Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Prep, Pre-prep and other 24 readathon tips and tricks.

It's almost here.  Dewey's 24 hour Readathon!
Now some of you may wonder why I am posting about preparation now.  The event is still over 2 weeks away!  Well, to me, there is more to it. 

First off, I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe some of you will join my in the readathon.  It is a huge internet event with over 2000 participants! And this year is the events 10 year anniversary!! WOOHOO! All around the world, at the same time, readers put aside the next 24 hours to reading.  Can't do that much time?  Thats okay! Everything is your pace and pressure free (accept wanting you to join us). If you got even 30 minutes you can spare, join us!  4 hours is good, 10 is great and if you can do the whole 24-AMAZING!!  The only objective is to have fun!  Some don't even read, they just cheer or host events!  The only goals are ones you put on yourself (if you even want to).  Blogs, twitter, facebook and goodreads are all very active with updates, fun challenges, cheering and more!

So as you can tell I start prepping well in advance.  Nothing here is a must.  Just what I do and a few tips and tricks to make the readathon run smoothly.  Now I treat this October day like a holiday.

1-1 weeks before the readathon:  Firstly, SIGN UP on the main sight.  Then:

-Already, I am starting some book stacks of books I might want to read.  I collect a huge and wide variety that will likely reach 4-5 stacks at first.  I scour my shelves, visit the library, etc.  As the readathon creeps closer I will start eliminating books that I will not get to for sure (more on this later).  I check out other's stacks, or past readathon stacks, etc for ideas and inspiration.

-Clean the house & wrap up projects.  My mind is easily distracted so I want as many possible distractions as possible out of the way.  Dirty dishes/laundry, fix-it piles etc can easily pull me away from a book to work on them.  The more up on things I am, the better.  The easy stuff that easily repeats itself (dishes, etc) I just keep up with but dusting, organizing, etc I do asap this month.

-Make a snack/meal idea list.  I make a long list of ideas that sound good, then work on eliminating ideas to a realistic level of munchies and easy to eat foods.  I always make food before the event for easy eating.  Also, keep in mind foods that need 2 hands (cutting meats, etc) or are messy, sticky (such as Cheetos) and it helps with this elimination.  I get ideas that are healthy, salty, sugary, filling, and energizing for good variety.

1 week before the readathon:
-I start to finalize my stacks.  I make sure  I have a good variety of novels, lengths and genres.  I make sure I have some graphic novels, childrens books and a book to listen to when my eyes need a break (or while I am cheering others on social media).  Normally my stack is still way too much and out of hand.  I will try harder to be more practical this year.
-Start shopping for any food I need for the readathon

1-2 days before:
-Make sure have everything you need.  Comfy spots cleared up, prep/cook any food and have it ready for simple heating the day of the event.

-House clean and tidy!  When the day before arrives I just want to focus on food prep and rest! If I am trying to relax, it is not easy to do if there is a mess nearby.   But if my place is clean, it leaves my mind free to focus on the books.  No unwanted task thoughts or looking up to dirty coffee tables, etc.  Last thing you want to be stuck doing is dishes or laundry instead of reading.  Or if you try and tune it out, it might nag at you, thus taking away from bookish pleasure.

- Hydrate. More than normal.  I can't express how this helps for energy and focus.

-Extra rest and sleep if possible.  Even just 15 minutes can help.  For me, this starts at 5 am and I am not a morning person and normally don't get home from work until around midnight.  Now I take the evening before off and try to get to bed early but sleep doesn't always come so starting a day or 2 sooner and squeezing in those extra minutes help

-Rest the eyes!  I spend less time on the computer, avoid subtitled movies, etc.  I also don't read much those last 2 days.  Last thing I need are tired eyes or enter a reading slump for too much reading!

If you are going for several hours to all 24 hours here are some tips you may want to keep in mind.
  • Clear your day. Let friends/family know.  Put up a do not disturb sign, turn off you phone, etc. For me having an unexpected phone call or doorbell ring can really throw me off when I am delving deep into a good book.  Plus I would hate for one to get in touch with me to feel like I am giving them the brush off.  And if they are not a reader they will not get why you are doing so for a book!
  • Choose your books and have variety!!  I always have a huge stack ready to go a few days before the readathon.    For this, I really advise getting books you WANT to read.  This is not the best time for obligation books for school, book reviewing, etc.  If the book does not excite you, leave it alone and change it up.

  • Another tip is larger font.  Again, save eye strain.  Even if you have good vision.  When you read for long hours, it takes it's toll.  Avoid books with tiny print, off colors. Or even wear reading glasses, even if you normally don't.  It make a big difference for the readathon and the next day. 

  • Have eye drops and/or a col washrag ready for your eyes.  Eye strain can put you to sleep, cause headaches, etc.  Keep your eyes refreshed!  Makes a huge difference.  Especially if you have to work the next day
  • Have a great variety of foods and drinks.  Healthy snacks are important but I splurge on the extras too-but careful not to go overboard on junk food-you'll pay for it later!  Caffeine is a must but teas, juice, water etc is also recommended.
Are you planning on participating or have you in the past?  What are your thoughts?  Any tips or advice?  Amazing food choices that keep you energized (or are book friendly)?

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