5 Expert Tips To Prep For A Readathon


By Casey Rose Frank

If you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to finally catch up on your TBR pile, then Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon tomorrow is exactly what you need.

Reading can be a solitary experience, and a welcome one at that, but with Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, there is a social and communal aspect to the day that can be a welcome addition to the typical reading/writing experiences. Readers are invited to keep track and announce the books they plan to read, share their progress, and participate in giveaways and mini-challenges on their blogs/websites and social media throughout the day.

I like to treat readathons like a special holiday, and like many holidays, a little planning and prep work can make all the difference for the big day. I’ve participated in a couple over the past year including the more low key 24 in 48 returning in January, and this is what I’ve learned:

1. Book selection is important

Reading one long novel, regardless of how entertaining it is, can leave you feeling antsy. Be prepared to break things up a bit and consider alternating your fictional tome with a non-fiction book. Read a greater variety of books throughout the day by keeping the page count of each book below 300.

Some great recommendations include:

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

The Bell Jar


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Gungslinger (Before the movie comes out!)

2. Branch out into new genres

If you’ve never picked up a comic book or graphic novel before, this is the perfect time to rack up some quality reading while keeping the word count low. I’ve only been reading them for a year and already I have some true favorites, the common thread usually being excellent artwork and interesting mythology.

Here are the ones I love:




The Wicked and The Divine

Paper Girls

3. Audiobooks are your best friend

Thanks to apps like Audible, I can pop my phone into my trusty armband and go for a walk, vacuum the house, and do all the “everyday life” tasks I need to do while still racking up my reading for the day.

Awesome choices include:

Her Royal Spyness

The Night Circus

Ready Player One

The Other Typist

The Westing Game

4. Read to other people

If you have tiny tots in your life, get them in on the action too. Reading out loud definitely counts. And if you’re more like me and cats are the tiniest living beings in your home, you could definitely read to them too (but don’t be offended when they fall asleep). You could also see if there are any reading opportunities at a local library or retirement home.

5. Treat it like a holiday, but without all the obligatory gifts and drunk family members

I like to make a point of ordering something special for the day, generally from a local bakery or something similar so that I’m also highlighting my local community when I’m sharing my progress. Last time it was all about the doughnuts, specifically gluten free doughnuts from my local café.

Make some little banners, or use a special blackboard to mark your progress. Participate for two hours or the full twenty-four; allow the day to feel as fun and festive as feels comfortable for you. Ultimately this day should feel like a celebration of all the great books that exist, the wonderful people who read them, and finding the time to read your heart out.

Casey is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash


4 thoughts on “5 Expert Tips To Prep For A Readathon

  1. Anna @CaskandQuill says:

    Great suggestions! I won’t be able to participate this time around, but this makes me excited to join in another time. I love the thought of making it its own mini-holiday. 🙂 I’ll agree that a little community building among readers is always a treat, too. Like you said, it can be mostly a solitary experience for us, so opportunities to connect are always valued. Wonderful post!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  2. Nipopea says:

    I hadn’t heard about this! Thanks for sharing and I am definitely going to try to join in, this is right up my alley. Great suggestions, too! I’ve read a few of them (Ready Player One is one of my favorites) and maybe this will be the perfect time to try a couple I’ve heard of but never found the time for. What better way to relax from a stressful work week than a day of reading? Thanks again!


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