The Readathon Is Coming

This Saturday, April 21, is the spring 2012 edition of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. The readathon is a twice-yearly event started in October 2007 by the much-loved blogger Dewey of A Hidden Side of a Leaf and has continued in her memory ever since. I’ve been able to participate in most of the readathons, and I look forward to joining in again this Saturday.

The official start time for me is 8 a.m., and I’ll be spending the day reading as much as I can, with breaks for tweeting out updates, visiting blogs, snacking, and exercising and so on as needed. I’m not aiming for the full 24 hours because after a while, I stop taking in what I’m reading anyway, so what’s the point? I’ll read until I’m good and tired, and then I’ll go to bed. If past history is any indication, that’ll mean staying up maybe an hour past my usual bedtime.

So what will I be reading? Many readathoners suggest having a large stack of short light books to read, but I’m bucking conventional wisdom and following a plan that has worked well for me in some past readathons and tackling a good, suspenseful chunkster that will be hard to put down. The book for the day is 11/22/63 by Stephen King, which both Jenny and I have been eager to read for some time and which we’ll be reviewing together in the next few weeks. So I may just finish one book, if I finish it at all that day, but at least I won’t have a pile of reviews to write after the readathon.

Readathon Stack

I do have a stack of other options at the ready, just in case I do finish and want to dive into something else. You’ll see that there are several graphic novels/comics (Understanding Comics, Castle Waiting, and The Influencing Machine) in the stack, as well as some poetry (Locomotion and If Not, Winter). These might be what I turn to when my eyes are tired of looking at lots of text. And of course, besides these library books, I also have my TBR books and lots of options on my e-reader.

One of the things I and several other readers do with every readathon (and a feature I wish were talked up a bit more) is read for a charity. It makes the day of complete indulgence feel less indulgent somehow if I know it’s for a cause I care about. I always give 10 cents for every page read to a literacy-related cause. (Other readers give by hours read or books read or just a flat amount.) This year, I plan to give to the Guys Lit Wire book fair for Ballou High School in Washington DC. This is an especially fun choice because it involves choosing books from the school librarian’s wish list to give. If all the books are purchased by Saturday, I’ll choose a classroom library project at Donors Choose.

If you want to join the Readathon, you can register as a reader or as a cheerleader who encourages readers during the day–or you can do both! Will you be joining in?

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12 Responses to The Readathon Is Coming

  1. Kristen M. says:

    I’ll be there, but probably not promptly at 5am. :) I tend to start when I wake up (around 9am) and then make it until the wee hours of the morning (maybe around 2am) but never until the end. Sunrise is at 6:08am that next morning after all! I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to read though it will probably at least be Fire and Hemlock and maybe Essie Fox’s The Somnambulist or Catherynne Valente’s Palimpsest. I want to be swept away!

    • Teresa says:

      I’m usually up by 7, so the 8 am start time is perfect for me. If I lived west of here, I’d follow your plan.

      Hooray for Fire and Hemlock! I can’t remember–have you read it before?

  2. Simon T says:

    Good luck! I’ll actually be at a day celebrating the writer Elizabeth Taylor. One year I’ll join in!

  3. alenaslife says:

    Very nice. I’ll be with you in spirit as I read in between baseball and soccer games. I love that you are reading for a cause and I really need to devote some time to 11/22/63. So I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  4. Melissa says:

    You read for a charity, what a wonderful idea! I’ve never thought of doing that, but it would absolutely give you a great motivation. I’m participating this Saturday and I might have to do that as well!

    • Teresa says:

      I’ve done the charity thing every time, and it definitely makes the day more meaningful and less self-indulgent. Not that there’s anything wrong with self-indulgence ;)

  5. Jenny says:

    I wish I could join you! I’m spending the morning at an undergraduate research conference and the afternoon doing kid-related things, so I probably won’t have any reading time at all on Saturday (until I go to bed, anyway.) But I will be thinking of you, and watching your tweets on 11/22/63 — I’m dying to know what you think.

  6. Vasilly says:

    I’m signed up for the event! Like you, I might stick to one book: Game of Thrones. M from Buried in Print and I are reading it together. Locomotion, Castle Waiting, and The Influencing Machine are excellent reads. With Locomotion, I cried like a baby. :-) Happy reading.

    • Teresa says:

      I’m glad to know someone else is taking the tome approach. I always feel like an odd duck for it, but it works so well for me because I never want to put good books down. And from everything I hear, Game of Thrones would be just the right kind of thing.

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