discussion: readathons and bingos

I love discussing blogging stuff with y’all, so I thought today I would have a bit of a debate about some of my favourite things – readathons and bingos. I used to participate in these sorts of things quite a lot when I was little. My local library would always run a reading competition every summer (which, needless to say, I ADORED.) I’ve been absolutely loving the chance to rediscover the joy of reading as much as I can, and often as widely as I can.

So: readathons! As you may know, I’ve participated in a couple of these events. I’ve taken part in the 24 in 48 Readathon, as well as the Ramadan Readathon a bit more recently. I’m also doing my own mini readathon focusing on London, which you can read about here!


  • Can be done at your own pace, and you don’t have a specific quota of books to read
  • Not usually too specific a theme (however, I sometimes would consider that a con)
  • Twitter chats
  • Sometimes have Instagram/Litsy challenges
  • Usually pretty well publicized – I like it when a lot of people are taking part


  • Stressful, especially when they’re really short! I don’t often have time to just READ for a weekend.

However, I think my true love lies with bingos. My main goal for this year is to complete the Diversity Bingo 2017, and a couple of months ago I participated in the Asian Lit Bingo, as well as the Diverse December bingo.


  • Spreadsheet to fill out = feeling of success!
  • Twitter chats
  • Sometimes also have separate Instagram/Litsy challenges
  • Often a bit more specific than readathons
  • Can last a lot longer than readathons – e.g. Diversity Bingo 2017
  • The creators often have specific interviews and book recommendations for bingos, which I haven’t really seen with readathons


  • Can be stressful finding books that fit specific boxes
  • Expensive if you don’t already have the books
  • Sometimes not as well publicized – I find it less fun when there are fewer people

What are your thoughts? Bingos? Readathons? Neither? Let me know!


22 thoughts on “discussion: readathons and bingos

  1. Holly says:

    I’ve never done a bookish bingo challenge, but I love read-a-thons!! I don’t participate in them nearly as much as I would like because I’m usually pretty busy, but the Book-Tube-A-Thon is always a favorite of mine ❤ Great post! 🙂


  2. Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel says:

    I like Readathons. But I have never been very successful in them. I always keep my own target of ten hours in the Dewey’s and 24in48 readathons. But I have never managed to finish even that. Maybe I don’t push myself enough to read, but I seem to get all distracted to readathons. But I am really going to finish my ten hours in July’s 24in48. (wish me luck).

    I have never really taken part in Bingos because often I would have books that satisfy all the diff criteria and probably I would not want to spend on a new book that month


  3. Ann Elise says:

    I find readathons are too much pressure for me. I’ve done a few bingos, though, and generally like them. I’m not sure I’ll do another year-length bingo next year, though, because I often have to read far too many heterosexual books to fill out the squares due to limited intersectional rep and that wears me down quite a lot.

    I might change my mind on that. We’re only halfway through the year.


  4. christine @ the story salve says:

    I feel pretty similarly to you, I think. On the one hand, I do enjoy having a specific focus for my reading. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of books I want to read, so it’s nice to be able to narrow them down, whether it’s for a readathon or a bingo. On the other hand though, I don’t have that much money to throw around. Plus, sometimes I feel like the readathons and bingos work better for those people who all seem to be friends with each other on Twitter, so I’m hesitant to get involved because ~anxiety!~

    The only one I’ve really participated in (other than the small-scale Hannah Moskowitz readathon last month) is the Diversity Bingo for this year. I like it because of how drawn out it is, so I have plenty of time to try to fill in squares. Although there are definitely ones I’m having a lot of trouble with (e.g. I CANNOT find an #OwnVoices Pansexual story, so I’m using The Melody of You and Me even though it’s not #OwnVoices).

    Liked by 1 person

    • whatthelog says:

      Yeah I think you do! I agree that the Twitter chats seem like they work better for people who know each other. I’ve just kinda thrown myself into the mix a couple of times and everyone was very nice 🙂 I’d be more than happy to do a challenge alongside you so we know we’ll have someone to chat to!

      Yup, absolutely agreed with that – Diversity Bingo hasn’t stressed me out at all, which I’m quite grateful for. And yup, same. I’ve counted The Melody of You and Me as well. I’m going to see if I can count anything else, but that’ll do for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    This is a great post. I love readathons! I enjoy finding them in advance and forcing myself to schedule solid blocks of reading time. I personally participate in Bout of Books fairly regularly, and I have done some others throughout the last year. I tend to look for themed ones which help me either change up my reading (get out of that slump!), push through my pile of ARCs, or help me with a reading challenge.

    I haven’t done Bingo before– but I ADORE reading challenges. These are similar conceptually, is my understanding. I would definitely look into some of these for next year! Are there recurring bingos you would recommend? I’m so overwhelmed for this year… it’s a bit embarrassing. Too many reading challenges!!


