October 2013

Memories of Readathons Past…

Chris blogs at Stuff as Dreams Are Made On, and we asked him to post specifically today to honor Dewey’s memory. Thank you, Chris!!!

My first official readathon was in October of 2008 when I had moved my blog over to WordPress from it’s current blogger home. I had tried to participate in the two that Dewey had hosted prior to that, but was never all that successful. In June of that year I had participated unofficially and had gotten a decent amount read, but I remember feeling SO excited about officially participating that year!! I treasure those posts that are still on my blog and the comments left by Dewey in those posts (<—-LOL at this one)…all wonderful. The comments where she advises against taking an Ambien the night before to get some sleep because you may just go into a crazed delirium and get no sleep at all :p The comments where she shares her husband love of all things pumpkin spice as he was deprived of them in London.

Dewey was such a beautiful and wonderful person with a true heart of gold and with time, it can sometimes be easy to forget the true essence of a person. I think we tend to either place people on a pedestal as superhuman with time as it goes by and forget their true humanity and/or just let them become a name….a symbol of something. Of course I can’t expect everyone to remember Dewey for who she was when many didn’t know her, but I want people to know WHO she was too. That she wasn’t just “Dewey’s Readathon.” Yes she created this amazing event and she created so many other awesome events too. She really was a building block of what this community became.

But for Dewey, it was never about being known….being popular. She wanted to share these things with us…share a love of books. I wouldn’t doubt if she created these events so that she’d have others to flail about with over books. Dewey was so very human in every way. She shared her struggles…she had a sense of humor that I absolutely adored and she offered andecdotes that will always stick with me. Along with chocolate monkeys :p I think she’d be happy to see how the readathon is being carried on now.

I couldn’t help but smile when I went back to my old posts from the 2008 readathon and saw my advice for readers. Here’s what I wrote with a few updates:

Top Ten Ways To Keep Your Eyes Pried Open During the Readathon:

1. Caffeine consumption in very large amounts (various types of caffeinated beverages a plus) – Update: God no, please don’t listen to this advice!!!! SOME caffeine consumption YES! I for one can’t start my day without caffeine and normally end up having two iced coffees now throughout the readathon and usually a cup of tea later at night for an extra kick.

2. Get in the car and drive around! – Update: Yes! This still is a must. You have to get out of your house. Don’t worry about missing out on a few minutes of reading. Trust me, it’s good to get a change of scenery.

3. Run around in your yard and don’t worry what the neighbors think. Update: Well this is always a fun one…and trust me, it just wakes you up even more when you get strange looks from your neighbors….p.s….you may want to put a limit on just HOW bizarre you act in your yard >_> Fine lines here people that don’t need to be crossed.

4. Change places a lot. Update: Yes. If you feel your eyes getting tired, go outside. If they’re still tired, get in your car and go to a coffee shop or something. DON’T go to your bed. Unless you’re ready for #5.

5. Go ahead and just give in and take a damn nap! Update: This is not a competition! Well, unless it is for you. But I’ve found that taking a little nap really helps me. When I can’t fight it anymore I don’t and it’s so nice to feel refreshed. I don’t think I’ve ever made it to the very end, but taking a nap around 6 or 7 pm normally helps me make it til 4 or 5 am.

6. Stuff your face with some food for a little while! Update: Hell yeah! There are foods that have  become standard readathon snacks for me and they’re usually junk :p Velveeta and rotel dip, oreos and honeycrisp apples with nutella. Always have to have those three! Unless it’s the April readathon and honeycrisp apples aren’t out yet which is just sad times. But the readathon is a day to just relax in your pajamas, throw away your diet and have fun! Just be sure not to sugar crash.

7. Don’t read the tiny print books. Update: Really…just trust me on this one. Don’t. Even if you think it’s a good idea, IT’S NOT!! They will make your eyes tired so fast and you’ll get frustrated really quick that you’re making slow progress.

8. Don’t read the fat books! Update: Really…just trust me on this one too. For the same reason as above. You’ll also get frustrated here when you finish one book (maybe) in 24 hours. Stick with 350 pages or less. Novellas are EXCELLENT!

9. Take a shower! Update: There is no better way to wake up than this!! Take 5 if you need to!

10. And once again, PLENTY OF CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES! Update: God, Chris…bad bad bad advice. Don’t listen to me.

And I’m adding a number 11. Read for charity! I know not everyone can afford this, but if you can, go for it! I’m reading for NaNoWriMo’s young writers program again this time. I usually read for them every October. Donating to them can provide money for an entire school of children to write write write and have fun while they’re doing it….it starts off a love of writing and a love of the creative process and in turn a love of books at a young age. But there are so many other fantastic charities out there too. IF you can afford it, pick one and donate X amount of money per page. I donate 10 cents per page read. So $10 for every 100 pages I read.

So there you have it….my advice for you this readathon. Oh….most important of all…HAVE FUN!

9 thoughts on “Memories of Readathons Past…”

  1. Good advice, Chris. I agree with most all of it. I also try to read for charity. I donate to the RAINN foundation. This year I will be doing 5 cents a page. It isn’t much, but it is better than nothing.

    I don’t remember participating when Dewey was alive. But maybe I did. The first few I did, I didn’t participate much. Thanks for sharing some of your memories of her with us. She sounds like an awesome person.

  2. It was so nice to read about Dewey. I came onto the readathon too late to have known her but your thoughts and memories brought her alive. It’s says a lot about you and the others who continue her work that you take the time to make sure those of us who are new have some understanding of the founder of this great readathon. She must have been amazing.

    I love the the way you did the update on your advice. Made me smile more than once. I haven’t yet tried running around in the yard but who knows? But, come on, coffee is such a beautiful addition to the whole experience. 🙂

    It’s great to find another Honeycrisp advocate. I’ve been a major cheerleader for those sweet, crisp apples ever since I discovered them. Had to smile again because I’d just written about the beauty of the fall readathon when Honeycrisps abound when I wrote my readathon post about snacks and food.


    Readathon Activities – Snacks and recipes

  3. I didn’t start book blogging until 2009, but the reason I started is because I’d stumbled across Dewey’s readathon event a year or so before, bookmarked it for later reference, and then finally decided I’d start a book blog. I didn’t get to know Dewey before she passed, but I was able to go back and read many of her blog posts while they were still up. I am so grateful that she inspired me to become a book blogger, and the readathon continues to be my favorite way of interacting with our wonderful community!

    Great advice, well, at least the updated version! This time around I’m focusing on cheerleading and reading a bit. I’ve tried doing it all- reading, cheering and hosting a mini-challenge, but it’s too much. I love the cheering because I get to meet so many awesome bloggers and justify the obscene amounts of time I end up spending on Twitter. 😉

  4. Another way to donate to charity is to pick your books off the shelves of a charity shop/ thrift store!
    Tons of great choices and you’ll be able to afford more books to read as a bonus!

    TY from this charity shop book dept manager ;))

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