Dewey’s 24 Hour #readathon
This is a wonderful event for a great cause. You can read how this heart-warming event came about:
Back in the day – like, seven or eight years ago – read-a-thon was a wee thing. Fun, but it was a baby and had less than a 100 participants when it first started. My how it has grown! Now read-a-thon has 100s of readers signed up and boasts international participation. On read-a-thon day you can find folks participating across many blog platforms and social media channels. GoodReads. Twitter. Tumblr. Instagram. YouTube. You name it, we’re there. Readers are excited and taking ownership of the event by expressing a love of reading to a community of readers. It is one giant, collective fuzzy hug of book lover companionship.
This is exactly what Dewey intended. Ana, from things mean a lot, expressed Dewey and her goal for read-a-thon best: “She was kind in a no-nonsense sort of way, full of empathy, and genuinely interested in creating the kind of online community where you’re reminded of other people’s humanity at every turn.”
This is the spirit of read-a-thon: Kindness. Caring. Unity. Friendship.
The reason for the season. Have fun reading and making new friends across the globe.
Now, time for some family talk. It is very easy to get caught up in the bigness of read-a-thon and lose sight of why we are all doing this 24-hour crazy reading thing. Let’s talk about what read-a-thon is not about:
Read-a-thon has never been about increasing your personal brand online.
I know, ouch. I’m not saying that there are legions of participants who participate for cold glory and bragging rights. I truly don’t think this is intentional. Sort of like at holidays and weddings it is easy to get caught up in being perfect, best, or spending too much money. We can get competitive, jealous, or, if you’re like me and weirdly prone to unwarranted anxiety, feel left out of the festivities.
“Where is my cheerleader?” “The mini-challenge wasn’t explained right.” “I didn’t get a prize!” “NO ONE IS VISITING MY BLOG/RETWEETING/ETC?”
Read-a-thon was never (and will never) be about blog hits, soaring stats, the number of cheer visits, your popularity on Twitter, etc…. These things can be a great read-a-thon byproduct, but it isn’t the goal. Don’t get me wrong, I get a rush when we’re trending on Twitter (y’all, last year we out-trended One Direction!). I get it. It is validating to have people show their appreciation for you in lovely quantifiable ways.
But that isn’t community, that isn’t read-a-thon.