Kernels of Nonsense is a bimonthly discussion feature where I discuss a variety of bookish or blogging related topics. This week I want to talk about readathons and how, for my very own peace of mind, I’ve been avoiding them.
The ever-popular Bout of Books happened last month and every time it comes up, I contemplate joining. I’ve never participated in this readathon before (I’ve only ever participated in a single readathon since joining the book blogging community), despite its popularity; but ultimately, I decided to pass up the opportunity because, as I reminded myself, I equate readathons with stress.
The idea behind readathons (or at least in this blogger’s mind) is to try to read more books than you would usually read within a given allotted time. For example, if a readathon takes place over the course of a week and you usually read two books in a week, you’d set a goal to complete three or more books. The question that always enters my mind when thinking about these kind of scenarios is what if I can’t accomplish my goal? What if life gets in the way and I don’t have extra time to devote to reading? When do I have time to stop and review these books if I’m thinking about the next book I have to finish before the week is through?
Now I know many of you are going to tell me that I don’t have to set a high goal for a readathon, that I can shoot for my regular two books in a week and still take part. This would make things so simple for me, but I like to make things difficult. My question would be why take part in a readathon at all if I’m not trying to accomplish a goal that pushes me to do more than I would normally do? What is the point of a readathon or “reading sprint” if I do nothing different?
What I’m quickly learning about myself is that I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to these readathons. I’ve only taken part in one readathon. I read four books in a span of a week and was so stressed about it. My goal was four books and nothing, absolutely nothing, was going to stop me. Out of the four books, I only managed to write two reviews which made me feel awful at the end of the week. I really don’t feel that I got anything out of it except for a whole lot of unnecessary stress.
Am I the only one who finds readathons to be a special kind of stressful? Do you join readathons on a regular basis? Do you make an effort to read more than you would normally or do you aim low? Which way is better? Let’s discuss in the comments!