: I love the IDEA of 24-hour read-a-thons such as Dewey’s, but I am absolutely horrible when it comes to actually participating in one! On the other hand, I’m actually pretty good at week-long (or two week) read-a-thons, even when I don’t particularly plan things out that well >.> Why is this you ask? I have some theories about the pros and cons of different timescales for read-a-thons and how my life fits into them ;-).

Silly Real Life Commitments

Ugh, nothing is more annoying than a boyfriend and friends that want to hang out with you right?? ;-) This is honestly the biggest obstacle I have with a 24-hour read-a-thon: avoiding real life. I realize that Saturdays are a good day for most people who have normal working hours, but they are just horrible for me D: Since I’m in a long-ish distance relationship, I drive two hours twice a weekend to see Mr. Boy. And since I only have about two days with him a week, he is all picky and clingy during that time, haha. I would dig a read-a-thon happening on like a Friday, since I’m a grad student and have a much more flexible schedule. I’d be happy to ditch all commitments on Friday, tell the boy I’ll drive out on Saturday, and read all day! But of course, that’s just my weird schedule allowing it.

Week-long read-a-thons are a little bit easier in this regard since there isn’t the expectation that you will do NOTHING BUT READ (even though 24-hour read-a-thons don’t demand that either), so it’s a lot easier for me to treat the weekend as a wash and just read more during the week. I feel like I’m not missing out on as much since events tend to be one or two a day, not every hour ya know? I like participating as much as I can in everything! And that pressure is a little easier for me to handle with week-long read-a-thons.

Reading Stamina

I kind of want to try a 24-hour read-a-thon one of these years just to see how much I can actually pull off. Sometimes I’ll do impromptu half-day read-a-thons and my eyes just get so tired! It has to be a freaking awesome book for me to be able to read for 5 hours straight ya know? I can definitely see where the book choice plays a big factor here, but I’m such a slave to my review pile that I’m pretty sure I would feel guilty if I wasn’t trying to get review books read during a read-a-thon :(.

How I imagine all of you during 24-hour read-a-thons

How I imagine all of you during 24-hour read-a-thons

Week-long read-a-thons are again easier for me here since I feel awesome getting five hours every day for a week in! I can finish like three books doing that :D. I definitely need breaks it seems, or I would need to train up to 24-hours, haha. Can we have a Dewey’s prep week where we up our reading stamina? ;-) And yes I can certainly take breaks while doing a 24-hour read-a-thon, but I honestly don’t trust myself not to get distracted and lose several hours to something else during my “break.” How do you handle breaks during your read-a-thons?


Okay, this is something that I just struggle with in general. I honestly don’t really get challenges. I mean, I like seeing other people’s entries in the Book Spine Poetry challenge, and the puzzle challenges are fun, but I just don’t feel creative enough! Every time I see a Book Spine Poetry challenge in a read-a-thon post, I look at my bookshelf and panic and give up. So many sci-fi/fantasy book titles are one word, but I’m not sure if that should make it easier or harder >.>. This is a problem with the long-distance thing again though, since on Saturdays I’m not near my main stash of books! What are your favorite challenges? What do you like about them? Help me, have any tips?? :D

The Ideal Read-a-thon For Me

Like I said up top, I love the idea of a 24-hour read-a-thon. I fantasize about planning out my day and having my audiobook prepped if I need to run any errands. I would probably sleep in since I’m so not a morning person, but perhaps I would keep a book in easy reach so that I could start the day reading in bed because my bed is SO COMFORTABLE! I’d make sure to have my headphones and phone easily accessible so I could start tweeting and listening to my audiobook while making breakfast. Then maybe check in with the challenges and things so far before starting in on the first book. Doesn’t that sound awesome? I want to do that! I just don’t know how I’m ever going to get it to work *sigh*. Maybe I’ll suggest Mr. Boy go on a weekend trip with his friends for the next Dewey’s read-a-thon >.>.

How long of a read-a-thon do you prefer? Do you participate in both or just one kind? How many books have you ever managed to read in one day???

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings– Anya

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I really do like both types of readathons and have participated in both. I do get a lot more reading done with the week long readathons and some weeks are better than others obviously

    • Definitely, sometimes I feel like I make every week a readathon week since I’m always trying to push myself to read more…. I probably need to stop doing that so I don’t burnout haha

  2. My ideal readathon would be four (maybe five) days long because it allows you to still have a bit of a life and if something comes up that you have to do, you still have a chance to do well in the readathon. With 24 hour readathons I usually get too caught up doing the challenges. I can’t read for that long anyway. At least with readathons a few days long I don’t feel so guilty doing challenges!

  3. I’m definitely a week long read a thoner. Speaking of which – the signups for my Valentines readathon just went up. Yeah I know signups are up way early lol.
    Pabkins recently posted…Review: Parasite by Mira GrantMy Profile

  4. Diana Thompson says:

    As much as I love to read, a 24-hour read-a-thon just doesn’t even sound fun to me! My eyes hurt just thinking about it. And I’m getting too old to try to forego sleep. I NEEEED sleep. Plus I have a toddler who for sure won’t let me read for for than about 10 minutes straight unless he’s sleeping.

  5. People seem to have fun doing those 24 hour challenges, but I so could not do that. I need sleep way too much. If you end up doing one, you should post about how it goes!
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…On My New Arrivals Shelf (77)My Profile

  6. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    I prefer the week long read-a-thons right now because I have a toddler and ignoring her for 24 hours or even considering staying up for a 24 hour period would be fairly insane for me, since I would still have to watch her after, since she only sleeps at night… lol

    As for challenges, I never end up doing them because I’m also uncreative.

