This Saturday, January 24, marks the first National Readathon Day sponsored by Penguin Random House, GoodReads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation to raise money for NBF’s reading programs.
Since the program was first announced last fall, readers have been encouraged to pledge their support and to participate in the Readathon from noon to 4 p.m. (in respective time zones). They are also encouraged to share their experience on social media, using the hashtag #timetoread.
As of Thursday morning, the Readathon has raised more than $32,800 to support programs like BookUp, an after-school reading program for middle-school students. The program is offering fundraising premiums ranging from an I Love Reading tote bag for $100 to two tickets to the invite-only 2015 National Book Awards ceremony, dinner, and after-party for a donation of $2,500. The top fundraising team will also have the opportunity for an exclusive reading (in-person or online) with Phil Klay, author of Redeployment, the 2014 National Book Award winner for fiction.
A number of libraries, bookstores, and schools have signed up to participate in the Readathon, including Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, N.H., Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, N.C., and the King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City.
Barnes & Noble announced that it will use the day to kick off a reading challenge of its own, the Nook Reading Challenge (#NOOKReadingChallenge). Readers have to commit on their Facebook page to read one or more books between January 24 (National Readathon Day) and February 28 using the hashtag #NOOKReadingChallenge. They have a chance to win one of 100 $25 Barnes & Noble gift cards.