April 2015

Warm Up: Going Strong and Remembering Dewey

Okay. Do your stretches, make sure you’ve got your leg-warmers on. It’s time to start warming up for readathon.

This is the readathon’s eighth (!!!!!!!) year and if that doesn’t boggle you, I don’t know what will.

It boggles me.

I went back through my archives, and this was the first mention of it on my own blog, as part of the late, lamented Weekly Geeks, a weekly blogging meme that was the brainchild of the even more lamented Dewey.

Her raisin – one of her raisins (raison d’etre – raisin) was building book bloggers into a community. Weekly Geeks, the bookworm carnival and, ultimately, the readathon, were all part of that, and the fact that the readathon is not only still going strong, but growing every time it’s held, is enough to make me check for dust particles. (It makes my eyes itchy, is what I’m saying.)

And here is what I have learned in eight years of taking part:

  1. Have fun.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Have fun.

Did I mention, have fun?

The thing is, I have failed at every single readathon. Every one. I’ve signed up, either to read or to cheer, or like this one for both, and I fail every. single. time. If I’m reading, I get maybe through one, one-and-a-half books. If I’m cheering, my attention wanders away from my team list.

But here’s the thing. In a way, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, because I go around the blogosphere, and I go on twitter (my top two readathon locations) and I see people reading, cheering, talking about books, talking about food, meeting new readers, possibly new friends and I find myself chopping onions, you know?

Failure or success don’t matter with readathon. I swear, they don’t. What matters? Having fun. Taking part. Being … present.

I fail every time, but I fail cheerfully because I know that I’m going to be hanging out with a bunch of like-minded crazy readers and cheerleaders and honestly what could be better?

Oh! And I have a few tips for those of us in the southern hemisphere, as the readathon starts at midnight, my time (NZ).

Here’s what I do, especially if I’ve signed up to read:

I start earlier. I let my twitter feed/blogosphere know that I’m going to be kicking off early,and I TRY to get one book knocked out on the Saturday night – something short, or something I’ve read before. For example, last April I read Memories of my Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, because I knew I could knock it out quickly.

From there, I try to stay up for the first hour, because there’s nothing quite like the kick-off, you know?

Then I spend Sunday rationalising spending too much time on twitter and not enough time reading/cheering and vowing that THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT.

(thisyearwillbedifferent)

Anyway. After eight years, I don’t know how insightful my advice is when it basically consists of “have fun” and “don’t be afraid to fail” but … have fun. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Live long. And prosper, readathon-ers. 🙂

Thank you SO much, Maree, for a wonderful look back and a great Readathon philosophy!

 

 

8 thoughts on “Warm Up: Going Strong and Remembering Dewey”

  1. But here’s the thing. In a way, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, because I go around the blogosphere, and I go on twitter (my top two readathon locations) and I see people reading, cheering, talking about books, talking about food, meeting new readers, possibly new friends and I find myself chopping onions, you know?

    THIS. This right here. This is my fourth readathon and I cannot tell you how much more valuable this part of the readathon is to me than the actual reading. The connecting and excitement that bubble up… that just makes me all kinds of *heart eyes emoji*!

  2. I’m about to participate in my first readathon (squee!!!!!!!!!) and even though I signed up with my blog, I am also on Instagram. I have been trying to encourage people who have used the #readathon hashtag and it’s been so fun to see the response. It has totally helped build my excitement for tomorrow to be connecting with fellow readathoners ahead of time. This was a benefit that I totally didn’t expect and the readathon hasn’t even started yet 🙂

  3. It’s AMAZING! To feel the community all across the web in so many platforms is simply astounding. The Goodreads group alone has nearly 900 members! Whew!

    So glad you’re with us!

  4. I love the read-a-thon. I don’t think I’m going to beat my october numbers because I actually have friends that wan to see me this weekend, but I’m going to try to at least finish one book in between studying for math.

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