How Long Can you Go…Reading?

Here's another question that sprang from a random query on the SBTB Facebook page: What's the longest period of time you've ever spent reading, nonstop?

I think my record is 6 hours. I've been on longer flights, but I think I made myself sleep. What's your record? And what were you reading? 

What's the longest stretch you've ever read nonstop?

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Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Jessie says:

    10-12 hours every time a new Harry Potter came out (starting with GOBLET OF FIRE).  But on regular marathon reading sessions, it’s usually around 4.

  2. 2
    Catherine says:

    I’m a little fuzzy on the time, but it was definitely HP6 for me. Stuck on a bus next to a guy who broke up with me an hour into an eight-hour trip. Good times! HP5 and 7 are the close runners-up.

  3. 3
    KBR says:

    In my early twenties when my roommate and I didn’t feel like partying for the weekend, we’d each grab a book and a pile of snacks, shove a gallon of ice cream in the freezer and curl up on either end of the sofa. We’d stay up all night in our reading marathon, finish the book and then go sleep on the beach to recuperate. Sometimes we’d read the same book so we could talk about the story throughout.  That was great fun!

  4. 4

    I sat for about 8 hours straight to finish Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I remember only stopping for like five minutes to use the restroom and grab a sandwich.

  5. 5
    Jenyfer says:

    Due to international flight delays, it’s been 10-12 hours. Since I rarely get such long stretches of time to read in real life, as long as I have a book with me at an airport I’m good :)

  6. 6
    Cris says:

    My current flights don’t generally exceed 7 hours, but with all the airport time, I can easily do 9-10 straight hours of reading (whilst getting up to walk around the plane). I hate putting books down, so if a book is good and long (HP4, HP6, HP7), I will stay up all night reading, especially since I don’t generally have that much free time during the day. And I want to know what happens next NOW!

  7. 7

    seven hours….

  8. 8
    Shell C says:

    For one book? I’m going to say 8- 10 hours: I’m notorious for going to bed at 12am, being sleepy, then picking up a new book and reading it straight through. I read very slowly when I’m tired. -
    Though if the question was ‘what is the longest you have you forgotten to eat due to reading’  …it’s probably around the *cough*36 hour*cough* mark. #‘easilydistracted #badfoodhabbits

  9. 9
    Goldktgal says:

    I’m a slow reader…12-18 hrs when I read such greats as Lover Avenged and Lover Reborn by J.R.Ward, Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Knight in Shinning Armour by Jude Deveraux, Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole and any of Laurell K Hamilton’s books and any of Jaid Blacks erotica in her Trek Mi Q’an Series. For older romances Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jane Eyre by Charolett Bronte. OK, I have to many books I felt willing to sacrifice sleep, food and daily life for.

  10. 10
    Taylor Reynolds says:

    A couple times a year I cry out, “F you, world and reality and responsibilities and life!” and take a weekend day to plow through a whole book or two. So other than necessary breaks like scrounging a snack or the potty, I’ll spend an entire day on the couch.

  11. 11
    Caro Kinkead says:

    The only reason I put 6-8 hours is because when I get on a reading binge, the husband usually comes in at some point and either insists we go out to dinner or that I go to bed.  Most of those have been the later Harry Potter books (except 7, which took me a week because I kept thinking “I don’t want it to end” so kept putting it down to delay things), though Memoir of a Geisha sucked me in one weekend.

    The funny thing with the iPad is I’m reading in snatches more, short bursts over the course of a couple of days (sneaking it in at work) until I get to the last 100 pages, at which point I just have to go full out.

  12. 12
    megsan says:

    so generally if i pick up a book i usually don’t put it down so i often have periods where i’m not allowed to read. i’m pretty sure the longest was reading HP7 – on the day it came out I was flying home from a conference from Salt Lake City to LA then LA to Sydney – bought it at the airport in Salt Lake City and did not stop (even when waiting in security lines) til I was done mid-way over the Pacific Ocean :)

  13. 13

    When I was in my early 20s I could go 6-8 hours.  Now I settle in to my reading chair, adjust my perfect reading lamp…and doze off within the hour.  If I want to do serious reading where I take notes, I have to be sitting in a wooden chair at the kitchen table.

  14. 14
    KarenF says:

    I said 4-6 hours, because I’m sure I would have gotten up to go to the bathroom or get a snack.

    I do remember reading the first four books of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series while on a ten day vacation, so I’m sure there were some long stretches f non-stop reading within that window.

  15. 15
    Rebecca (another one) says:

    I can spend a day reading, but I generally have to stop for meals and such, so I put 2-4 hours.

