Dewey's 24 Hour Spring Read-a-thon: The Prep Post

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon is tomorrow, and my starting time is 6am. In previous read-a-thons I’ve complained about the starting time, and always slept in and started later. But in this read-a-thon I’m going to make a real effort to wake up at 6 (which I’ve been doing already for months now) and read ’til at least midnight (I’m not sure I can make it past that). I’ve chosen my books, though I think I’m going to add a few more later tonight, and I’ve informed the family what’s happening.

So, let’s talk some more about what exactly I’m going to do!

The blog plan

I think for this read-a-thon I’m going to post twice, once when I start and once when I finish. In between I’ll update the first post with tallies and totals and whatnot. And maybe a survey or two, if I have time. And of course I’ll be updating my Twitter account regularly, too!

The reading plan

Here’s what I’ve gathered together from my shelves (and one library book pile):

They are: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate; Steam Detectives volumes one, two, and three; Spy High Mission 1; Perloo the Bold; Bertie and the Tinman; The Club of Queer Trades; The Eye of the Warlock (unfortunately the 3rd of a series, but hopefully that won’t matter); The Dreaming volume one and two; The Grail Tree.

I’ve also got tons of more graphic novels waiting around, which I’ve just discovered in a box in the storage room, so I can always read those too, if I want. And if I don’t finish the book I’m reading today (A.A. Milne’s autobiography) I’ll do so tomorrow.

I feel really confidant about this read-a-thon. In other read-a-thons I kept getting distracted by the TV, but I’m going to try to NOT turn on the TV and I think that’ll, uh, do the trick. Oh, which reminds me:


There are a lot of these lists already, but that won’t stop me from making my own! Here’s what I’ve learned from doing two previous read-a-thons:
1. DO have a ready supply of snacks you can eat with one hand. And not just junk food, either– that’ll make you tired and bloated and just generally feeling bad. Variety is important, so have an apple in between eating that box of cookies! Some of my favorite read-a-thon snacks are:
– apples, oranges, bananas, etc
– crackers with peanut butter spread on top
– cheese
– dry cereal like Raisin Bran or that cheapo stuff you can get a big bag of for, like, a dollar. Don’t eat it with milk, as that’ll get your front all a mess and you might end up dripping on your book. Horrors!
– yogurt, especially with granola on top (trickier to eat one-handed, but it can be done. Just wedge the container somewhere within reach and have at it.)
– milkshakes/smoothies/Gatorade/etc
– baked potatoes (deliciousssss)
– various kinds of grilled sandwiches (although it’s very messy). Alternatively, small bite-sized sandwiches.

Don’t forget to drink water, too! Also, go easy on the coffee. Seriously, you don’t want to be running to the bathroom every other hour.

2. DO take breaks. What I found works for me is to take a fifteen minute break every hour and a half, which I use to update my posts, talk to fellow read-a-thonners on Twitter, and replenish my snack supply. And be sure to get up and walk around during those breaks, as well. An active body is an active mind, or something!

3. DON’T forget to check out the official read-a-thon blog once in a while. They post lots of interesting things like challenges and surveys, and participating in the read-a-thon community is part of the fun of being in the ‘thon! I tend to just do the surveys, myself, but for sure check out the challenges, too, because you could win a prize!

4. DON’T be afraid to dump a book, add new books to your pile, or keep reading a really long one. Kind of self-explanatory, but still. You’re in charge of your own read-a-thon experience! Don’t let others dictate it for you, and don’t worry about competing with anyone else’s book stats.

5. DO say hello to your family once in a while. They’ll appreciate it.

6. DO turn the TV off. It’ll distract you and you won’t be able to concentrate. If you must have background noise (as I do), try putting on some music. Something without lyrics, preferably, and something rather mellow. I like soundtracks a lot, especially ones by Zbigniew Preisner and Danny Elfman. Also, try to keep away from the computer when you aren’t updating things. Constantly checking your email is another big distraction, after all.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got. See y’all at the ‘thon!

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10 thoughts on “Dewey's 24 Hour Spring Read-a-thon: The Prep Post”

  1. I’m trying to store all these readathon tips away for next time when I actually try to participate. You have a great list! I absolutely cannot read with the TV or radio on. Drives me nuts. I have to go into a totally different room or I get distracted.

    Have fun with all the reading!

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