    • whatthelog says:

      Yeah I’ve seen a bit about Bout of Books but I’m not 100% sure what it is? And yes, OMG, I forgot about the ARC readathon I did a couple of months back – that was quite helpful, I need to do something like that again.

      Hmm, we’ll have to see if there is another Diversity Bingo happening next year (I certainly hope there will be), and I am seriously considering making my own mental health bingo at some point. Asian Lit Bingo might happen again too, I think? I’m not sure tbh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Bout of books is a low-pressure readathon. You read what you want and participate in their daily post (blog/insta/twitter, whatever) to be entered into the end-of-readathon drawing. It’s fun and has no requirements other than read. I dug it as a great way to start 2017.

        Also– I would be all about my first bingo being mental health bingo. I would struggle to find books for all the categories, I’m sure. You might need to make a few lists for us plebs. 😉


  6. Nadia says:

    I’ve not done a bingo before. I loved Asian Lit Bingo but couldn’t take part because of exams. And the only readathon I’ve done, so far, is the one I hosted! I think I prefer bingos since readathons often aren’t specific enough.


    • whatthelog says:

      I would definitely recommend a bingo! I’d really like to do one for next year’s mental health month.
      And I thought your readathon really stood out against the others because it was so well-themed, and you wrote a lot of side-along posts with it. It has definitely been my favourite readathon yet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lacyliteracy says:

    I used to love Readathons, but I just don’t have the time for them anymore. There always seems to be some big irl stuff going on when readathons are scheduled. I wish I had the time for them because I do love over challenging myself.

    I like bingos a lot more. I feel like while there’s a challenge, you usually have a longer period to do it so it’s okay if you’re in a reading slump for a big. I also enjoy searching for books that fit the categories, and it helps me read more backlist books.


    • whatthelog says:

      Yup, 100% agreed with this! The longer a readathon/bingo is, the more likely I am to do it. Whilst I love the idea of weekend readathons, there’s just way too much stuff in my life too.

      And that’s a really good point about searching for books – I’ve definitely had that with the Diversity Bingo 2017, and I’m loving how it has widened my reading horizons 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vijayalakshmi Harish says:

    I do neither. They’re fun. But also a bit stressful. I like to read what I want at my own pace. So these don’t always work for me, unfortunately. But I did enjoy the #DSFFBookClub reads last year. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • whatthelog says:

      I definitely get what you mean – I’m a fast reader, but definitely a mood one. I don’t think it is fair to the book or the author if I’m forcing myself to read a book just to fit into a readathon/bingo.
      Yeah, those books looked really good! I was super busy with university so I couldn’t take part, unfortunately. Maybe we’ll have to try and do something like that again!


  9. justanotherloststudent says:

    Ahhhhh, I’m really glad you brought up the thing about these working better for people who seem to be friends with each other. I’ve been finding it really hard to connect with other book reviewers because I think, to an extent, it is quite cliquey. Which is a shame as I had hoped that I could meet some new people through doing this but then feel anxious about not being included, etc!


  10. Huntress of Diverse Books says:

    Oh! This is an interesting subjec to think about. I like doing both.

    My personal problem with bingos is that I get too excited and decide I want to complete the entire board (e.g. Asian Lit Bingo and Diversity Bingo 2017). However, what I liked about Asian Lit Bingo is that we had chats and there was a community – it was too much however for just one month. What I like about Diversity Bingo 2017 is that we have a longer timeframe but there isn’t really a community feeling and some of the prompts were added even though it’s very difficult to find books (looking at allergy prompt).

    What I like about readathons is that they’re over a short amount of time and the ones I do are focussed on a certain theme. So I can choose myself how many to do. I have to say I did feel like I was cheating at Ramadan Readathon because I only chose 4 books after doing 25 for Asian Lit Bingo, but it was so relaxing and the chats were wonderful. I’m not a fan of the 24in48 Readathons because I couldn’t do that. I need time to relax (i.e. dance).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    I haven’t really participated in any Bingos except the diversity one this year because I kinda get overwhelmed by all the choices 😂 I LOVE readathons though. They really motivate me to read and I love the interaction factor! I feel like I don’t really stress during them because I put zero pressure on myself, haha.


  12. Fadwa @ Word Wonders says:

    I only ever once participated in a readathon (Ramadan Readathon) and it was fun although the chats always happened at times when I couldn’t participate and that lessened the fun for me and that’s mainly why I don’t do them, as well as because sometimes the themes aren’t specific and I feel like it would be like how I read normally since I refuse to stress myself
    I’m doing the diversity Bingo but mainly for myself because it helped me reach for books I wouldn’t have read without it.
    Great post 😊


  13. Life of a Female Bibliophile says:

    I’ve never done a reading bingo challenge, but I’ve always wanted too. Usually I find out about them when it’s too late. As for readathons, it’s hard for me to participate due to my schedule and I usually don’t have time for them because something always comes up. I would like to participate in one before the year ends. It’s been forever since I’ve done readathons, and I’ve enjoyed them in the past.


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