Mini Margins From the 2nd Read-a-thon

Melissa Lee, Erin Mason & Talia Moodley
October 10, 2022

As LitSoc cemented the tradition of a 24-hour read-a-thon fundraiser, so too did we cement the tradition of live-blogging the event. There were bookish opinions, unhinged games with great prizes, milestones reached and wholesome bonding.

Relive the fun or see if anything piques your interest enough to come join us next year!

Post divider.

Readers, assemble!

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call.

Our 2022 read-a-thon has begun! After weeks of anticipation and fundraising, we're getting into the swing of things. As of the writing of this post, we have already raised a huge $3,760 for Story Factory (absolutely insane, we're all so grateful for the support)!

The event started at 12pm with a talk from the co-founder and executive director of Story Factory, Cath Keenan. It was incredible to hear about the work Story Factory does for young people in under-resourced communities and how our contribution is going to impact their learning. Beyond the confidence that comes with creative writing programs and workshops, Story Factory focuses on equipping youth with the skills to tell their own stories with joy.

We also went around the Discord call and in-person space to introduce ourselves and what books we were reading. Some commonalities have already popped up (this is a reminder that you can buddy read and use the spoiler chat to discuss books with others!) and we have some . . . very ambitious goals *looking at Zara attempting to finish War and Peace*.

Thank you so much to Cath for setting the tone of the read-a-thon and reminding us why we come together to run and participate in such projects. Happy reading everyone!

– Melissa

Game time; or, in which Josh loses

Screenshot of the second Jackbox game in the Discord lounge call.

Three hours in and the readers have really been putting in the work. Serena reported from the on-campus session that Zara was tearing up as she made her way through This Is How You Lose the Time War. On the Discord, Tiana wasn’t so sure anymore about her pick, Deadly Kerfuffle.

A bunch of the bookworms made their way to the lounge call, where Tiana took on the title of Games Master and set us loose on Jackbox. The first game was a battle of wits (‘poo’ got tossed around at least twice, though, so take that with a grain of salt). This is also where this post’s title comes in – Josh wowed everyone with his ability to absolutely fail to win the crowd, time and time again. On the other hand, Caitlin, continuing her general excellence from last year’s read-a-thon, took home first place and a $25 Amplify Bookstore gift voucher! Congratulations!

With some time left yet, a second game put our drawing skills to the test. The next great artist is not among us, but NFT bros could be a potential market. The game went on for a few more rounds than anyone was expecting, but as it finally drew to a close, Amy emerged victorious.

– Talia :)

Early milestone: $4000

Everyone has done such a wonderful job promoting and fundraising, so much so that we’ve already passed the $4000 mark! With all the funds going towards such a valuable literary resource, we can’t thank you all enough.  

– Talia :)

Dinner break

We've reached the quarter mark, and it's time to eat dinner and take a break from the books as we (maybe) reconnect with the people around us. For those continuing to read while they eat . . . relatable.

Share what you're having, how many books you've finished and any thoughts on what you've read so far!

– Melissa

Uphill battles for some, cruising along for others

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call that features Zara holding the chunky 'War and Peace' paperback.

After dinner, we had a solid few hours of reading before coming back to discuss our experiences so far. Some of the uphill battles we're having:

  • Caitlin's Doordash order got cancelled after a two-hour wait
  • Zara barely making a dent in War and Peace
  • Josh getting through an intense 400 pages of One Piece
  • Myself having one DNF and one bizarre read

Meanwhile Erin is on her fourth book, absolutely smashing through this.

We have had some stand-out reads though, with Tiana joining the group of people recommending On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (‘depressing . . . but a really good read . . . I think I would give it 5 stars’). I also would agree with the positive reviews for The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak as a gorgeously written piece of historical fiction.

We'll be back at 9pm in the lounge for another game session. Hop in for your chance to win a gift voucher for Amplify Bookstore!

Until we discuss One Piece again,

– Melissa

Good ol' and Gartic Phone

Screenshot of the game.

Our second game session was packed with laughs, adorable drawings and questionable interpretations.

During the game, Serena seemingly forgot she was not muted and kept guessing the (correct) answer out loud, giving the rest of the players opportunities to snag more points. After lamenting incorrect colours, Zara's decision to draw coffee in a beaker instead of a cup, and tripping up over the spelling of ‘Teletubby’, the first game came to a close.

During a very chaotic game of Gartic Phone, we had a good laugh at Norman being mistaken for geese and a frog morphing into a crocodile. We hope this provided a good brain-refresher for everyone who's been digging into books for the past ten hours!

Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.
Gartic Phone results.

– Melissa

Status report

Photo of Serena on the floor taking her power nap.

We’ve now got less than an hour to go until the clock strikes twelve. Tiana is onto her third book, Finding Jupiter, and the YA corniness is making her question whether she’ll make it much further. Chantelle has given The Atlas Six a 3-star rating – not onboard the BookTok hype-train, she’s taken to reading reviews that validate her tiring experience (alas, all the pretty character art was not enough to make her care). On the flip side, Nadya is loving Carrie Soto Is Back, even if she’ll have to suffer the bruises from the emotional blows it’s dealt for the foreseeable future. Oh, and our read-a-thon leader, Serena, is down for a power nap (let’s hope she wakes up in time to run the 3am games).

