My Love-Hate Relationship with Readathons

I am rarely more motivated to read than when I’m doing it for a challenge.

Maybe that’s sad, but it’s honestly the truth. When I’ve got a list of challenges to hit, my brain enters super-drive, and I want nothing more than to sit on my couch with a book in my lap.

This is why readathons are such a magical thing. Pre-determined tasks that allow me to focus my TBR and give me a solid list of things to complete. But they have some downsides, too. So today, I thought I’d go through some of the things I love, and maybe not love, about them.

I love their flexibility

Seriously! I know a lot of people feel boxed in by readathons. Some of them are definitely more restrictive, like readathons focused on only reading Harry Potter. But beyond those, I think a lot of creators make challenges that allow for a good amount of movability.

For example, later this month, I’ll be participating in the Contemporaryathon (look out for my TBR in the coming weeks!). Even though this is a genre-specific readathon with additional challenges, they all still feel very open. One of the prompts ask for a book with yellow on the cover. Take a look at your shelf. There are actually a lot of yellow books out there!

I both love and hate their time crunch

The time limit is the whole reason why readathons are so motivating. The clock is ticking. “Strike while the oven’s hot” and all that.

The only downside to this is when I’m having a particularly busy day/week/month, or when I’m just feeling generally lukewarm to reading. Unless I can channel my inner lioness in those few days that a readathon usually happens, the whole thing feels like a bit of a bust.

I’m not a fan of the post-readathon slump

This is the biggest downside and what inspired me to write this post in the first place. I participated in the Summerathon this past July, and while it motivated me to read four books in seven days, it left me in a significant slump afterwards that lasted weeks.

This doesn’t happen to me every time I participate in a readathon, but it also happened this March during a weekend readathon, and last year after the Booktubeathon (now known as the Reading Rush). I’m so fatigued after all that reading, I end up taking a break… that stretches a lot longer than I intended it to.

I love the community aspect

Arguably one of the most engaging things about a readathon is the fact that lots of people around the Internet are doing the same thing as you: reading. This is true for readathons both big and small. You feel like you’re all in this together. If that person living halfway around the world can finish seven books in seven days, can’t you?

An extension of this is all the great content that comes from readathons: TBRs, vlogs, wrap-ups, oh my. I get to sit back in bed and watch all my favorite booktubers and scroll through all my favorite book bloggers as they recount their readathon tales.

I love beating back my backlist

I find a lot of the time when I compile my TBRs for readathons, I end up picking books straight off my shelf rather than browsing the library or the bookstore. Which, thank goodness, really helps to shave off my physical TBR, and because of the sheer volume a readathon requires, I can usually end up reducing it by two or three books in the space of just a few days.

All in all, for me at least, the benefits of readathons definitely outweigh any negatives. When I participate, I try to let go of the pressure and just have some plain ol’ fun!

Now that I’ve finished writing this post and typed readathon so many times it doesn’t even look like a word anymore (which, I mean, technically it isn’t anyway, but YOU GET IT), I want to hear from you!

How do you feel about readathons? Do you tend to participate in them or keep them away with a ten-foot pole? Are there any readathons you’re hoping to participate in soon? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Stay bookish,


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6 thoughts on “My Love-Hate Relationship with Readathons

  1. Great post, Jordyn!! I agree with so many of your points. I LOVE readathons because they motivate me to read and they help me actually pick a TBR (because I’m so indecisive). I also enjoy the community aspect because even though I rarely complete them it’s normally a lot of fun interacting with everyone. They can definitely cause me to become burnt out though especially if I’m participating in a lot 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I only every participate in the Dewey 24 hour readathon because it’s uually easier for me to block out a day/weekend for reading than a week or month. I find that as much as I love reading and interacting with other readers and bloggers I can’t quite say no to real life activities with friends and family just because the bookversus has decided it is reading time. If I ever get less busy I may try to participate in more.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to only participate in the 24in48 readathon, but attempting the Hogwarts House Battle readathon this month! I love seeing the whole community and watching the vlogs, TBR piles and then the end wrap up videos. But I agree with the love-hate and going into a reading slump.

    Liked by 1 person

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