That’s when I created this crazy idea:
Read comics over a period of 26.2 hours, or read 1,572 pages of comics while doing nothing else.
With the latest blizzard approaching Mega-City One and residents hunkering down, I felt this would be a good time to suggest that this is an opportune time to catch up on that large pile of reading material you have piled up next to your bed. (Bonus points if you use that pile of books in lieu of an actual nightstand.)
Here are the rules, and like 24 Hour Comics, you can modify whatever you want. The goal isn’t an endurance test, but rather more of a “fun run” of reading, where you share your accomplishments and titles with friends!
- The goal is to read new (or forgotten) works, totaling 1,572 pages or twenty-six hours twelve minutes of total reading time, and to share your reading experience with the general public.
- All books should relate to the comics medium.
- Aside from necessary bodily functions (sleep, hygiene, nutrition, affection), one may not engage in any other activity aside from reading for the duration. The clock does not stop when the reader engages in these activities. The reader may multitask, although reading in the shower is discouraged.
- This is not a race or a test of endurance. One may stop when one finishes 1572 pages. One may stop when one reaches 26:12. The reader may stop at any time.
- Chess Clock variation: The reader may take one week to read either 1,572 pages or read for 26:12 hours, tabulating the time as if one was playing chess.
- Only one book may be a historical or art survey, or a prose novel. The rest must be collections of comic strips, comics books, editorial cartoons; or original works. Comic book periodicals generally are not allowed, as the purpose of the Marathon is to encourage others to read books you have read. Online webcomics are also discouraged, as one would be required to read ALL of the text on each screen, including comments and advertisements.
- All text in a book must be read, including: forewords, introductions, prefaces, acknowledgments, notes, biographies, bibliographies, appendices, and supplemental material. Indexes may be scanned by the reader. One may forego these sections, not counting them as part of the page total.
- While paper texts are encouraged, one may read texts on any device. Pagination totals shall be tabulated from the paper edition, to avoid page inflation from font size or guided viewing.
- Only pages actually numbered in a book will be counted. If a book is unnumbered, then the reader may make a rough count later, or use pagination found online. One may include the roman numeral pagination used for introductions and prefaces as part of the grand total.
- Page length of a book is not a factor. One may read a picture book, or an omnibus.
- You may not reread a previous book unless you are reading the complete collection of a series, such as an omnibus, or all the volumes of a series, such as the Absolute Sandman volume 1-5. If you cannot recall most of the book’s contents, or if it has been ten or more years since you last read the work, it counts as “new”.
- Style variation: You may limit your reading to a particular genre, subject, author, character, or series, if it satisfies the 1,572/26:12 requirement.
- The reader may use the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50, or the Tony Isabella’s Eight-Page Rule if the collection is composed of single comics. When you reach the fiftieth page of the book, the reader may stop reading if the book does not interest the reader. If you are older than 50, you may subtract your age from 100 and use the resulting difference as the milestone. If you are 100 or older, you may judge the book by the cover. If the volume is composed of single issue comics collected into a story arc, you may stop reading after the eighth page of the first chapter if the story does not fascinate you in some way. You shall note these “stopped” books on the shared reading list. The pages read before the Rule is implemented shall be added to the page total, as will time elapsed.
- One must share one’s reading experience with the general public, regardless of the final outcome. At a minimum, the reader shall list the books read, the total number of pages, and the total time spent in the endeavor. Ideally, one shall recount one’s experience, including personal reviews for each book read.
- Other durations/variations are acceptable. 500 pages, five hours, an omnibus, a group read…
Whatever you do, we here at Stately Beat Manor hope you have a safe and memorable weekend!
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!