2008 Great Expectations: 

A Reading Marathon 

Welcome to the homepage for the 2008 Nationwide Reading Marathons, 

sponsored by independent bookstores across the country! 




To see a list of participating stores, click HERE

                                    For tips on hosting, click HERE


In February of 2008, RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire invited customers to participate in a 24-hour reading marathon.  Books were read, games were played, snacks were eaten, authors appeared, (cat naps were taken), and fun was had- all while raising money for a local charity.  This fall 2008 RiverRun invites independent bookstores across the country to select a time in October for their own readathon.  Help out  a  charity in your area and have fun while promoting reading and independent bookstores!


Read the article about the national event in Bookselling This Week and Publishers Weekly


                        Independent bookstores across the country are invited to take part in a unique reading experience this coming October. Booksellers will host 24-hour reading marathons in their stores, designed to highlight the importance of reading to our culture, as well as create an opportunity for booklovers to tackle the next book on their to-read pile.

The idea was born at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH and GREAT EXPECTATIONS: A READING MARATHON (GERM) was held at their used bookstore, SecondRun, in the winter of 2008. GERM went so well, garnering positive responses from other booksellers, that the collaborators Michele Filgate and Liberty Hardy decided to invite other bookstores to participate in a national event, along with the help of Jenn Northington of The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah.                                                                    

Booksellers are encouraged to work with their local community to get customers to participate. Participants are asked to have family and friends sponsor them to read for the full 24 hours, and prizes are then given out to the highest fundraisers. The profits are then donated to a local nonprofit of the bookstore choice.

Photo courtesy of The Portsmouth Herald

The Read-A-Thon is meant to promote and foster the love of reading in a time when many surveys and statistics show a grim forecast for the future of reading as a primary recreation in this country.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America":

  •  The percentage of adult Americans reading literature has dropped dramatically over the past 20 years.
  •  Less than half of the adult American population now reads literature.
  •  The decline in literary reading parallels a decline in total book reading. The percentage of the U.S. adult population reading any books has declined by 7 percent over the past decade.

For more information on how host your own Read-A-Thon, please contact :


Michele Filgate at riverrunevents@gmail.com

         Photo courtesy of The Portsmouth Herald