With this year’s first 24-hour readathon fast approaching, I thought I would dedicate tonight’s post to the event and give you some last-minute tips on how to get the most out of these 24 hours. I’ve experimented with a number of different things throughout my blogging years and, after 5 previous readathons, these are the nine most important things I’ve learned. Whether it’s your first time participating or you’re a fellow old-timer, I hope today’s post will help you achieve your goals and have a smashing readathon tomorrow.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
This one goes without saying, but try to get some rest before the readathon starts. Don’t stay up until 3 a.m just because you need to read “one more chapter” – you’ll have plenty of time for that once the event kicks off. For those of you who start in the late afternoon or in the evening (I’m looking at you, Japanese readers!): try to have a quick nap before your start time so that you’re feeling fresh and energised when the time comes.
2. Prepare your snacks in advance
Snacks are one of my favourite parts of the readathon. I’m ALL about the food.
Make sure to buy all your snacks in advance so that you don’t have to waste your time with grocery shopping. If you’re feeling more organised than I am – and if you eat less junk food than me – it’s also a good idea to prepare your lunch and dinner in advance. A lot of my bookish friends prepare theirs either the night before or in the morning, depending on which time zone they are in, so all they have to do later is to pop it in the oven or the microwave for a few minutes.
Also, something equally important: make sure to have a variety of snacks at hand. Something I learned during my very first readathon is that eating junk food – and literally nothing else – for 24 hours might sound like a good idea, but it is not. Always try to include some healthy snacks on your list. Whether it’s a bowl of fruit or some steamed / roasted vegetables with your lunch, it doesn’t matter. Just avoid eating chocolate and crisps all day. Believe me, it helps.
3. Choose short books
One of the biggest mistakes I made (and keep making) during previous readathons is chosing long books. (Note to younger self: this is not the time to read that 600-page classic you’ve been meaning to pick up for a few weeks.) It’s okay not to have a dozen books on your TBR pile – I don’t usually have more than 4 or 5 either. But try to select a mix of genres and lengths so that you don’t burn out in the first 6 hours. Always have at least one ‘light’ read in your pile – you’ll be thankful for it once you’re past the 10-hour mark.
4. Stay away from your computer
Another thing I noticed – and I know I’m not the only one who’s guilty of this – is that I tend to spend way too much time on social media, chatting to other readathoners, discussing snacks and how to stay awake instead of actually reading. Which is fine. And it’s probably one of the reasons why I love readathons so much. I’ve met some of my oldest bookish friends this way and, if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.