– Talia :)

Tag, you're it

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call.

It's 1:40am at the time I'm writing this post that should have gone out at 12:30am. Apologies, dear friends.

Since the last update, we've had most members finish their first book, with a handful going onto their third. Tiana isn't having such a great time reading Finding Jupiter (her regret has sparked some riveting conversations in the chat, though). Emily has rated The Dragon's Promise 4 stars, mainly carried by the ship, dragon kingdom and subverted expectation of a love triangle. Personally, I've been reading about talking mushrooms and having a confusing but grand time.

Some of our readers have signed off for the night, having finished their pledged hours or to resume when the sun comes up. We have some fresh faces joining us this hour as well. To you readers, we salute you for making it here at 1am.

Games will commence at 3am, but we might have time for a skincare session before that.

– Melissa

Welcome to the 3am club

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call.

We have just hit the 3am mark, and we have ten members who have stuck it out this far. Will this be the time we will start seeing the 3am chaos unfold???

Tiana the trooper is taking this time to start her 2000-word essay, which she just realised is due on Monday. Good luck Tiana! While you write, we will read and play If you have been following the blog thus far, you will be pleased to know that our Events Director, Serena, did wake up and pulled off hosting a brilliant game.

Our members are reading a wide variety of books. Zara is moving forward with War and Peace and Mel has been ensnared by the tales of hobbits and Gandalf in The Hobbit.

Happy reading to the 3am club, and you will hear from us soon!

–  Erin

I'll sleep once read-a-thon is over

Screenshot of chaotic messages on the LitSoc Discord.

It's 4am! We are still here, though most of us are ready to sleep.

It is definitely a good time for a power nap!

Our brains are turning to mush. What are words now, if not just a random assortment of letters on a page?

We will power through!

Happy reading and see you on the flip side.

– Erin

Things are brightening up

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call.

The early hours of the morning bring a kind of magic with them.

Sometimes that's finishing a book worth 5 stars before the sun begins to rise – Amy highly praises Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, which, incidentally, you can get for a decent price at Big W if yours has it in stock!

Other times, it's the drifting in and out of consciousness with you finger still marking the last word you read. All sense of time slows. Friends come and go.

And perhaps the magic comes when you decide to have breakfast. I'm enjoying a bowl of strawberries as I wonder how to rate The Hobbit. I can hear the birds and see the sky lightening.

We're in the last quarter!

– Melissa

At last we see the morning light

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call with everyone holding up their books.

We have made it to the morning. It is now 9am, and we have our final game of the read-a-thon. And it would not be read-a-thon without a Kahoot!

Many of us have gotten far through our TBRs. Tiana and I are on our fifth books of the event, and our member, Mya, has started on her eighth book! We are in awe of Mya.

It is also the perfect time in the morning to fuel ourselves; a Maccas run is looking very pleasing right now.

Well done to all our bookworms who have been reading with us thus far. We are almost there!

– Erin

Reading? No, game time!

Screenshot of the game in the Discord lounge call.

While some of us have kept going with our reading, a lot of us are in a *silly-goofy-mood* and playing Jackbox non-stop.

Zara came out on top in the latest game. Her writing skills and her wit were no match for the rest of us.

Onto the third game. Who will win this time?

– Erin

Our raps are unbeatable

Screenshot of the game in the Discord lounge call.

We may have found a new society to start – the Rap Society. After playing Kahoot, which our lovely Events Director, Serena, won, we wanted to keep the festivities going. In comes Jackbox!

It was here that we saw our members true skill. Nadya and Zara were in a head-to-head battle to come out on top, but Nadya was too good for our pres. Her rhymes could not be beat. Shout out to Josh for his rhyme about Norman's Nook; we love Norman!

We are back to reading now! It’s the final two hours. Well done to all our members who have made it this far!

– Erin

The end has come

Screenshot of the read-a-thon Discord call featuring Erin's wacky country music dance.

It is officially 12pm on Sunday the 9th of October. We have made it to the end. Along the way we shared many laughs, ate lots of sugar and noodles, and read some good books!

Zara loved This Is How You Lose the Time War, giving it 5 stars. She also loved my dancing to country music. When you are sleep deprived you do questionable things.

Serena absolutely loved Carrie Soto Is Back – Taylor Jenkins Reid strikes once again. Josh trailblazed through One Piece and got up to the fourth volume. And who can forget the incredible, magical and awe-inspiring skills of Mya, who got ten reads under her belt!

This year's readathon would have been nothing without our amazing members, who have raised over $4,000 so far! We will be keeping the fundraising open for another week, so spread the word, and let's continue to help Story Factory.

A special shoutout to our Most Valued Readers (MVRs). Our MVRs are members who engage throughout the read-a-thon, participate in the activities, read some books and overall put in an amazing effort. This year's winners are Josh and Mya, and they will receive a $75 Amplify Bookstore gift card each.

Well done to all the winners!

Have a great Sunday. I hope that your days are filled with the endless reading of good books – that is surely the way to live our lives!

See you at the next read-a-thon!

– Erin