I’ve loved readathons for a few years now — ever since a friend and I discovered Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon and went hard, staying awake for the full 24 hours and reading the entire time. And I guess this makes sense, because I have always loved a good event. A party, a movie marathon, anything, and the stricter the theme, the better.
Of course, it’s also fun to add a sense of community to something that is typically a solitary activity. When you participate in any sort of reading event, you’re turning your reading into a communal pastime, which makes it fun. And, helpfully for me, it also helps to keep you accountable.
So when I heard about Book Roast‘s Harry Potter N.E.W.T.s-themed readathon happening this August, I immediately wanted to join in on the fun. However, as exciting as the premise was, there was a little bit of a hitch, at least as far as I was concerned. I like to do things The Right Way, and in fact have more fun sometimes not despite rules, but because of them. I guess I crave structure. And, like the N.E.W.T. exams are preceded by the O.W.L.s in the Harry Potter books, the N.E.W.T. readathon was preceded by an O.W.L.s readathon, which took place in April.
As I said, I like to follow rules, especially when it comes to a good themed event, so the fact that I had already missed the O.W.L.s readathon when I learned about these events, at first I felt like it wasn’t worth participating in the N.E.W.T.s — especially since the two readathons build on each other. But then it occurred to me — in real life, if someone misses their exams, they’re allowed to take a make-up test. So that was what I decided to do: I would follow all of the rules of the O.W.L.s readathon in July, rather than April, in order to (hopefully) catch up before the N.E.W.T.s officially begin in August.
My friend and critique partner Mary decided to do the same, so I even got a little of that sense of community after all!