April 2017, Uncategorized

Warm Up: Why Readathons Make the Book Community Stronger

Hi, my name is Dannii and I am a self-confessed bibliophile. Ever since the age when meaningless squiggles turned to letters on a page, I have been obsessed with reading. It was not until relatively recently, however, that I discovered the wonderful people of the online book community.

I know, I know. Where had I been?

Late 2015 I watched my first Booktube video (Sahsa Alsberg’s, if you’re wondering) and I created my own bookstagram and GoodReads accounts the very next day.

2016 was the year of my very first readathon, and I don’t think it was until that time that I realized how equally infatuated I had become with both reading and the wonderful people who proclaimed their shared passion as mine, on the internet.

Being a reader was always in my blood. Being surrounded by people who never understood or appreciated my ardor never dulled my captivation with books. It did, however, dull something inside of myself. I never stopped reading. But I did stop talking about reading. Reading was not only my escape but became the only sphere I had in which to be truly myself.

I lost a part of myself in all these years of living almost, what felt like, a double life. One in which every night I would travel to past times and fantastical lands, trade the everyday for the make-believe, perform feats of breathtaking magic, fall in love over and over again, and never tell a soul about it the next day.

The internet provided a space for me to not only share this hidden part of my myself, but for me to be, finally, understood.

Reading, by its very nature, is a solo activity, often suited to those with an introverted nature. How wonderful that this singular-person activity could be shared online with like-minded people and even transformed into a group event in the form of a readathon. How wonderful to lose myself in a book and find myself in the realization that hundreds or thousands of others are performing the very same activity, at the very same time as myself.

Readathons, and their controlled times of fevered reading, enlivens us to share our passions and to delight in the sharing of others. It encourages us to loudly proclaim what we love and to proudly mark ourselves as part of this open and inclusive community.

During a readathon, we become not several individuals performing the same activity, but a banded and passionate army of bibliophiles; promoting our love, our true selves, and, most importantly, each other.

Find your thing and you’ll find your tribe. Shout it loudly as you hold them close. I found both my passion and my people, and they are all of you.

Thank you so much, Dannii! You can follow Dannii on Twitter at @dannii.elle.reads or at United by Pop where she is a blogger.

4 thoughts on “Warm Up: Why Readathons Make the Book Community Stronger”

  1. I love this post so much. It put me in tears! <3 <3 <3

    I discovered Goodreads in 2012, after an online friend on a gaming site learned my love for books and shared this site with me. I love the groups on Goodreads, groups where I can talk to like-minded readers about the books WE love. 🙂

    I discovered Book Riot and Dewey's and "BookTube" and Bout of Books and 24in48 and so many other online sites and Readathons that promote reading and readers and books and it's wonderful!

    🙂

  2. Love that line – “Shout it loudly and you’ll find your tribe.” This tribe cares nothing about age or other criteria. A 50-something farm wife from Nebraska can discuss a book with a 20-something cyber-security analyst from California and find a world in common. Great post!

  3. I recently discovered booktube and goodreads too. Booktube is what brought me to the readathon. I love participating in this readathon because I love the thought that somewhere out there someone could be reading the same book at the same time as me (I always check the list afterwards to make sure 😉 Looking forward to another readathon. Got my books ready and hopefully someone else is reading them too.

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