read-a-thon

Dewey’s Readathon: A few thoughts

I first learned about Dewey’s two years ago. It was by pure chance (and luck) that I participated in my first readathon. I loved it. I found my people! My book people. I remember being amazed at the organization, and I was happily shocked at the different mini challenges and prizes. It made me feel grateful that a large group of people could convene online for 24 hours and give freely of their time and resources. The readathon isn’t free. Some of us spend real money on it. And that’s great! Last year I hosted a mini challenge and gave away two books. I loved it!

Since my first readathon I have sought to become more involved. Giving back to the community is something I find joy in and the readathon organizers (especially Andi) welcomed me with open arms. This year life threw me for a loop as I found myself on a surprise beach getaway during the readathon. I adjusted my sails and found ways to participate anyway. I wasn’t able to host a mini challenge because I missed the deadline to sign up and my attempt at a rogue challenge didn’t pan out, haha. But I did contribute a warm-up post and I did some #teamrogue cheering on Twitter. I even read a page or two. So for me the readathon was a success. I didn’t participate as much as I have in the past and I am sure I missed a ton of great posts but the hashtags are still there and I look forward to taking some time during the week to go through them.

Last night I was shocked to learn that there are people who come out of the readathon and complain about it. Not enough prizes, not enough cheering. Andi wrote a great post about this entitlement within our community. It’s not unique to the readathon but I want to discuss it as it pertains to this event. It is unfortunate that some people feel anything other than happiness post readathon. As I said on Twitter, you get what you put in. Engaging the community is fun and interactive. It’s a two way conversation. I get a lot out of the readathon because I engage, I respond to tweets, I comment on Instagram pics, and I read blog posts.

I love reading blog posts during the readathon but those are probably the most difficult to cheer for because often people forget to enable comments, or they forget to disable captcha code verification. It’s a lot easier to cheer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My suggestion is to share your link on social media and use the readathon hashtag. I totally read some blogs and responded to them through a tweet.

Cheerleading during the readathon might go the way of the dodo. A huge part of me hopes that it doesn’t as I LOVE doing it but regardless of how it is organized in the future I will be here cheering it on! I’ll also #teamrogue no matter what but that’s just me 😉 There were some great ideas being thrown around on Twitter last night but I think the most important suggestion is that we all take it upon ourselves to interact with the community. We cannot sit back and expect people to come to us. If you want to hear from fellow readers go out there and talk to them! 🙂

As the readathon continues to grow in size I think it’s important that participants keep in mind that there are real people behind the scenes. People who love the readathon, people who love Dewey and this is their way of honoring her memory and keeping it alive. Realistic expectations means that anything beyond reading during the readathon is the cherry on a sundae. If you participate for the prizes, or blog hits you will find that leveraging the community for selfish reasons is not the best use of your time.

Until next time Readathon, I will see you in October!

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BBAW Day 4: Community

 How do you stay connected to the community? 

Blogging can be a very lonely endeavor which is why Twitter is such a great place to keep up to date with what’s going on. I find it easier to interact on Twitter although I do enjoy commenting on blog posts (my goal this year is to do a lot more of it). When I first started writing about books I did not put myself out there beyond sharing the link on Facebook. I did not think to seek out fellow bloggers. That all changed when I heard about Dewey’s Readathon. Firstly, I had never heard of a readathon and I was blown away by the number of readers who took part. I was also taken in by the mini challenges, cheerleaders, and basically the entire production of it all. All these people came together and organized this amazing event that was free and did not require pants! It was instant love.

During my second readathon I cheered and that really exposed me to a lot of blogs. It was so much fun seeing what everybody was reading and how they were getting on that day. For my third readathon I also cheered but I also hosted a mini challenge. Taking part in the readathon really made me feel a part of a wonderful community. The book community has been nothing but welcoming and I will always be grateful for that. Books are not only my closest friends but they have introduced me to some pretty great humans along the way.

Participating in my first readathon has caused me to be more active on Twitter and it propelled me to continue my blog. It also changed the way I Instagram. Socializing and readathoning go hand in hand. I am only sorry I did not hear about it sooner!

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Readathon: Debriefing

This past Saturday I participated in Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. I had an absolute blast and I am already looking forward to the next one in April 2016. I did a little bit of everything this time. I cheered, I hosted a mini challenge, and I read. I also socialized a lot.

Below are my answers to the closing survey.

Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 19 when I threw in the towel and went to sleep for a bit. 
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

You can’t go wrong with Harry Potter but in general, some easy books that aren’t too long are great to have in your stack. 
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I honestly don’t. I think it’s so well organized and executed already but I am excited to support and participate in any changes. 

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

It was really easy to cheer for blogs. I got through the list quite fast and I even had time to cheer on the rogue. 

How many books did you read?

I finished one book and started a second book but I didn’t start and finish a book during the readathon. 

What were the names of the books you read?

The Picture of Dorian Gray and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Which book did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed Dorian Gray I suppose haha

Which did you enjoy least?

Also Dorian Gray 😉
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I found it helpful to divide my day into activities. I cheered first thing, then I moved on to my mini challenge with some cheering peppered in and finally, I got some reading done at night. I think just taking it easy and having fun is important. Cheering shouldn’t be stressful. 

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I am definitely participating again! I will cheer, host a mini challenge and read. 

Readathon Kids Challenge!

