One of the best things about the Readathon is the opportunity to connect with hundreds (thousands!) of other readers. But over the course of several years and multiple Readathons, I’ve come to realize that the draw of other people and that glorious beast known as social media can cause me a little trouble, at least when it comes to actually reading. If you’ve participated before, you’ve probably experienced something similar: You wake up with big Readathon plans, grab your book and breakfast, but decide to check out the challenges or #readathon hashtag before cracking the spine. The next thing you know, you’re almost an hour (maybe two!) deep in an internet rabbit hole that you didn’t intend to follow.
While I certainly don’t want any of us to avoid the internet on the day of the Readathon, there are a few tricks to maximizing your reading time and avoiding the timesuck of social media. I’ve found that the more frequently I hop on the internet, the more likely I am to get distracted and waste time. Remember that the Readathon challenges are up for more than just an hour, so even if you want to participate in all of them, you don’t necessarily have to log in hourly. Plan to check out the challenges, the hashtag, visit blogs or cheer after a specific amount of reading time passes (maybe at the start of every other hour).
Using a timer or app to do reading sprints can help with this, too! I really love Forest, which can be used as either a phone app or browser extension, and blocks out specified sites while you focus for 25 minutes at a time. Each block of focus time grows a tree, which you can see planted in your own little virtual forest. It could be extra helpful for Readathon as a way to keep track of your total reading time and stay on the book path throughout the day.
Do you have any tips and tricks for finding balance between social media and reading during the Readathon?