Monday, October 19, 2009

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon: The Plan

If possible this past week has been even worse in terms of not reading than the previous week. I didn't mean to neglect my blog as well but there ended up being almost no reading OR blogging happening around here last week. Work and some personal stuff going on made the weekdays pretty much a wash, but then I have a fun excuse for the weekend. Our two-year mobile phone contracts were almost up so on Saturday we went out and got iPhones! We also spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon at a local park admiring all the pretty pink cosmos flowers, but otherwise most of my weekend was spent figuring out my new toy, and trying to decide which applications to download. I found a manga one so I've started reading the Vampire Knight series, as it seemed suitably seasonal, on my phone. Quite cool! If you have an iPhone I would love to know which are your favourite and/or essential apps.
Image © Apple Inc.

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?

Absolutely, and I can't wait! This will be my third read-a-thon (my first was last October) as a reader, and I'm going to try to do things a little differently this time. One of the main difficulties for me, and anyone else in this corner of the globe, is that with the time difference, the read-a-thon doesn't officially start until 9 PM on Saturday here in Japan. For my first one, I tried to stay up for the whole thing, after already having been up all day, but I ended up crashing for a couple of hours and boy were my eyes dry and tired. Then this April I took about 4 hours out about halfway through to have a nap, which was a bit better but I was still quite groggy for a while after starting again and of course I did miss some of the read-a-thon. And with missing a few hours, reading for charity so feeling like I should be reading instead of the other stuff, and just with all the events going on I felt a little overwhelmed, and didn't get a chance to do much cheering on of the other readers which I would've liked to have done.

So this time I'm going to try to read more, sleep longer and cheerlead too! Sounds impossible, right? Well, I've decided on the following rough schedule, which may get shuffled around a bit on the day:
  • Start reading on Saturday at 12 PM JST (Japan Standard Time), in other words, 9 hours early.
  • Read for 6 or 7 hours, with occasional breaks and a couple of updates. Since I'll be reading on my own, ideally without too many distractions, I hope to make some considerable progress.
  • Take 2 hours off for dinner and to chat a bit with H before the craziness begins.
  • The read-a-thon officially starts at 9 PM. Keep reading until I can't keep awake. I'm aiming for 4 or 5 hours, until 1 or 2 AM or thereabouts.  Perhaps cheer for an hour.
  • Sleep for 6 or 7 hours.
  • Wake up. Stop by Galleysmith's Read-a-thon Slumber Party which I think will be in full swing by then.
  • Spend the next couple of hours on the computer catching up and mostly visiting other readers to cheer them on.
  • By around noon on Saturday (JST) I'll hopefully be awake enough and ready to read again. Depending on my mood and attention span, I'll spend the next several hours reading, cheerleading, or slumber partying.
  • Take an hour off for dinner.
  • If possible, spend the last couple of hours in a mad spurt to read more pages.
  • At 9 PM JST the read-a-thon officially ends. Spend a couple of hours de-briefing, then sleep. Best of all I don't have to work the following Monday, so it'll give me a chance to recover.
Therefore, by starting early and taking that time out in the middle I should end up with a total close to 24 hours. What do you think? Do-able? Ridiculous? Regardless, I'm looking forward to having fun trying. I've already warned H that the whole weekend will be pretty much devoted to reading so he'll just have to amuse himself those two days.

As for tips, just the usual ones, like those already mentioned at the dedicated read-a-thon blog.
  • Have a variety of food, snacks and drinks. Don't forget fruit and other healthy food along with the essentials, like chocolate!
  • Don't load up on too much caffeine. If you're getting sleepy, getting up to stretch or go for a short walk will wake you up and will be better in the long run than more coffee/tea/cola.
  • Change locations. 24 hours in one place is pretty tedious.
  • Wear comfortable clothes but remember that if you're too warm and cozy, you might fall asleep.
  • Choose books that are fun, and easy to read. Page-turners that you can get lost in for a few hours.
  • Several shorter books are better than one or two long ones as you have a feeling of accomplishment when you finish each book.
  • Graphic novels, manga, books with pictures are great when you're eyes are tired and your attention span may be fading.
  • If you'll be doing updates on your blog throughout, you might want to get some posts started in draft beforehand.
  • It's not a competition or a job. There's no obligation to stay awake the whole time, join in as much as you can or want to. 
  • And most importantly, have fun!
Anything else that you'd suggest?
Let me know if you'll be reading along this weekend and I'll make sure to come cheer you on! Happy read-a-thon, everyone!

Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page.


  1. Hi, I look forward to cheering you on, I'm starting earlier than the suggested time for the UK but we should still overlap!

