I got asked today what my plans were for the weekend… And even though I tried to play it cool, my face erupted in a giant smile and I managed to say something terribly geeky about reading and blogging and cheering and snacking. My colleague tried her very best to smile and nod, and act like I wasn’t acting like some kind of crazy woman. It was nice of her, but completely unnecessary, because I am in fact a madwoman when it comes to the fantastic wonderfulness that is Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon! (since I can’t be a madwoman with a box :))
So, on Saturday at 2 p.m. Central European Time, you will find me in my reading chair with a cup of tea, a snack and reading the first of what will hopefully be thousands of words. For 24 hours, I will join more than 1000 people around the world reading at the same time, and sharing my reading with them and gleefully following their reading. It’s the most magical and making-you-feel-like-a-kid-at-Christmas experience, and anyone who loves reading and sharing that love should try the read-a-thon.
As this is my fourth read-a-thon, I’m starting to feel a bit like a Dewey veteran, so here are a few tips I know work for me, and might help you:
- I have a nice mix of genres and styles to read, so I can always opt for a change of pace if a book turns out not to be for me right then.
- I make sure to have a selection of short stories ready, as I adore them, and to have something for those little “breaks” when you don’t feel like starting a new book right away.
- I have at least one scary book to help keep me awake during the long, dark hours of the night. It’s unsurprisingly effective
- I generally choose shorter books to have a greater feeling of achievement and variety
- I have signed up to cheer at every read-a-thon, and it’s the perfect break from the reading to be able to spread some reading love to all of the other fabulous readers around the world!
- I try to remember that the only “rule” is to enjoy myself and not worry about how much others are reading, stress about how much time I spend doing other fun things or if I suddenly feel like reading something completely different. After all, that’s what the loaded Kindle is for 🙂
However, I also try to do something new – this time, I have included a graphic novel in my reading pile and I’ve added to the fun by signing up to host a mini-challenge, and I look forward to hopefully seeing many of you and the other readers coming by for some in-between-reading fun!I’m really, really bad at sticking to reading just books from a pre-selected pile, but browsing and selecting your read-a-thon stack is such a huge and fun part of the preparations that I can’t help myself!
So therefore, here’s my carefully selected Dewey stack:
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle – I’ve wanted to read this children’s fantasy classic forever, and recently found a lovely hardback copy.
“The Changeling Sea” by Patricia A. McKillip – I found this slim volume at a book sale, and only later realised that it was from one of classic fantasy’s greatest authors and I think I will start my read-a-thon with this beauty.
“The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon – Another slim volume, but likely filled with lots of deconstructionist detective on-goings for something a bit “heavier”.
“Dreamdark: Blackbringer” by Laini Taylor – I actually have another “tradition” when it comes to selecting books for the read-a-thon, and it’s to pre-select this book and NOT read it! All 3 times so far… Let’s see what happens this year 🙂
“The Great Winglebury Duel” by Charles Dickens – I received this little beauty in the recent Ninja Swap and think that it’s the perfect way to add a quick bit of that Dickens magic to my read-a-thon.
“The Wide Window” by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events 3) – This has become an actual tradition for my read-a-thon: Except for my first Dewey, I have read one book from this series each time, so now I have decided that I will only read this series for the read-a-thon. With another 10 books after this one, it’s a sure-fire way to keep coming back (as if I needed it) 🙂
“The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter – I read “The Magic Toyshop” many years ago and very much enjoyed the style of Carter and this collection of fairy tale re-tellings promises to provide lots of magical mini-breaks from the larger volumes.
“ZOM-B” by Darren Shan – This is another repeat participant from October’s read-a-thon, which I think might be good in the late hours with its scary zombies and large writing.
“Tales of the Uncanny and Supernatural” by Algernon Blackwood – the “unknown Poe” they call him. The relatively unknown supposed master of the haunting, creeping, eerie supernatural short story of which there are lots in this old, but amazing hardback I recently found hiding in the dark recesses of my favourite book shop. I very much look forward to making your acquaintance, Mr. Blackwood
“Saga Deluxe Edition, Volume 1” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – I’m not a big graphic novel reader (yet), but I’d only read the first 3 issues of “Saga” before I knew I needed to jump on the Saga band wagon, and absolutely had to own the whole thing! So, hopefully tomorrow my very own copy of the first 18 issues will arrive in the mail just in time for Saturday.
For those times when my eyes need a break or the body needs some exercise and fresh air, I also have a couple of audio books ready and loaded, and I’ll likely end up with the last book in the Iron Druid series “Shattered” by Kevin Hearne – (I love Oberon!)
Of course, no read-a-thon is quite right without lots of snacks! The Hubby has kindly offered to make me some dinner once evening falls, so I won’t be surviving solely on sugar, but I’ve got plans for homemade Danish cake, caramels, Belgian waffles, fruit salad, and lots of coffee and tea.
And finally, as for the practical aspects, I will be Instagram‘ing and perhaps Tweeting a bit, but mostly, and as per usual (I really love being able to say that about Dewey!), I will be creating one primary post here on the blog that I will update throughout the day.
It’s going to be absolutely amazing! See you there?