After the discovery that Silent Book Clubs exist, I suddenly also have hope that a very particular dream of mine could actually come true. The first readathon I ever did was a Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and during that readathon I immediately dreamed of one day attending an event where it was being done by a huge group of people. A readathon-con, if you will. Or Readacon.
Imagine a conference hall where dozens of people are there just to try to read 24 hours straight. We’re all sitting on beanbags or lying on just-a-little-under-too-comfortable couches. Snacks, drinks and coffee stations are also in the hall for easy-access.
The first reading hour starts. Everyone becomes quiet and delves into their first book. The only thing you hear are pages being turned. It the beginning, it’s a bit weird to be in such a giant hall where nobody is talking, but after a while the story of your book makes you forget about your surroundings.
After exactly one hour, a bell rings. The hourly 10-minute break begins. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Without these breaks, you might just not be able to reach the finish. That first break is calm. Everybody stands up, stretches a little and goes for a bathroom break or gets some new drinks and snacks. A giant clock counts down until the break is over. When we start reading, it changes into a clock that counts the hours read. One hour down, 23 to go.
This cycle continues for the next hours. Right up until it’s dinner time. A new bell signals that dinner is served. The next half hour, we all gather in the restaurant of the con and have dinner. Everyone is talking to each other, devouring the buffet and it’s loud. Hey, we’ve all been sitting quietly for hours and it has obviously taken it’s toll.
After dinner, we all sit down with our book again. This time, it’s a little more difficult to focus. Fatigue settles in. After three more hours of reading, the bell for the break sounds but it’s different than the other bells we’ve heard so far. This is a “special” break and we gather in front of the podium for a yoga session to loosen up our muscles.
When the break ends, we’ve all settled down for the most difficult hours of the con: nighttime. The same pattern continues, after every hour read, a bell rings and we take a break. Around 1 AM the special bell rings again. We gather in front of the podium where a DJ is now playing. A 10-minute dancing session starts and we all go crazy after sitting down for so long.
The rest of the night holds nothing special and it’s breakfast time sooner than you’d thought possible. We all enter the restaurant, but this time it’s a lot quieter. Fatigue has definitely set in.
After breakfast, we get ready for the next few hours of reading. Some people fell asleep ages ago, but you can’t really blame them. This is one hell of a marathon. Lunch comes and goes, and the last leg of the readacon starts.
After the existence of silent book clubs, it’s only one step away, isn’t it?
Would you join my readacon?