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!