How To Fail At The Reading Rush

Dear Reader,
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about The Reading Rush, one of the biggest events in the reading community.
This year was my first time participating, and I have some thoughts.

How I Decided To Participate In The Reading Rush
Honestly, if you’re part of the bookish community on any social media platform, there is no way that you don’t hear about The Reading Rush.
I’ve started following more booktubers recently, and a lot of them talked about the TBRs they were setting based on the prompts that the hosts of the event upload.
And then The Reading Rush came up, and my decision to participate was made the night before it actually started, by making an account on their website to track my reading and buying their digital planner.
I decided to participate because I was in a slump and I wanted to get some reading done before the month ended.

How My Time During The Reading Rush Was Actually Spent
I read the first and second day, so Monday and Tuesday, then procrastinated reading until Sunday, which was around the time at which I was done with the book I had started earlier in July and wanted to pick up a new one.
I also participated in two twitter sprints and a live read in on instagram, but most of my week was spent antagonizing over one of my reads, The Song of Achilles, which put me back into my slump.

Which Badges Did I Aquire During The Reading Rush
– The “2020 Overall Reading Rush Badge” for my participation in the event
– The “Read A Five Star Book (2020)” Badge for reading The Song of Achilles
– The “Read A Book That Started With The Word ‘The'” Badge for reading The Song of Achilles
– The “Participated In A Read In Live Show (2020)” Badge for joining Brittany‘s instagram live on Sunday
– The “Participated In A Twitter Sprint (2020)” Badge for joining two sprints on twitter

How I Generally Feel About My Experience Participating In The Reading Rush
Not good.
I think that week-long readathons like The Reading Rush really put my under pressure, because I kept comparing myself to other people who also participated – and read more books, collected more badges and fulfilled more prompts.
I also didn’t plan my TBR and so I didn’t really have the opportunity to even try to collect more badges.
My initial goal was to just get some reading done, but I hadn’t expected ending up so shaken about The Song of Achilles that I wouldn’t pick up another book for the rest of the week, so I failed big time and felt super bad about it.

Which Books Did I Read During The Reading Rush?
I read The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller and got 100 pages into my reread of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Addressing The Reading Rush Drama
I woke up on Monday morning to a twitter timeline full, of drama about the way The Reading Rush was being handled in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement and the fact that we are going through a worldwide pandemic right now.
Apparently, the creators of the Reading Rush had chosen a book (Such A Fun Age) by a Black author (Kiley Reid) for their book club – but most Reading Rush participants had no idea that this book club was happening as a part of the event because it hadn’t been advertised enough – I found out about it because I like to scrolll down to the footers of pages for additional information, but I had no interest in participating in the book club because I didn’t have the money to buy new books then.
Turns out that the hosts of The Reading Rush “joked” about not having read Such A Fun Age at all during their instagram live towards the end of the event, and of course, and very understandably so, the Black community was very upset about it.
A lot of Black creators I follow said they will not be supporting The Reading Rush in the future, and I support their decision, because the fact that the book wasn’t advertised as a book club read and the hosts didn’t prioritize it during the event was a huge mistake on their part.
The other thing people got upset about was the “Read A Book Completely Outside Your House” prompt. – Of course this wouldn’t have been an issue for people who have a garden, backyard or a balcony, but a lot of countries are on lockdown and not everyone had the opportunity to go outside to read a book, which is something the creators should have taken into account, especially because they had a stay at home event earlier this year in April.
I don’t support the way the hosts handled this situation, and the lackluster apologies they offered – especially to the Black community – as a follow up to their mistakes.

Will I Participate In The Reading Rush Again?
No.
My personal experience with the event showed me that reading under pressure doesn’t help me in the long run, and I don’t want to support an event that pretends to give space to Black voices by letting Black creators run some parts of the event and then sweep a book by a Black author under the rug like that – not to mention they “joked” about not having read the book.
That’s just tasteless and ignorant.


Did you participate in The Reading Rush this year? How do you feel about the Drama? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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