Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is officially on the horizon. At 8 am EST tomorrow, the binge-reading begins. As we make the final touches to our TBR stacks and set our alarms so we can be up nice and early for the ‘thon (I feel so bad for people in time zones whose start times are in the middle of the night, eesh!) as someone who has done this readathon thing numerous times in the past, I thought I’d share a few tips to keep in mind tomorrow.
1. Avoid reading in bed for as LONG AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I know, reading in bed is so comfy and cozy. But, it’s also the Number One Way To Fall Asleep and Miss the Entire Readathon. 😦 Go outside, sit on the couch, cozy up in an armchair — do whatever you can to avoid snuggling up to those pillows for as long as you can possibly avoid it. Because, you’ll promise yourself that you won’t, but you absolutely will fall asleep.
2. Read outside if you can! If you don’t have a backyard you can sprawl out in, consider heading to a local park, a nearby beach, a coffee shop with outdoor seating, maybe even the outdoor area of your local library! The fresh air will keep you awake, the change in scenery will be something fun and different, and you can pretend you were relatively productive, because hey, you left the house for a little bit, didn’t you??
3. If you have an e-reader, even if you normally prefer physical books, consider switching to it come the nighttime hours. I’ve found this really helpful, because while I love to read outside, I also prefer to read paperbacks — these things don’t really mix at one o’clock in the morning.
The other potential plus of using your e-reader is that, if you’re not feeling a book, you can pop into the store and buy a new one. (This might not be great for your wallet, but still.)
4. Plan some healthy snacks and drink lots of water. Yes, candy and chocolates and caffeine are GREAT, but they’re also a surefire way to have a sugar crash. Carrots & hummus, crackers & cheese, grapes, apples, almonds, peanut butter — all great snacking options that’ll keep you energized for longer than a chocolate bar.
5. Give yourself lots of options. Sometimes you spend a month cultivating a stack of purposefully curated novels only to wake up Saturday morning and want to read something totally different. And that’s okay! Give yourself wiggle room. Throw some graphic novels into your pile. Plan for a variety of genres. Maybe jump in your car and head to the library or bookstore to pick something new — that would be exciting!
6. Don’t Compare Yourself — And Do Forgive Yourself. Some people are going to emerge from Hour 1 with three books already read. Don’t ask how these inhuman book dragons managed it, just accept their dragon-y prowess and move on. You can’t compare yourself to anyone else’s page count. You only manage to read one book the whole marathon? Good for you. YOU READ A WHOLE BOOK IN A DAY! That’s nothing to rub your nose at!
And that’s the important part here — don’t be hard on yourself. Forgive yourself if you fall asleep. Peel your drool-sticky cheek off that open book and get back to reading! Or, if you realize you have to stop — if you have to shower, feed your children, go for a run, do anything else other than read because your eyes are melting and you’re slowly going berserk? — do it. This event is meant to be fun, so let it be fun. However much you read, however long you read, celebrate the fact that you sat down and read, even for an hour. Even for a page. Enjoy this event for what it is and don’t let yourself get bogged down by unrealistic expectations or comparisons to others.
Does anyone else have advice for the #readathon newbies? Where’s your favorite spot to park yourself for the 24 Hour Readathon? Leave a comment, let’s talk! And, if you’d like some suggestions for stellar books to binge read, check out my latest post, 8 Books You Might Consider Devouring During the 24 Hour Readathon!