April 2015

Warm Up: How to Readathon in the Midst of a Busy Life

I have been participating in the readathon for a couple years now. The last Readathon, in October, was the first time I actually had a completely free schedule for the full 24 hours. Yet in the middle of my busy life, I still found ways to squeeze as much reading out of the day as I could manage. Here are some things I’ve learned about multitasking during the challenge.

First off, do NOT feel guilty if you are unable to participate the entire 24 hours. For me, it’s about reading as much as I can and during every hour. That doesn’t mean that is what everyone is trying to do. The readathon is about fun and whatever makes it fun for you… go for it!

My very first readathon was in April and it happened to be the same weekend as the annual ACS Relay for Life, which I’ve participated in for a few years. So how did I do a 12 hour Relay and the Dewey at the same time? Audio books! I read as much as I could until it was time for me to leave for the Relay and that’s when I switched over to audio books. I loaded up my phone and my mp3 player with as many audio books as I could fit. I had to have options because 12 hours is a long time to be listening to books I wasn’t enjoying. So I needed to have extras in case I needed to switch books. My Relay team knew I was pulling double duty during the event so when I was audio booking it, they left me be. When I needed a break we chatted away the night. I had long books for the early part of the night and short books for the graveyard shift hours when I knew I’d be tired and unable to pay attention to a longer more involved novel. That year, I walked over 20 miles and finished one full length book and three novellas while I walked.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m also a yarn crafter who gets a thrill out of finding new and exciting types of yarn and gadgets to use in my projects. So when one of the October readathons coincided with the annual Yarn Crawl, I was up to the challenge of reading and yarn shopping! I warned my friends ahead of time what I’d be doing so they knew I would not be driving or navigating. I sat in the back seat with my books while we ventured from shop to shop all day long. I had ebooks and print for in the car, and audio books for shopping. I had a blast posing for photos in each store we hit. Here’s one photo from that day.

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This April is no different. I’m preparing for my second half marathon on May 3, so the day of the readathon, I have to fit a long run in that just happens to be a trail run race with several folks from my running club. So my first couple hours of the readathon this go-round will be spent out on a 5 mile run on the trails. You can bet audio books will play an important role in the day again this year.

These are the things that work for me to help me maximize my reading time but it may be different for you. Maybe you are one of the folks who can’t get into audio books, but you can still maximize your reading time if that’s your goal. I’m also a big fan of novellas and graphic novels when I know a full length novel isn’t going to work for me. In this age of smart phones and ereaders, you can fit one in your pocket or purse and carry plenty of options with you.

I hope my own solutions to participating in the Dewey’s Readathon with a busy life inspire you to find your own ways to make the most out of the day. You can participate fully no matter where you are or what you have going on in your life. If your goal isn’t to read as much as you can for as long as you can, that’s ok, too. Have fun and make the most of your day.

Feel free to hit me (Kelley) and my partner in crime, Debbie, up at CK2’s Kwips and Kritiques throughout the readathon and share your ideas!

7 thoughts on “Warm Up: How to Readathon in the Midst of a Busy Life”

  1. I haven’t used audiobooks so far for my Readathons, since I’ve been “lucky” that the times I registered as a reader I managed to take the whole day. We will see what happens this time!. Thanks for the Warm-Up post 😀

  2. i’m a huge audio book fanatic. I’d barely read any books in a year without them. They do come in handy for the readathon too. I also use them when I need to get up and stretch my legs or make a snack or something as well so I can keep on reading. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m driving. It is a great idea for your marathon. I don’t like running when music. People always ask me at races how I run in the silence. I like to be completely aware of my surrounds. The reason I mostly enjoy running outside is because the scenery changes and keeps me entertained. My biggest tip is just fitting in a few minutes of reading whenever possible.

  4. Now that’s dedication! This year, I’m kind of pulling double duty by reading textbooks to study for my candidacy exam during the read-a-thon. I probably won’t be able to keep that up all night, but we’ll see!

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