April 2017

Warm Up: Twenty-four or One, There’s No Wrong Way to Readathon

This April will be my 16th Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

Wow, that actually makes me feel really old.

The first Readathon meme I ever made.

Out of the past 15 Readathons, I managed to last the full 24 hours just once or twice (and I totally napped). I had a lot of fun participating all day and all night those times, even though I was pretty much comatose come Sunday.

And I’ll admit, back in the early days of my blog, I felt compelled to do the whole 24 hours, because wasn’t that the whole point of a 24 Hour Readathon?

My first Readathon Pile O’ Books, my insanity on full display.

So I tried, hard, to stay awake. I made sure that I wasn’t working either the Saturday of Readathon or the Sunday after. I skipped events and birthday parties, because I was serious about Readathon. To be honest, I was probably a little too serious. Because when I would inevitably fall asleep (and once or twice it was in the early hours of Readathon because my pre-Readathon night’s sleep was horrible due to all the excitement), I would wake up feeling panicked, like I had failed.

Then a few years ago, my friend (and now blog partner, Kim) and I signed up to go to a book event in April. It was out of town, so it meant a long day away from my computer. When I found out that Readathon was scheduled for that same day, I was genuinely upset. I don’t think Kim knows how close I was to canceling our plans (sorry, Kim). But I stuck with my plans (which had been a long time in the making) and instead I woke up early, posted a little about Readathon, and then went to the book event and had a great time. We got home that evening, and I participated several hours online.

All the goodies I came home with from that book event. ๐Ÿ™‚

And the world didn’t end because I had to step away from my computer for most of Readathon. I had tons of fun because I wasn’t under self-imposed pressure.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of people say they can’t do Readathon because they have other plans- work, weddings, parties, cleaning the grout in their bathrooms.
But, readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret- You don’t have to Readathon all 24 hours. You can do it for just one hour, or two, or twenty minutes now, and three hours later. You can read five books, or none. You can tweet the entire time and only do the challenges. Seriously, you don’t have to read AT ALL. You can sleep in, and start Readathon late. You can go in without any kind of plan at all, or you can have a whole schedule of posts and tweets and spreadsheets filled out in anticipation.

Nerd it up your own way!

Part of the reason I so adore Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is because it plugs me into our community of readers. I love the excitement, the snacks, the book piles, the posts, the cheers, I love it all! And even spending a few minutes on April 29th will be worth it.

Come Saturday the 29th, I’ll be working the morning shift at Fountain Bookstore and then heading over to Kim’s house because our book club is meeting to discuss our current read. I’ll wake up early and post about Readathon, I’ll be checking in as often as possible on Litsy and Instagram and Twitter. When I get home from book club, I’ll spend a few more hours online and maybe reading (definitely Twitter cheering).

It’s great when I can spend the whole 24 hours to focus on Readathon, but it’s also great to know I can drop in and out anytime during the event. And so can you!

So, join us. Leave your fields to flower… or just join us for an hour!

~Kate @ MidnightBookGirl

Thank you so much, Kate! You’ve done so much for us over the years. This is EXCELLENT advice! Follow Kate on Twitter atย @Midnghtbookgirl or her blog (where you’ll find all her social links!).

3 thoughts on “Warm Up: Twenty-four or One, There’s No Wrong Way to Readathon”

  1. Yes! This! 100% all of this!
    I have fond memories of making it through almost all 24 hours of my first Readathon, much to my parents’ and grandmother’s perplexed amusement. And then grad school happened, with inevitable final papers coinciding with the April weekend. I still owe a great big thanks to all the Readathon Twitter folks who cheered me on while I slogged through a near all-nighter working on my first Big Grad School Paper.
    Knowing we were all staying up late and being bookish helped so much!

  2. This is great advice – my first three or four readathons clashed with work or personal events, so I could only read for a few hours. I felt like I was missing out on something.
    The ones I have been able to join in for the entire 24 hrs, I have still made time to sleep. I want to actually remember what I have read, being sleep deprived doesn’t work for me at all!

    This year I suddenly had a surprise birthday party for a dear friend thrown in. I actually wavered for a minute thinking ‘oh no that’s readathon weekend!’ But then sanity prevailed. I can tweet, I can take a few photographs and when I get home again on Sunday I can read until my heart’s content for the last 7 hrs or so (I’m in Australia) and that’s okay.

    Thanks for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

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