Wouldn't you like to curl up with a good book for four hours straight some gray Saturday in January?
Penguin Random House hopes so. The publisher is behind the efforts to launch America's first National Readathon Day, Jan. 24, 2015, from noon to 4 p.m. The campaign, which launches today, encourages bibliophiles to get together and make time to read. That's the hashtag: #timetoread.
The readathon is designed to support the National Book Foundation using an online fundraising service, firstgiving.com. The National Book Foundation presents the annual National Book Awards, coming up next week; its other projects include after-school reading programs.
Partners in the readathon include Mashable, which will dedicate one session of its book club to the project, and Goodreads. Bookstores, libraries and schools are encouraged to join in. The first 100 venues to sign up as hosts will get a free poster about the readathon.
People can sign up to participate in the readathon on their own or form teams that pool their fundraising resources.
The idea of reading as a fundraiser has been tried before, right here in Los Angeles. The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, which supports the city's public libraries, will hold its Stay Home and Read a Book Ball on Feb. 28, 2015. For the ball, instead of dressing up and going out, people make a donation and pledge to stay home and read. The ball is such a success that it is now in its 26th year.