Hi! It’s been a long time since I last write a non-review post. In this post I’d like to discuss about read-a-thon. I’ve been participating on several read-a-thons. It was fun and quite effective in tackling my TBR pile. So I’ll share some tips based on my experience in participating a read-a-thon.

What is a read-a-thon?

Basically, read-a-thon is a reading marathon. It has time limit and the participants are required to set a specific goal that they want to reach. It's a good opportunity to push yourself to read more than you usually do. Most read-a-thon have challenges or mini challenges that the participants could do while they’re reading. Some read-a-thon have reading sprints with hosts in which the host will set a short limited time for the participants to read together. Some even have a specific theme. As far as I know, based on the time limit there are two kind of read-a-thon, 24-hours read-a-thon and a week-long read-a-thon. But I’ll talk more about it later.

Interested to participate in one?

There are a lot of read-a-thons hosted by book bloggers or booktubers out there. First, you have to choose which read-a-thon interests you and make sure the time fits your schedule. If you’re interested in a themed read-a-thon, check your book shelf. Do you own books with the required specific theme? You wouldn’t want to burden yourself with going to the bookstore and buy more books or going to the library and borrow books. Because, I usually participate in a read-a-thon to finish books that are already on my shelf. To tackle my TBR shelf. But if you’re okay with it then just do it. In term of time limit, I prefer to choose 24-hours read-a-thon because it’s easier for me to schedule a full day only for reading. While in a week-long read-a-thon, in a span of a week I’ll have other priorities such as college assignments. Except if the read-a-thon is held when I’m on holiday which is rare.
Here are some read-a-thons that you can choose to participate:

And many more… (seriously guys, there’s a lot of read-a-thons out there. Ask Google if you don’t believe me)

Read-a-thon preparation

Now that you've chosen the read-a-thon, time to set your goals and pick your TBR list. In setting your goals, be realistic. If you have other important things to finish besides reading during the read-a-thon, then adjust your goal to fit that. You don’t want to be devastated in the end of read-a-thon just because you don’t reach your goals.
Choose the book that you always want to read but never have the time to. You would want the book that keeps you turning pages. The anticipation won’t get you bored and stop reading when you’re actually doing the read-a-thon. For 24-hours read-a-thon, choose short books or graphic novels or mangas. Since the read-a-thon is only in 24 hours span, there won’t be much time to read big chunky books. For a week-long read-a-thon, you can choose bigger books. Also, choose a format that you’re comfortable in. While doing Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon, I found out that I read physical copy faster than e-book. So, I’ll avoid reading e-book for the next 24-hours read-a-thon.
If your goal is to finish 3 books for the read-a-thon, then pick 5 or 6 books for your TBR list. That way, when you feel that you can’t finish a certain book; you can put it down and choose another book to read. You’ll have more selections. You don’t have to choose another book from the shelves during the read-a-thon as well if you’re able to exceed your goal.
Don’t forget to sign up if it’s required. Some read-a-thons require sign up by leaving a link to your social media. Some even require you to publish a sign up post where you can write your TBR list for the read-a-thon. This sign up thingy will be helpful if you intend to join the challenges or mini challenges.

The Read-a-thon

You’re finally in the actual fun time! All that you have to do is read. Obviously. Don’t forget to bring snacks or water to accompany your reading time. You don’t want to be dehydrated while reading. But be careful with your water and food because you don’t want to spill things to your precious books. Also, make sure you have bookmark and tabs near you. It will help if you need to take a sudden break or to keep track of your favorite quotes from the book. Besides that, I usually create an excel sheet to record my reading progress. Mine goes like the picture below. But you can add more information that you want to the columns, like the book’s title, or anything else you like. 

It’s okay to take a break. You don’t have to read for –let’s say- 5 hours straight. You can close your book for a while and complete mini challenges (if there’s any) or interact with other participants via comment or twitter. It’s a little tricky though, since the wonderful world of internet could be so distracting. Set a specific time limit to wander the internet. It’s okay to spend 10 minutes or 15 minutes on the internet. Don’t take too long, you don’t want to miss out the reading part.

The After

Time set! And the read-a-thon finish. Time to check your reading progress sheet and your goal list. How did you do? How many pages that you read? Do you reach all of your goals? If you don’t, it’s totally fine. So you’ve only read 50 pages, so what? Or you’ve only completed one of your goals. No big deal. Don’t compare yourself with other participants. Everyone has different reading pace and maybe, they have a lot more free time to read than you do. Don’t compare yourself to them. Have fun! It’s not a competition.
Wrap up the read-a-thon by stating the reading progress. It’s not something that you have to do but it helps if you want to know your reading pattern. Like, how many pages you can read in an hour or what format you prefer.

So that’s it for this post. How about you? Have you participated on a read-a-thon? Do you have any specific habits while doing a read-a-thon? Do you have any tips? Feel free to leave it in the comment section.

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