Bout of Books Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge The First: The Monday Edition
Hosted by Sarah Says Read
“What do you like best about readathons? Do you have any readathon traditions or rituals? If this is your first readathon, what do you like so far? Discuss away!”
Well, this is definitely NOT my first read-a-thon - though most of the ones I've participated in so far have been 24-hour jobbies. I always miss the Dewey read-a-thons because I have to do WORKING at weekends, so last winter I did some ad-hoc ones on my days off instead. Happily, after the first time, I managed to get a bunch of LibraryThingers interested so I wasn't doing it on my own any more! It's such a good way of boosting my reading up a bit, I love it.
Bearing all that in mind, here, for your entertainment, is my five-step guide to read-a-thons, Ellie-style! (Yes, this veers SLIGHTLY away from the question, but I think I've covered my favourite things and my read-a-thon traditions along the way!)
1. There Will Be Pizza
And other delicious snacks. Read-a-thons are all about luxuriating in reading pleasure, and as we all know, what we're shoving in our mouths as we turn the pages is a huge part of that. Some people prefer to go for vegetables and dips and healthy, healthy food - but let's face it, that really isn't my style. For me, the ideal read-a-thon food is anything I can cook quickly and/or graze on. That means stuff I can cook, slice up and nibble (pizza, Spanish tortilla); stuff I can toast (pancakes, toasted teacakes and, er, toast); cakes and pastries (chocolate chip muffins and custard Danish pastries being my vices of choice) and stuff I can pour into a bowl (sweet popcorn, Hula hoops, M'n'Ms)... I think I might have put on three stone just writing this paragraph.
2. Read-a-Thons are a Geek's Paradise
NO WORD OF A LIE. There are SO MANY opportunities to geek out during a read-a-thon, which is probably why I love them so much. Before every read-a-thon (or during, in this case, since I already have my first couple of books sorted) I have a total list-making frenzy, combing through my LibraryThing catalogue hunting down potential reads. It stops me overlooking any perfect candidates and sometimes I stumble across a book and get that NOW IS YOUR TIME feeling. Aside from all the list-making, a read-a-thonner also has the opportunity to keep numerous read-a-thonny statistics (page numbers, hours, books) to his or her own level of nerd-compulsion. I'm trying to keep this fairly low this time so I don't come over all 'Here's Johnny!' by the end of the week.
3. Snoozing Is Compulsory
Whether you're doing a 24-hourer or a seven-dayer, it is VITAL that you get some snoozing time in there somewhere. Obviously, if you're reading for seven days you're going to be, y'know, SLEEPING and all that. But if you're reading for any prolonged amount of time, day or night, you know that at some point your eyes will start to burn, the words on the page will start to swim, you'll read the same paragraph thirty times, and suddenly the cushion/sofa/bed/floor will look sooooo inviting... That's when you snooze. Twenty minutes later, you wake up, pop a handful of M'n'Ms, and the read-a-thon goes on!
4. Step Away from the Interwebs
This is v. ironic because so far at work today I have read NOTHING for the read-a-thon, but have spent much time online reading (and now writing) stuff ABOUT the read-a-thon. I suspect I am not the only one. WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE READING THIS RIGHT NOW, HMMMM? I thought so... The bestest thing about read-a-thonning is that it is a most excellent excuse to NOT do other stuff, like laundry, gardening, cleaning, shopping and playing on Twitter. Okay, there might be a bit of playing on Twitter. And laundry. But the read-a-thon is a very good reason to keep these dangerous, dangerous things in moderation and retreat somewhere cosy where you can read and eat biscuits instead.
5. I Did it Myyyyyy Waaaaaaay
Above all, a read-a-thon should be FUN! Whether you're reading over breakfast or before bed, at work or in the park, sunbathing in the garden or huddled in an armchair watching the rain, for twenty minutes at lunchtime or twenty-four hours on your day off, it's all about doing it your way. Everything about your read-a-thon is personal and interesting, which is why I love trawling other people's updates! I want to know that X is reading Sarah Waters in Edinburgh, eating Nutella with a spoon, while Y is in Florida reading Charles Dickens while their homemade lasagne cooks and Z is sitting on a bench on their university campus drinking chai latte and reading Sarah Dessen. This is what it's all about! Reading good books, eating good food, making good friends and being really, REALLY nosy about other people's reading habits.
Happy reading, everyone!