  2. Congrats on the new i-phone.
    I love your read-a-thon idea. I've been sort of wondering how I'm going to deal with it, and I really like your plan. Using cheerleading to wake myself up sounds like a great plan. I also will try to let myself sleep some and not try to force myself to stay awake, which was the original plan.
    The read-a-thon starts in the middle of the day here in France, so I'm thinking I'll also start early like you. I don't know why I hadn't thought of that before.
    Thanks for the great tips!

  3. That's a good idea to start early. I may do the same thing as the readathon always starts really late at where i am too.

  4. Sounds like a good plan to me. Have fun!!

  5. Happy participating! I like the tips you've given. I usually switch to more pictorial books such as my photography ones when my eyes go on protest after a long time of reading wordy books.

  6. I'm getting so excited! This is my first year to partake in this fun event. I need to get my books together, write up a post about joining (I'm already behind!! Eeek!), figure out what chores to do before the weekend so I don't feel too guilty about spending the entire time reading, and get to the grocery store. Now I'm wishing it would snow. Wouldn't that be the best? A crockpot full of soup, snow softly falling outside and a stack of books waiting to be read. Sigh.

  7. Oh, and congrats on your iphone. My daughter loves hers!

  8. Good luck with the read-a-thon!

  9. I'm starting early too - about 2pm my time (New Zealand). I'll drop by to give you an early cheer. :D

  10. Thanks for the tips! I'm doing my first read-a-thon, and I'm really excited. I'm glad to hear you're starting at a time that's good for you. I'm contemplating trying to read for 24 hours over the weekend as a whole to compensate for the three hours I'll be watching football and the at least six hours I plan to sleep so I can function at work Sunday!

  11. Once again, I'm SO sorry about the horribly inconvenient starting time, Nat :( But I think your strategy is great! Good luck!

  12. Love the iPhone! They don't work in my area of Utah - can you believe that!?

    Lots of fun planned for the weekend. I hope your are able to stay alert for all those hours. I won't be joining this time because I'm going to the Salt Lake City Book Festival. We'll have fun and I know you will, too.

  13. I love your idea to start earlier so you can get some reading in. That's definitely a doable idea. I'll make sure to come by and cheer you on. Good luck.

  14. I'm *so* jealous at your iPhone! ;) When (not if) I'm going to have one I'll definitely buy the geocaching proggy and an app that can recognize music just by keeping your phone in the air (I'll have to ask my brother what it's called). I could have used that when I was at the Nouvelle Vague concert last Sunday!

    You did some serious thinking on the read-a-thon! It sounds really relaxed this way! = fun. It's my first time participating and my official local starting time is 2PM so I guess I'll be doing it 'by the book'.

  15. I think your readathon schedule is great! I hope you meet your goals. I'm not planning to read 24 hours; I just can't do it. Last year, I read from about 8 am to 11 pm -- with several distractions, as The Girl was afoot -- then I slept until 5 am, woke up and read until 8 am. I only finished 1 book, but I'm hoping to finish more as I focus on reading and less on going online. :)

    Have a great time!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  16. I hope this week is much better for your reading. Enjoy your iPhone! I don't have one, but I steal Chuck's and read books or play Trivial Pursuit on it regularly. I would recommend the Twitter app and Trivial Pursuit, of course. :D

  17. Thanks everyone for your good wishes. I didn't stick exactly to the plan but I did indeed have a lot of fun last weekend for the read-a-thon!

    Ms Alex - Starting early worked out quite well for me, in fact I got my best reading done then.

    brizmus - Thanks, I'm loving my iPhone! I ended up spending too much time on the computer during the read-a-thon but it was a good way to stay awake. :P

    Alice - Yes, pictures or illustrations are always nice for tired eyes. :)

    Les - I'm so glad you enjoyed your first read-a-thon!

    Now I'm wishing it would snow. Wouldn't that be the best? A crockpot full of soup, snow softly falling outside and a stack of books waiting to be read. Sigh.

    Totally! Every winter I hold out hope that it will actually snow here in Tokyo but it rarely happens, unfortunately.

    Maree - I'm thinking of maybe starting even earlier next time. We'll see how I feel in April.

    nomadreader - Spreading the 24 hours out is a good idea too. I seem to be moving more and more that way with each read-a-thon I do.

    Nymeth - It's not your fault! :)
    And starting early worked out well for me this time so I'll probably do that again.

    Booklogged - No, I can't believe that you can't use the iPhone where you are! That's too bad! I hope you had a great time at the Book Festival.

    gnoegnoe - I've been wanting an iPhone for months now but we had to wait until our current contracts were almost up. I'm totally loving it! I already have Shazam (I think that's the one you mean that can recognize music). We tried it out playing some random tunes and it was pretty cool. :)

    Anna - I didn't end up meeting my goals but I still had a lot of fun in the process, and that's the most important. Right? :)

    Andi - I already can't imagine life without the iPhone. I'm spoiled now. I have a couple Twitter apps, trying both of them out, and reading a book on iPhone isn't bad at all. So handy for commuting on the train.


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