April 2015

Warm Up: Five Steps to Staying Sane

Dewey’s readathon is nearing, with 24 hours of bookish goodness, online community and sleep deprivation. Whether you are an experienced readathon reader or a newbie, everyone should take steps to stay sane.

1) Calming your Abibliophobia (fear of running out of reading material)

OKay, so maybe you won’t read all 50 books, but better safe than sorry, right? And there are good reasons to have plenty to read. Here’s some advice for expanding your readathon stack.

  • Making sure your book choices are varied— a book that looks good at noon may not be so enticing at 3 am.
  • Do you get blurry eyes late at night? Perhaps this is a good time to try a graphic novel.
  • If your circumstances prevent you from reading physical books, stock up on audio books.
  • Collect any review copies or pay a visit to NetGalley
  • Pre-load books on your e-reader
  • Visit the library (When I panicked last year, I checked out quite a stack)

Now that you have all your books, keep them near. You don’t want to be searching for book 3 in a gripping series at midnight with a flashlight.

2) Objective: Caffeination

The readathon lasts for a long time and depending on your time zone, it may start extremely early as well. My caffeinated beverage of choice is coffee.

  • Choose your own adventure: Coffee, Tea, Soda
  • Check the stock: Don’t be stuck with only the half empty container of month old cheap brand coffee grounds.
  • Check to see you have all the fixings; sugar, creamer, honey, mugs, teacups
  • Drink plenty of water:  Caffeine dehydrates and dehydration is a fast track to feeling less than stellar.
  • Warning: If you grind your coffee beans, don’t grind when others are sleeping

 3) Beating Book Fatigue

book pain syndrome

When I get hooked in a book, I may not move for a while. But doing this for a whole 24 hours is bound to have some ill effects.

  • Round up your comforters and pillows.
  • Schedule time to change things up. Go out for lunch, do a 20 minute run or take your dog for a walk.
  • Take a break, but stay bookish: Write some reviews
  • During night hours, schedule short (20 minute) naps for restful rejuvenation. You’re much more likely to last the whole 24 hours this way.
  • Switch chairs or couches occasionally.

4) Choosing a Lair


Reading Lair

You may not have much of a choice, but consider your location for the 24 hour readathon. There are some things you should consider.

  • Is it acceptable to hunker down to read with minimal interruptions?
  • Close enough to the nearest Thai food restaurant for that quick lunch break?
  • Does it have a solid Wi-Fi connection so you can participate online?
  • Do you have enough space for yourself and any other readers?
  • Can you crash for a few hours after the end of the readathon or is there nowhere to sleep?

 5) Recruiting Minions

 You may have cheerleaders and an online community, but there is nothing like having minions.

  • Recruit friends or family to take part in the madness.
  • Make sure they are dedicated to reading or they may prove to be distracting
  • Provides (in real life) IRL motivation
  • If they want to help, but perhaps not read the whole time, IRL cheerleaders can brew coffee, make meals or hang out on social media so you don’t miss anything
  • Check their caffination preferences
  • Choose the same book if you read at similar speeds for fun discussion
  • Collaborating can make mini challenges more fun

Looking forward to the readathon? So are we! We had a blast in October, and we’re going to rock the readathon this spring. See you then!

Kallen is the content manager of GeekyLibrary, a book review site and blog featuring content by a staff of avid readers and reviewers. Subscribe, or follow us on Twitter (@GeekyLibrary).


4 thoughts on “Warm Up: Five Steps to Staying Sane”

  1. Great tips! I’m so pumped for the read-a-thon. Not sure if I’m gonna stay up the whole 24 hours, but if I do, I’ll definitely use the 20 minute nap tip!

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