“All time spent reading is time well-spent.” ~ W H Auden. The joys of participating in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon

In my last post I wrote about becoming a first-time participant in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, which ran across this past weekend. Although I had seen social media traffic about previous readathons, I was not quite sure what to expect. But I needn’t have worried – it was really great fun.

I knew before starting that I would not have to read for the whole 24 hours – the ethos is very much ‘do your own thing’. I also suspected that my reading plans would be too ambitious. Tick and tick. In the end, I read for a total of 7 hours in roughly three main concentrated periods. I completed two of my original goals: I finished Mary and O’Neil by Justin Cronin and The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch. I started my second planned Murdoch, The Red and the Green, but found that I was getting too boggle-eyed and headachy from spending too much time with the Kindle app on my iPad. So I swapped to a book from my current library pile – Carol by Patricia Highsmith.

In total I read about 400 pages, which is pretty good going for me. I usually try to get through about 100 pages on a ‘normal’ day.

I will aim to write more about the books themselves in a future post. In the meantime…

What were the best things about participating in the readathon?

  • engaging with fellow book lovers around the world about this marvellous shared passion;
  • experiencing good quality reading time – I found that reading The Italian Girl pretty much straight through enhanced the flow of the story;
  • giving myself permission to prioritise reading over other commitments felt very luxurious.

And the challenges?

  • I should have anticipated that reading for much longer periods on my iPad would be a strain. I don’t usually have a problem reading ebooks, but it was a welcome relief to pick up a print book after a while;
  • I would undoubtedly have read more if I had not been so glued to everyone else’s comments, updates etc. It was hard to tear myself away sometimes!

What will I do differently next time?

The next readathon takes place on 6 April 2019. It’s already in my diary and I am looking forward to having another go, when I expect to:

  • plan more of a mix of reading media, combining printed books, ebooks and audiobooks will allow for even more reading;
  • plan better when to engage with other participants;
  • make more of an effort to participate in the various hourly challenges etc. This time I really only scratched the surface with all the goings on. I definitely feel I missed out by not joining in on the readathon bingo lol!

Having said all of this, though, it seems to me that the best way to approach the readathon is actually to be very laid back about it, just taking things as they come, in accordance with how you feel at any given moment. I can see that an element of planning will help to enhance one’s participation, but the most important thing to remember is that it is meant to be a fun event, not a slog!

I don’t need any encouragement to read – it is definitely one of my priorities these days. One of the added joys of this hobby, though, is the sharing of recommendations, reviews, ideas etc with fellow book lovers. I always enjoy my online conversations with fellow bloggers about their reading habits and recommended titles. Participating in the readathon allowed me to extend this even further. So roll on next April! 😀📚

16 thoughts on ““All time spent reading is time well-spent.” ~ W H Auden. The joys of participating in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon

  1. Sounds fun! Putting aside quality reading time is a luxury easily overlooked isn’t it? And it sounds great to be part of an international reading event – we read alone so it’s such a clever idea to join together in this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lovely way of putting it – a solitary activity which we are nonetheless doing with thousands of others. Thank you for that extra perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well thank you for asking Liz. 🙂 Actually I have one dusty novel in a box, another half finished and a lot of attempted starts of a memoir. I’ve coached one person to finish and publish a memoir and now another person has asked my help, so I decided I won’t help anyone else if I’m not working on my own, so I have a target of 1,000 words per day and thus far I’ve written 23,000 words.
        It’s basically the story of me finding my birth parents in my twenties and a bit of what has happened since then.
        They were/are pretty interesting people and lived quite different lives to what I did, people like hearing the story, and too many have asked me to write it, so despite preferring to write fiction, because I like not knowing what’s going to happen next, I’m writing something currently titled “In Search of Authentic Me”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow that all sounds really fascinating. It must be a great project to work on – how brilliant that you are giving yourself permission to spend time on it. I look forward to hearing more in due course about how you are getting on! 🙂


  2. What a pleasurable way to spend the weekend! I like your list of things to watch out for next time. I find using my Kindle app on my phone for more than half an hour difficult. I get blurred vision and my hands cramp up. I only use it when travelling or waiting in the car for my daughter. I would also have spent too long checking other peoples’ posts! I think I’d have to give myself a timetable of sorts so that I could try out a few of the hourly challenges as well as keep up with my reading and also commenting on everyone’s updates!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think e-reading is marvellous for travel purposes but we humans need real books too! Interesting that you mention the timetable – I saw lots of lovely versions online where people were keeping track of all the different elements – I am definitely going to steal some of those ideas for next time!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree, Ute – there is nothing to match a printed book to enhance one’s reading pleasure. E-reading is brilliant for travel purposes though – I love not having to lug heavy books around all the time! 🙂


  3. I find that I don’t prioritize reading enough, as an activity, and it tends to get lost in the shuffle of daily life. I often pick up a book when I’m too tired to get much out of it. I like the idea of setting aside a day every week or two for a personal readathon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, completely agree. I aim to read at least something everyday, but it is often shoehorned in among other things, meaning that ‘quality reading time’ is a rarity. I love your idea of the personal readathon! 🙂


  4. I have six whole days coming up soon, and I am definitely going to designate a reading day. I think you’re right about the flow of some books, to enter the world and remain there does enhance the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like an excellent plan! I’m hoping to have a mini readathon this weekend as Hubby is away for most of it – the perfect excuse to loll around in my PJs surrounded by books, tea and snacks! 🤣


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