National Readathon Day Makes Debut This Saturday
To promote National Readathon Day, which makes its debut this Saturday, January 24, and is sponsored by the National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, GoodReads and Mashable, 15 authors appear in a video discussing why reading is important and what they like to read. Among our favorite comments:
Norman Lear: "I read when I should be looking at television."
Annabelle Gurwitch: "I like to pick up a book at my local neighborhood bookstore because I like a random encounter."
David Milgrim: "Everything we hold dear is in books, and all you gotta do is pick them up. It's all there."
As part of National Readathon Day--when book lovers are asked to pledge to read for four hours starting at noon in their respective time zones--nearly 200 bookstores, libraries, schools, universities and other organizations are hosting events. For example, at WORD bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., participants are invited to "grab a seat in the basement and a donut and get in some quality reading time" while at WORD's Jersey City, N.J., store, "the cafe will be reserved for readers from noon to 4 p.m. (no laptops allowed!)." BookPeople, Austin, Tex., is reserving "our quiet, peaceful third floor space... for anyone who wants to sit down and read from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m." At the Bookshelf, Thomaston, Ga., volunteers will read aloud Wonder by R.J. Palacio in the children's section, and the store will donate 10% of all sales between noon and 4 p.m. to the National Book Foundation. And at Watermark Books and Café, Wichita, Kans., the store will "keep things quiet" between noon and 4 p.m. so readers can "curl up with your favorite book" and "enjoy reading in a community of readers."
An important component of National Readathon Day is fundraising to support the National Book Foundation's efforts to create, promote and sustain a lifelong love of reading in the U.S. Proceeds will go to Foundation education programs like BookUp, the after-school reading program that has given away more than 25,000 books to middle schoolers since 2007. So far, teams and individuals have raised more than $25,000.
The National Book Foundation is providing some prizes for fundraisers: for $100 raised, an I Love Reading tote bag; for $250 raised, a copy of a 2014 National Book Award–winning book; $1,000, an I Love Reading tote bag and all four 2014 National Book Award–winning books; $2,500, two tickets to the 2015 National Book Awards ceremony, dinner and after-party; and for $7,500 raised, two tickets to the 2015 National Book Awards ceremony, dinner and after-party as well as hotel and airfare.