Welcome to the Marathon Reading Group

The UCLA English Department/Friends of English Marathon Reading is an annual event that brings together the department, the campus, and the wider Los Angeles community to celebrate great works of literature spoken aloud.

Hundreds of volunteers take turns, relay-style, to recite an entire novel in a 24-hour stretch. The audience is free to join or leave at any point in the performance.

This year we will work our way through two important feminist texts of the English canon, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. Join us on May 8, 2018 in the Powell Library Courtyard on UCLA’s beautiful campus.

Funds raised for the event go to support scholarship and education in the UCLA English Department. Please consider supporting the Marathon Reading!

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Marathon Reading 2019

An Open Letter to J.K. Rowling

Dear J.K. Rowling,

We write in hopes that you will personally consider our plea to let us read Harry Potters 1-4 aloud as part of our annual marathon reading event at UCLA. Every year, a small group of students and professors gathers to celebrate our favorite books and the joy of experiencing literature communally by reading nonstop, relay-style, for 24 to 48 hours.

We understand how important it is to maintain the integrity of the books, and we don’t want to alter them in any way, but simply read them together. No literature unites a group of students like the Harry Potter series. We all share memories of staying up way past our bedtimes to devour them by nightlight. It would mean so much to us to be allowed read Harry Potter together, in one long binge as we did the first time!

We accept donations both to maintain the event and to fund scholarships for English department graduate students, the event's main organizers. We believe that tuition costs should not be the reason that low-income and other diverse students cannot join the professoriate and positively impact the lives of students from all walks of life. Your personal story of adversity before the books were published is a source of inspiration and we hope and believe our cause will resonate with you.


English Students at UCLA

  • Click here for a map highlighting the marathon reading location and best places to park Map.

About Us

The annual UCLA English Marathon Reading celebrates literature and community by staging the oral reading of an entire novel with dozens of contributing readers.

Contact Us

149 Humanities Building, Box 951530
Los Angeles, CA 90095

310 825 4173

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