October 2013

Chronicle of a Readathon Veteran!

Jenn Lawrence blogs at Jenn’s Bookshelves and is a long-time Read-a-Thon participant and supporter. Thank you sooo much for writing a guest post for us!
I have lost track of how many of the Dewey’s 24 Hour readathons I have participated in, but according to my recollections I have only missed one in the nearly 6 years I have been blogging.  I’ve learned a lot of do’s and dont’s in this time so I thought I would impart some of this wisdom, hopefully for the benefit of readathon newbies and veterans alike!
Be Prepared!  While you don’t have to pick the exact books you will be reading during the readathon, but have all your potential books in one general area.  When it comes to picking your next book to read, you don’t want to waste time running around your home, trying to find the book you want to read next. It’s also important to be prepared when it comes to your snacks! Pick things that don’t require a lot of preparation or, if preparation is required, do it in advance. For example, I tend to make cookies, pizza rolls, cinnamon rolls while I’m reading.  I put the food out on a cookie tray, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until it’s time to make it. Then, when my stomach starts growling all I have to do is pull it out of the fridge/freezer, pull off the plastic wrap and put it in the oven!
Choose Wisely! There’s nothing worse than picking a book that is a) either so complex and mentally intense or b) so voluminous that half of your readathon time is spent devoted to one book! I tend to pick lighter, shorter books. Graphic novels are great as well as you tend to get through those faster.  So, before you narrow down your reading selections, read the first 20 pages or so of each book so you can get an idea of what is in store.
Take Breaks!  While this is a 24-hour readathon, you don’t have to read for 24 straight hours. Personally, I think I would go insane.  I think my readathon experiences are so successful because I take breaks (at least 30 minutes in between each book).  Go outside, take a nice long walk (or run!). Trust me, your brain (and your eyes!) will thank you for it!
Have Fun! This isn’t a race or a competition!  Don’t be concerned if others are reading faster or you or more than you. Enjoy your own experience!
Good luck to all! Wishing you a wonderful readathon!

6 thoughts on “Chronicle of a Readathon Veteran!”

  1. Definitely good advice and I totally agree with the breaks and choosing wisely. I added a few tips to my announcement post today, too.

    My big thing is to remember why I’m participating which is to have fun. So I bank in ways to keep that focus throughout all the readathon challenges.

  2. I do need to go shopping on Friday for my munchies for the day. I have to get quick and easy foods so I don’t have to do a lot of prepping and can keep reading. I know I’m going to need caffeine and sugar about mid afternoon, which is when I always start to get tired, and the wee hours of the morning when I’m trying to stay awake. For me, keeping moving is important when I start to get tired. In April I had the American Cancer Society Relay for Life the same day. So 12+ hours of my readathon time was spent walking and listening to audio books. Granted, that’s an extreme case, but I found moving did keep me more awake. So I’ll be taking frequent breaks (with an audio book) to get up, move around, go outside and enjoy the sunshine, etc.

  3. I’m spending much of tomorrow making delicious edibles for Read-a-thon. What a great idea to read about 20 pages in the books I’m considering reading in advance, so I know if they’re going to be keepers or not.

    I tend to take little breaks checking out all the Mini-Challenges and stuff. I don’t have the stamina to read for 24 hours straight, so sleeping for 5-6 hours, then getting up and reading for the last few hours again seems to work well (I live in Norway, where Read-a-thon starts at 2pm every year). Were I to stay up the full 24-hours, I’d also ruin my sleep pattern for the full week following the event.

  4. Mmm snacks 😀

    I’m going to be making a baked potato soup. I’ll throw all the ingredients in the crock-pot in the morning and it will be ready for dinner. During the day I’ll be having easy things…fruit, cheese & crackers and such.

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