  16. 16

    Ooosh, I often go four or even six if the man and the pets are fed and happy and don’t need me. The longest was probably in the 10-12 range. I’ve done that when I had deadlines for reviews or when the book is REALLY FREAKING GOOD. When Harry Potter 7 came out I carried the book with me everywhere except maybe the potty (and I can’t actually promise that) and I ate fruit because that was the only thing that I didn’t have to cook, and I read until I fell asleep.

  17. 17
    Julie Barrett says:

    I have “that age” – related insomnia, so I routinely put in six hours. I’d rather read than toss and turn. My record was 18+ hours, though. Not insomnia, but a medical scare. Hey, I was fine in the end, but when the test comes back “possible small cell lung cancer,” it’s more than a bit worrying. Books kept me (mostly) sane during that time.

  18. 18
    Sugarless says:

    I’m like Jessie above – Harry Potter books (LotR as well if I remember correctly) had me reading for 10-12 hours straight, but for the most part, I don’t last more than 4 hours straight.

  19. 19
    Silver James says:

    I’ll often pick up a book around 8 p.m. and not put it down until the sun rises. There’ve been so many times I couldn’t name just one. I’ve actually gone longer on a long weekend when I was home alone. I broke long enough to pee, eat, feed the critters, and occasionally but I re-read the In Death series from Naked in Death (book one) through….*looks shifty-eyed* … *goes to look* … Divided in Death (book 21, if you include the novellas). About once a year, I go on an In Death marathon and reread the entire series. Fangirl? Me? Uhm…how did you know? ;)

  20. 20
    Lindleepw says:

    I’m not sure but probably about 10-12 hours. I know I went that long the weekend I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read the first one on Friday, saw the first movie Saturday and read two and three on Sunday. It was a great weekend. =)

  21. 21
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Ha!I think Darlene Marshall and I are in the same age group—comfy chair+good book=about an hour of reading and then a nap!  My longest marathon read was “The Far Pavilions”(about 950 pages) in about 9 hours (8 pm to 5 am),but that was way back when……

  22. 22
    Becca Parks says:

    I got HP6 at midnight, took it home and didn’t put it down until I finished at 11 am.  It was epic.

  23. 23

    I’ve never timed it, but I’ve spent a few hot summer days hiding in a comfy chair in a B&N with a book. I figure the 6-8 hour range is probably the point where bladder wins over not losing my seat.

    At home, probably 4-6 hours.

  24. 24
    RowanS says:

    I read fast, so “nonstop” in my case means finishing a book and picking up the next one immediately. I think I’ve read as many as five books in a row like that. I’ve learned my lesson about cooking while reading though (set a book on fire once…) so I only do marathon reads like that when I have plenty of snack food to hand. :D

  25. 25
    Kathleen says:

    If I can remember that far back.  The book I think was either a Rosmary Rogers, Beatrice Small or Kathleen E Woodiwiss, or it could have even been a Danielle Steel book. But I came home from work on a Saturday, got right into my PJ’s, got into bed and started reading that book. I remember my grandmother seeing the light on in my room about a 3am and telling me to turn out the light and go to sleep.. I was in my 20’s at the time. I think I just kept on reading it until I finished it.

  26. 26
    Carrie Gwaltney says:

    I’d say 4 hours is maximum because I don’t sit still well. I at least get up and snack, talk to the kids, look at email, stretch, play with the dog or something like that. I take 10 to 30 minute breaks every so often. This is why I rarely watch movies. I just don’t sit still for long. Audiobooks are great, and I can listen to them for 3 or 4 hours straight while walking, cleaning, or playing solitaire on the computer.

  27. 27
    Graniagrace says:

    uh.  I read a lot… my husband has been known to reach into the shower to remove a paperback from my hands.  Since I got the Kindle, I keep ziplock baggies by both the shower and the tub to protect it.  Not much stops me when I am into a good book

  28. 28
    Slatetec says:

    Same as most readers here, I almost spent the whole day reading just so I can finish every Harry Potter book. It is hard to stop once you get into the whole story and you started to use your imagination. The book is addicting and I really love it. Perfect for the summer vacation and you don’t have anything else to do. Somehow, makes your day really productive.

  29. 29
    Bnbsrose says:

    Oh, the wasted weekends when I look up and think, Why is it so dark (or light) in this room? Why is it so quiet outside? Why am I so thirsty? Reading binges can be dangerous for the single woman with no pets.

  30. 30

    I think it took me 7-8 hours to read Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning from beginning to end…although I did stop for dinner!  The other books in the Fever series I think I also sat down and read non-stop.

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