  7. I much prefer a read-a-thon that lasts longer than a day, like the week ones. It’s harder to be social in just one day when it could be spread out and you could meet awesome new bloggers.
    There’s no way I could stay up for close to 24 hours to read, and it really would get in the way of things if you already made plans. I know the last Dewey was on my anniversary so there’s no way I could even try.
    Challenges can be fun, but depending on what you do you could actually be limiting entries. Like the ones that make you guess covers, only the people who have read them all can get it easy, everyone has to search all over (this happened to me before and I just gave up on it). I think the most I’ve read in a day is one, since I can’t just sit and read non-stop, I have to take breaks once in a while.

    • Agreed, Dewey’s is never on a day that I can actually do it D: I kind of want to try to read for a whole day just to see how long I can go, but it definitely wouldn’t be 24 hours!

  8. Personally, I’ve never done a 24 hour read-a-thon before. I’ve only participated in one read-a-thon that lasted like 2-3 weeks. It was different and entertaining. Really made me want to read more! I’d like to try a 24 hour one sometime, but my schedule is much like yours (except for the fact I don’t have to drive forever to see my bf – that’s gotta be brutal!). If you find a good 24 hour one on a Friday, you’ll have to let me know :)
    Amanda @ Confessions of a Bookie Monster recently posted…Guest Post: Sherry Soule, Author of the Spellbound Series, on why she loves YAMy Profile

  9. I feel way too much pressure to do a 24 hour readathon. I feel like I’d need to go away to a hotel to do a readathon since I get easily distracted during the weekend by my son. I would totally be on board a weekend away readathon where a bunch of bloggers met up at a hotel just to do a readathon! Then even the real time moments could be filled with bookish talk.
    Sarah recently posted…Discussion: Book AmnesiaMy Profile

    • Haha, yes! Renting a hotel room for 24 hours would work well, especially if you could afford room service too :D Oo and then we could do pool reading too *dreams*

  10. I like the 24 hour read-a-thon because during the week I read about as much as I can anyway. The only thing I’d have to give up is spending time with my boy, since we are happily done doing the long distance thing. I do sometimes have trouble balancing challenges with reading and I share your feelings about the more creative challenges. My favorites are the challenges that ask you to do something technical with your blog or to guess book titles from partial covers or descriptions. For the last read-a-thon, that actually worked out really well for me since there were challenges I was interested in about every other hour which meant some hours could be all about reading :)

    • We are living the same life aren’t we?? I’m also doing the long distance, seeing each other over the weekends thing, so that severely cuts into 24-hour read a thon time! So you do more challenges than you think you should or less? Sounds like more? Oo, that would be nice! I will definitely be very picky with my challenges, but I hope that I like a couple of them at least, haha

      • Haha, yes we do seem to have a lot in common! I’m also a grad student and my boyfriend and I did the long distance thing for a year and half while he was finishing his masters degree. We saw each other about once a month since I was in Iowa and he was in Georgia! But now he’s gotten a job near Cornell so we can live together while I finish grad school which is very nice :)

        The first time I did Dewey’s, I did way more challenges then I should have. I felt like I hardly had any time to read! But this time, I skipped about every other challenge and was happy with how much time I was able to spend reading.

        • Nice! I’m jealous since there isn’t an end in sight for this two hours apart thing. He got a job as close as he can :(

          I’ll have to try to do every other, that sounds like a nice amount.

  11. I love the idea of 24 hour read-a-thons too but I know for me, it’s just unlikely I’ll ever be productive in one. It’s just too much pressure and I can see myself getting burned out very easily what with the constant blogging and reading. Week read-a-thons are my scene. I can do well while not feeling bleh at the end.
    Annie recently posted…The Harry Potter Survey Pt. 2My Profile

    • I think if I tried a day long read-a-thon, I’d mostly ignore the blogging aspect except when I needed a break, I just like to hunker down with a book in that setting.

  12. I prefer the read-a-thons between 3 – 7 days :) It gives enough time to connect with other people, to do some challenges and I feel less forced to read!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 212. Stacey Jay – Of beast and beauty.My Profile

  13. kelpeterson says:

    Is it bad to say I want nothing to do with any more reading/writing challenges ever again after NaNoWriMo? (We’ll see how I feel at the end of this month. ^^)

    I’ve never actually done an official read-a-thon before, though I used to spend many a Saturday camped out on the couch with a book or two. At this point, forget NaNoWriMo, I probably wouldn’t start one, 24-hour or week-long; I had to make a conscious effort to to set the books down and make hanging out with friends a higher priority, especially during the week after long days at work. People over paper; the books will still be there later, right? I’m afraid I’d be like an addict and one read-a-thon could lead to a relapse. ;)

    • Hehe, you are definitely entitled to that currently! I’ve backed off from most of the challenges I wanted to try because my TBR pile is already too overwhelming.

      Psh, paper is my people ;-) I hear ya though, I have more structured peopling since I only see the boyfriend on the weekends and he wants me to pay attention to him then!

  14. I am actually better at the 24 hr read-a-thons but I can’t do them more than twice a year. It takes a LOT of planning to pull off a day of reading. That being said, I sign up for week-long ones and end up usually doing really badly because I can’t shut off my life for a week like I can for a day. I keep plugging at it though :)

    (Oh —Audiobooks and 10 min walks are the key to success for 24 hour read-a-thons I have learned) :)
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Best of 2013 Audiobook Blog Hop: SignupsMy Profile

    • See, perhaps that’s my problem, I hate planning that sort of thing, hehe. Perhaps I would plan enough to get groceries the night before and make sure to have snacks on hand, but that’s about it ;-)

      Oo, I’m totally stealing that idea! I definitely will get sore from sitting too much D: How much do you participate in events for read-a-thons?


  1. […] Readathons: 24 Hour vs Week Long at On Starships and Dragonwings […]

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