So, I am officially signed up! And I cannot wait for the day to get here. I am already working on my reading list. But first I would like to give my two cents on how to prepare for this readathon as I’ve been asked by friends what to expect.
[If you haven’t signed up for Dewey’s readathon, do that here!]
- You completed step 1. You’re signed up! Woohoo!!!!!!! 🙂 Let’s see how you could prepare over the next few weeks.
- PRE-READATHON FUN. Check out what’s going on in their official Goodreads group and participate in some of their pre-readathon activities. The Dewey’s group is fun-tastic! There is a also wealth of information available to you on the discussion board.
- MY TBR. I generally start thinking about my list of reading options as soon as I remember that Dewey’s is coming up. Remember, this is a reading marathon, so slow and steady wins the race ;).
- I try to have a diverse selection: short stories, poetry, graphic novels as in between or light reads, a few fiction books that I am excited to read and generally one big tome just in case I am super motivated that day. Here is my ongoing and ever-changing list. As indicated, I generally overfill this list so I have options, options, options that day.
- Some participants choose to follow a theme like only female writers, sci-fi only, books with blue covers … . Honestly, whatever floats your boat is right.
- SNACKS! This is a biggie. I try to have lots and lots of snacks on hand. Healthy stuff and of course chocolate!
- COFFEE! This is a must for me and I get really excited that I can essentially have as much caffeine as I want as I am not planning on going to sleep at my normal time (or at all).
- OTHER DRINKS. Keep water ready. Or juice. Or tea. Anything that hydrates you.
- MY READING NOOK. Ahhhh, I love thinking about the comfy places I will read in. I try to move about throughout the day to keep it fresh I guess. I generally will spend some time at a coffee shop or outside during the day and at night I read in my favorite chair in my office or on the couch. The motto here is always: comfort. I will have PJs, blankets, pillows etc ready. I will arrange my snacks and drinks around me. I will light a candle. I am definitely setting the reading mood.
- SOCIAL MEDIA. Dewey’s is as much social media as you want. There are Instagram posts, Twitter challenges, Goodreads group discussions, and Facebook conversations. I tend to focus on Goodreads, Facebook, and my blog but will have the occasional tweet. I am less active on Instagram during the readathon. The first few readathons I would spend a lot more time on social media as I love, love, love interacting with like-minded individuals (and there are so many fun challenges throughout the day). The last few though, I have been donating money toward charities for each page I read and so my inner competitor didn’t want to “waste time”. Thus, I tend to schedule social media breaks every few hours. I also always host one hour in the Goodreads group and will use that time to write a longer blog post for example.
- TRACKING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. This is where my inner nerd shines! I track hourly progress in an excel sheet featuring books read, page count, breaks etc and will then analyze “my data” in a wrap-up blog post. Here is an example from a past readathon.
- STAYING MOTIVATED. Quite frankly, having fun, enjoying the reading process, and being mindful and in the present really is the most important part and the essence of Dewey’s readathon. We all love books but we have different amounts of time to dedicate to them throughout the year. These 24 hours are a way to conscientiously decide: this day belongs to books, to the written word, to me entering different worlds, and to me taking time to myself or time with my family/friends to read together. I stay motivated by thinking about the purpose of this readathon, by chatting with like-minded people, and by having a few of my close friends being reading buddies (we text each other, especially in the wee hours, to check in).
I know this seems really overwhelming and a fairly long list but remember: this day is what you want it to be. There are no requirements except for making time for some reading, even if it is only an hour or so. Don’t worry about finishing books or “competing” with others. This day is meant for you and for you alone!