Getting Ready for Dewey’s Read-a-thon

It’s only a mere twelve hours away from the semi-annual read-a-thon. I am glad this year I can stay home from work. I plan to head to bed early so I can get up early, have breakfast, and be ready-ready, book open, at 8am sharp.

This year I have signed up to cheerlead for the first time, after some hesitation. I feel it’s time I pay it forward, having been visited and cheered on in the past, but I am not sure if I am up to the task. I mean, I am the shy and nerdy type so cheerleading was definitely not my thing in school, and I am not good at thinking of smart and cute things to say. I’ll try my best, and hopefully the readers get other cheerleaders to visit them besides me.

This will be my 4th Dewey’s Read-a-thon. I’ve also done a few that last for 3 days. Any longer and I don’t feel the intensity to read more than normal.

Here’s my thoughts on how to prepare for a read-a-thon:

1. Have a good selection of books
Usually a week or two before the read-a-thon, I will start selecting the books I want to read. I will start a pile and keep adding to it. It’s normal to have more than you can actually read. My friend had a stack of 24 books, which, as her husband said, is just about right at the rate of a book an hour. You don’t quite know for sure what you will be in the mood for. Usually my pile will include books that have been on Mt TBR forever, books I want to send on to my friends, etc.

While some readers may be entirely content to spend the whole day reading one book, many find it more encouraging to be able to finish reading a book. So unless you’re the type, Read-a-thon is not the best time to start on Anna Karenina or Atlas Shrugged.

However, I also find that short books don’t always work the best. With each new book it takes a little time to get used to the writer’s style, and to get to know the characters and background. After that, the reading speed picks up. With short books you keep having to readjust, and that doesn’t make for the most pleasant reading.

Also, considering I will be reading for many hours, I tend to pick books with bigger fonts and more space margin, as they are easier on the eyes. Not to mention that the pages fly by faster.

I like non fiction, so I include them in read-a-thon, though they tend not to be as much a page-turner as a James Patterson may be.

I enjoy the feeling of bountiful books, having many titles available whatever my whim may be. However, if you think a stack of books will stress you, then don’t.

2. Snacks
Snacking is great for a little break. Have some ready!

3. Drinks
While coffee has more caffeine, it tends to crash too. My favorite is a hot cup of tea. Especially when it’s in the middle of the night.
Beer and wine relaxes me too much and I end up sleepy, so I save them for another day…

4. Blogging
Have a template ready so it’s easier to update.

5. Get an audio book
With an audio book playing, you can do some exercise, cook, or clean your house while still “reading”. The speed won’t be as fast, but it sure helps to get off that couch/chair/bed and walk around a bit while still making progress.

6. Take a power nap
When you notice you are reading the same line over and over, and the book falls off your hand – you need rest. I find that a power nap of an hour or so actually does a lot of good, and I am able to start reading at a good pace afterwards. It’s better to rest a little and start fresh, then to keep dragging on with little progress. Usually I get real tired around 3 or 4 am, and I will set my alarm to 6 am. I sometimes wake up before then, but if not, I will wake up two hours early to make a good dash across finish line.

7. Your Friends and Family
Last but not least. While you want to concentrate on reading, remember this: your books will always be around, but not so your friends and family. Don’t put reading ahead of them! I am willing to bet you are more likely to regret not spending enough time with someone you love, rather than regret not reading another book. So, even if they don’t share your love of reading, put down your book and give them a hug or smile once in a while!

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can’t wait for tomorrow, and I need to go to bed soon! Excellent advice for those new, and old, to Readathon. There’s part of me that loves the build up to Readathon more than the event, but it’s just a great time for our community. Thank you for signing up for cheerleading! I’ve done it the last few readathons (and before then a little informally) and I just really enjoyed it. As a blogger, it’s just nice to see someone commenting on my blog, so I don’t need the cute cheers (although I do write a bunch of them prior to readathon, I always just try to write something personal on the blog).

  2. We begin! Enjoy!

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