Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the read-a-thon

Are you planning on participating in the upcoming 24 Hour Read-a-thon (either as a reader or cheerleader)? Have you made any preparations for the event? And, veterans out there, any tips you’d like to share with the newbies?

Well, if you have read my blog at all over the past several weeks you know that I am VERY MUCH looking forward to this read-a-thon. This will be my second time to participate and while I do not consider myself a veteran marathoner, I do have a better idea of what to expect of myself this go around.

First of all, I do not plan to read for 24 hours straight. I am way too old to be doing that kind of activity anymore (who am I kidding – I never did that activity when I was young!) and I know that if I do not get some good sleep over the weekend my weekly school routine will suffer. That said, I will try to modify the read-a-thon rules to meet my particular needs. It is my goal to read at least 12 hours of the 48 hour weekend. Ideally I would like to read 6-8 hours on Saturday and then another 6-8 hours on Sunday. This will leave time for family – time to sleep – and plenty of time to accomplish lots of reading.

I know that lots of bloggers pre-select their read-a-thon book lists. While there are several books that I think I might like to read over the weekend, I know myself well enough to know that I need to be loose and flexible. I will read what I feel like reading – period. One thing that I did learn last go around is that I need to have a good selection of different length books (short stories – shorter novels, in addition to the traditional size novel). I also learned that I need a great variety of genres. For me that will include YA novels, cozy mysteries, more serious thrillers, memoirs, and perhaps a few recent releases that have peaked my interest over the past few weeks. Due to my many bookstore trips lately, as well as recent visits to the local library, I know that I do not have a shortage of literature to fit any mood.

Some bloggers lay in lots of favorite snacks, beverages, music selections, etc. I truly do not obsess about those issues. I rarely snack while reading and my normal beverages are always in plenty of supply. Thanks to my brother who heard my dilemma last read-a-thon, I have a great selection of classic and smooth jazz tunes to play softly in the background which lends a cozy, bookshop feel to my small intimate book nook.

I think the greatest lesson I learned last time – that I will try to rectify this go around – is that I need to plan my blogging time. I think every 2 hours or so is a nice pace for me. I will try to quickly update my blog to reflect my reading progression – I will quickly log onto to Twitter to catch the buzz (this was a great way to get refreshed and encouraged last time) – and I will spend about 20 minutes or so visiting fellow bloggers and commenting on their great efforts. So in essence, spend 30 minutes on the computer for every 2 hours with a book. In addition, I know that I will need to allow time to reflect on my reading so that I can write a semi-cohesive review at the end of the weekend.

I think the true key to a read-a-thon success is just to have fun — whatever that means to you! Some bloggers will read LOTS of books very quickly – and if you spend too much time comparing yourself to others you will become discouraged. This is an opportunity to take what is typically a solitary activity and add an element of camaraderie to it. I hope you will consider joining us — for one hour or 24 hours. You deserve to do this for you!


  • Matt

    I have decided to have a theme for my first read-a-thon (O am so so so excited). I will only read LBGT literature starting with The World of Normal Boys. Currently reading The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun, should be able to finish when read-a-thon starts on Saturday. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post an update every hour, because i tend to get into this chugging mode when i read a lot.

  • Marie

    I'm going to do my best to give it a few hours. There's a book festival in Boston that day, and I'll be busy but I want to do it. 🙂 good luck to you! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Looks like you've got a good plan and you know what works for you. I'm new to the read-a-thon so it's going to be a learning experience for sure!

  • Lisa

    Excellent advice about the amount of time to be on the computer. This was an area I was curious about. I didn't totally want to ignore it because that's what makes doing the read-a-thon fun, but time on the computer can completely get away from me. I may even set a timer. Which will also serve as a great way to wake me back up!

  • Trish

    Great points, Molly. I am one of those who obsesses about food, but well…I don't have an excuse. 🙂

    I agree that a big stack to choose from is the best way to go. I made the mistake the first time of just choosing the books I would read and then found some of them were bad choices and had to scour the shelf for more.

    I didn't twitter last time so I'm curious to see what it's all about this go-round. Did you just hangout at the #readathon page?

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