Saturday, March 21, 2009

24 Hour Read-a-thon --- advice??

I knew nothing - absolutely nothing - about the book blogging community until October of last year. I am not sure which blog I found first (it was either Becky or J Kaye) - or even how I stumbled upon it, but reading blogs quickly became an addiction. Then I learned about book challenges. Oh my -- it had never occurred to me that reading could be a competitive sport (can we purchase letter jackets??). I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I discovered the Novel Challenges blog. I read every single challenge and wanted to immediately sign up for half of them. But alas, in trying to curtail my addictive type-A personality, I initially only signed up for 4.

As if this is not enough stimulation to keep a bibliophile in ecstasy for years to come, I just recently read of the 24 hour read-a-thon hosted by Nymeth, Trish, and Word Lily that will be held the weekend of April 18-19. If book reading is a sport, then this is the olympic marathon event. I so want to compete, but my fear of losing and my perfectionist personality prevents me from committing. Can I really and truly read for 24 straight hours?! I don't have young children at home, but I do have family and dogs --- how will they understand this obsessive/compulsive issue of mine? How does one "train" for such a competition? What supplies does one lay in for this kind of event?

I have given this quite a bit of thought since I first heard about it - and I think that if I do participate, I would have to modify the level of participation (work my way up to a full-distance marathoner at a later date). I also think that I might want to use this time to read some lighter fiction than what I have listed on my Spring Challenge List. There are many YA novels that I have on my TBR list (The Graveyard Book - The Hunger Games - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Harry Potter (I know -- what rock have I been hiding under?) - 13 Reasons Why - Ender's Game) - that I think I may want to concentrate on these books which I should be able to read at a faster pace. I also know that I will want to read others' blogs to experience their marathon success stories.

So what about you -- have you participated in one of these events before? If so, do you have any words of wisdom for a neophyte? Are any of you planning to participate in this event? If so, have you given thought to how you might train over the next few weeks?


  1. I admit that I'm tempted by the 24-hour challenge. I was too new to blogging to participate last time, but it really looked liked fun. I'm so busy with work right now that I'm not sure I'll be able to swing it -- I'm still thinking....

    I joined my first challenge last fall soon after becoming a blogger. I was hooked . . . totally!

  2. I did this last October for the first time and it was a blast! You just participate as many hours as you can. It's still fun, and they have activities where you check out how others are doing. Some of my family members may have thought it was a little extreme, but I just compared it to a day at an amusement park, only cheaper!
    It's definitely a good idea to pick shorter books. I remember having so much fun at the library making my selections mostly from children's and YA. I had lots of snacks and food prepared beforehand. It's also helpful to have an audiobook on hand for when you have to do something active.
    I stayed up all 24 hours last time, but I don't think I'll be able to this time. But I'm still going to do as much as I can.

  3. I'm not saying up the whole 24 hours. I love sleep too much. =) Here's a link to one of Dewey's posts about the read-a-thon:

  4. Even Dewey took breaks to take a walk or make dinner. I helped facilitate read-a-thon in October, but I didn't participate. But I think of it like NaNoWriMo - you won't know til you try, right? And if you don't make it, for whatever reason - there are no penalties.

    As for training - I agree with keeping sort of "fun" books for the read-a-thon - books that will keep you going, as it were. Good luck!

  5. Definitely take a few breaks throughout the day. Maybe even a power nap or two. And don't feel obligated to stay up the whole 24 hours. I haven't made it all 24 yet. And with it being on a Saturday, it's hard for me. I have church the next day--I teach Sunday School--and it's just impossible to stay up that long and be able to function.

    I'd say have a few shorter books (but high interest) for later in the day. They need to be entertaining enough that you want to read them, but short enough that you feel that you can read finish them!

    To me the key is finding a book (or two or three) that will be a page-turner. You need to find a book that just grabs you and won't let go. Once you find a book like that, you'll be fighting off sleep not so that you can say you did, but because you just have to finish that book :)

  6. You've won an award at A Novel Menagerie today!

  7. I've never participated in this one, and honestly, I don't think I could handle it LOL (I like sleep on a regular basis)

  8. I was too new last year also but I followed some of the other people doing it. I don't sleep well any way so that wouldn't be a problem. It just depends on what we have going on with ball games and stuff. I've read some of the books you listed and they will keep your attention. The Hunger Games was very good, Thirteen Reasons Why was sad but intense and
    Harry Potter was just awesome. I'm reading The Graveyard Book now and it's good too. I like that you can chose your own level of participation.

  9. Maybe you could take extra vitamins in the days leading up to the competition. B vitamins are good for energy, so is vitamin C.


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