A “readathon” (reading + marathon) is when there is a long session of reading; there may be many readers and there may be just one book (such as the Bible, a novel, a dictionary or encyclopedia) or several books. “Readathon” has been cited in print since at least 1936, when there was a Bible-Reading Relay Marathon.
Readathons are often held for charities. The MS Readathon began in the 1970s; participants are encouraged to read and learn about multiple sclerosis. “Readathon” was trademarked, citing a first use in December 1993, by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Readathons to support funding for New York City’s libraries have been held annually since 2010.
A similar term to the “readathon” is the “read-in.”
3 January 1936, Trenton (NJ) Evening TImes, “Bible Reading Marathon Drawing Near Close,” pg. 9, col. 5:
PONCA CITY, Okla., Jan. 3 (UP).—The Rev. P. T. Stanford’s Bible-Reading Relay Marathon swung into the home stretch today with seasoned observers predicting thereaders wouldskip through Revelations within 36 hours.
The Rev. Mr. Stanford is acting as master of ceremonies atthe “Readathon” in his Baptist Tabernacle.
28 April 1967, Springfield (MA) Union, “UMass Readathon Bound for Heaven,” pg. 6, col. 7:
AMHERST—If University of Massachusetts Webster House students reach “heaven” a week from this Sunday, resident Prof. Luther Allen says they will probably go on to “Hell.”
Only 2728 Pages
The students are planning to resume reading Webster’s Third New International Dictionary from cover to cover. It has 2728 pages with some 450,000 entries.
Google News Archive
19 November 1975, News-Dispatch (Jeannette, PA), “In the Hospital,” pg. 3, col. 1 photo caption:
Miss (Janet) Leigh, in New York for rehearsals for upcoming Broadway play, “Murder Among Friends,” is national chairman of the society’s MS Read-a-thon program.
Google News Archive
16 July 1976, The Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, MO), pg. 8, col. 3:
First Assembly of God
A Bible Read-A-Thon will be held beginning Aug. 20 and continuing until each chapter of the Bible is read by the youth of First Assembly of God Church.
New York (NY) Times
NEW YORK DAY BY DAY; Readathon at Library . . .
By Susan Heller Anderson and David W. Dunlap
Published: June 28, 1986
The lions sat quietly as Steven Kroll told of a pumpkin so large it took 10 field mice on motorcycles to bring it to town for show. While the big cats seemed dubious, the children and adults on the steps of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42d Street yesterday were visibly impressed.
Writers and actors, about 100 of them, read aloud at a Readathon, from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M., in what its sponsors, the Friends of American Libraries, called ‘’raising the torch for reading and libraries.’’
Courier Life’s Brooklyn Daily
June 4, 2013 / News
Library advocates to host a 24-hour read-a-thon to protest proposed budget cuts
By Danielle Furfaro
A group of bookworms who fear the city will cut funding to the Brooklyn Public Library next year will hold a “read-in” at the Central Branch this weekend to get the word out that it takes green to keep free books flowing.
Participants will read from their favorite literature for 15-minute increments from 4 pm on Saturday to 4 pm on Sunday in hopes of sending a message to Mayor Bloomberg, who is proposing to cut funding to the boroughs book-sharing club by $106 million. Library backers say the 35 percent cut will force the library to slash 1,400 positions.
Word Mark READATHON
Goods and Services IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: CHARITABLE FUND RAISING SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19931200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19931200
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76235705
Filing Date April 4, 2001
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 9, 2001
Registration Number 2525007
Registration Date January 1, 2002
Owner (REGISTRANT) National Multiple Sclerosis Society NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION NEW YORK 733 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor New York NEW YORK 10017
Attorney of Record Michael Cantwell
Prior Registrations 1616021
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20111129.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20111129
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE