This October will only be the second time I take part in Dewey's Read-a-Thon and for any other newbies out there that haven't participated before it can sound amazing but scary at the same time. 24 hours to read books? Awesome, I'll read ALL the books - but when will I sleep? You find yourself asking all the real questions about how to manage your time and what your number of books will be by the end. Here are some little tips I learned last time around when thinking about the REAL questions.
1. I want to read LOTS of books.
Keep in mind it is only 24 hours so you have to be realistic. Being realistic depends on how fast a reader you are. For me, the quickest I've ever read one book was when I read Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda last year which was less than 12 hours (but I did break for sleep). If you set the bar too high then you'll feel like you might not have accomplished much (which you definitely will when you dedicate so much time to reading). A good way to boost the number of books you read is to plan ahead and pick small easy reads, last time I chose to read 3 graphic novels because I can breeze through those easily and they definitely still count towards your total number of books read.
2. But when will I sleep?
So a lot of people have a lot of different advice about sleeping patterns through a read-a-thon: take lots of short bursts of 20-30 minutes, catch a 4 hour nap, don't sleep - sleep is for the weak. For me, I get cranky if I don't get enough sleep as well as a partner who couldn't cope if I stayed up next to him all night with my reading light. It's about knowing your limits and scheduling in naps that might lasy 3 hours, might last 8 hours. Do you get more tired after short naps? Don't do that then. Are you happy to sacrifice 7 or 8 hours reading time to wake as a refreshed daisy and really get back in to reading? Reading can be tiring on the eyes so do make sure to catch a little shut eye and take a break if you need to.
3. I have stuff to do.
As much as we love reading we might have other commitments too: work, social lives etc. That is totally fine! You can still take part. Think about your normal working day: you might work a lot of hours, have a little lunch break then go home and watch TV or play games. You can still read around work by replacing other activities. Instead of spending your hour break on your phone, read a book. Always get stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work: listen to an audio book in the car. Spend hours watching Netflix in the evening: replace it for one evening to just read a book.
4. I don't want to run out of books to read.
This wouldn't happen to me because I'm a relatively slow reader who plans to read more rather than less when it comes to the read-a-thon. A good idea would be to plan the actual books you're going to read and pile them up close by, grabbing more than you'd need. I feel like every book lover has a bookshelf with a good percentage of books on there marked as 'to-read' so before the big reading session it might be a good idea to pull those ones you've put off reading because you wanted to reread Harry Potter again.
5. Talk about it!
It's all about community. There is a Goodreads group, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, with hashtags #RahRahReadathon, #Dewey, #Readathon and #MiniChallenge to keep you in the loop for the whole 24 hours. When you sign up you leave your blog or twitter link and can find other readers through that list too. There's mini-challenges and different things to take part in as well. Have fun!
The next Dewey's Read-a-thon is this weekend, will you be taking part? You can sign up and see what is happening on the Readathon's website. I plan to take part and have signed up, although I don't think I'll get as much reading done as I did last year.