Welcome to HOUR FOUR! I am so thrilled to be hosting a mini challenge this readathon. My first readathon was in October of last year and I am so glad that I decided to participate. This community of readers welcomed me with open arms and I am only sorry I didn’t find it sooner. Celebrating books and reading is a wonderful thing and I love to be able to spread the excitement.

This is intended to be an Instagram challenge but if you don’t have an Instagram account and would like to participate you can do so via Twitter. I will be checking the hashtag on both Twitter & Insta.

The challenge:

Sharing our love of books with the next generation is fun. During the readathon you might find yourself in the company of future readers. Perhaps you’re pregnant and in the habit of reading to your bump, or maybe you have a new baby, toddler, sibling, niece, nephew etc. Maybe you don’t have any kids around you today but you are enjoying some children’s classics. Take a picture of your toddler’s readathon stack, or of your baby looking through a book. Kids and books, let your creativity lead you. Use props, recreate a book cover… Whatever you do make sure to use the hashtag #readathonkids 😀

The prizes:

  • A copy of a Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (must be resident of the US since I’ll be shipping you the book)
  • A $10 giftcard to Book Depository (open to international participants!)

I will be choosing two winners during hour 8 of the challenge which means you have 4 hours to participate. If you are a winner and under the age of 18 please get your parent/guardian’s permission before sharing your mailing address. Safety is important! If you have any questions leave them in the comments or contact me at the following:

Twitter: iron__gall 

Instagram: scandelis_d

I can’t wait to see your pics!

ETA I have decided to extend the challenge until the end of the readathon so keep those pics coming! I am loving looking through the hashtag 🙂 -Abby

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Book Fridays: Last chance for readathon prep

Dewey’s 24 hour readathon is tomorrow. Are you ready? In my previous post I talked about my approach to the readathon and how I prepare for it. Now that I’m down to the wire I realize that I don’t have my stack fully worked out! I have plenty to choose from so this is really a non-issue but I’m tempted to make a library run for two books I really want to read.

My meal and snacking choices are dictated by what’s Whole30 approved. I started the program on Monday and I’m already experiencing results so I intend to stick with it for the full 30 days. It won’t be easy! I have created some bookish snacks that I haven’t been able to eat such as these book pastries and these fruit leather and cheese books. I won’t be eating these but I’ll still be making them for Diego who will be my reading buddy (he even has his own readathon stack!). Doing Whole30 means that I have to prioritize meal planning for tomorrow as I can’t be putting things in my mouth absentmindedly. I plant to have plenty of fruit and veggies on hand. I’ll be prepping them tonight so I don’t have to do much tomorrow.

I will be cheering, reading, and hosting a mini challenge so I know that there is little chance that I’ll finish more than one book but the readathon is so much more to me than that. I will have a great day no matter how much I end up reading. I hope to finish the book I’m currently reading tonight so that I can start a new book tomorrow. I’m one of those readers who is loathe to have more than one book going at the same time. The Picture of Dorian Gray has been one of those reads that’s annoying and infuriating but something about it keeps me invested. I have no problems dropping a book I’m not into but I am into Dorian Gray and I don’t know why!

Will you be participating in the readathon? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading tomorrow (and always 🙂 )

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Book Fridays: The readathon is coming!

Dewey’s 24 hour readathon is coming up on Saturday the 17th! Have you signed up? If you’ve never participated I strongly urge you to do so. It is a fun event for readers of all ages and if you love to volunteer your time they could really use all the help they can get! You can sign up here and poke around to see how you can get involved if you’re into that 🙂

I first heard about the readathon last October via Rincey of Rincey Reads on YouTube. I wasn’t sure I could participate but I ended up reading the entire day and had a lot of fun reading updates and blog posts from readers around the world. If you’ve never done a readathon I think Dewey’s is the perfect place to start because it’s all about having fun. You don’t have to read for the full 24 hours (although you certainly CAN) and there are lots of bookish activities and challenges going on for the full 24 hours. A celebration of books and reading is the best way I can describe the readathon.

How do you prepare for a readathon?

Personally, I like to prepare my stack in advance. My first readathon was spent with The Mists of Avalon. I devoted all of my reading time to just the one book and that’s a valid plan of action. The following readathon I lined up a variety of books of varying lengths which resulted in completing a couple of books. That made me feel accomplished. My advice would be to have a variety of books to choose from. You just never know what you’ll be in the mood for once you get going. I’m firmly on team print books AND ebooks. I love my Kindle and I have a few books to choose from on there, too.

Visit your local library

If you have a reading list bigger than your bank account you are not alone! If I were to purchase every book I wanted to read I would be broke. In planning your reading for the readathon I would suggest visiting your local library if you’re able to do so and if your library has Overdrive (or has some other way to loan ebooks) take advantage of that as well. I now have a to be purchased list of all the books I borrowed that I now want to own.

Don’t forget to shop your bookshelves and even your friends bookshelves. Just make sure to take excellent care of their books. Nobody likes to get dog eared copies back. There are also plenty of books in the public domain that are available in ebook format for free.

If you have some coin to spend check out thriftbooks.com. I recently purchased a few books from them and although visibly well loved they are still in great reading condition.

Plan ahead

This might sound like overkill to some but I like to plan for the readathon by making meals ahead and basically having nothing to do but read. Of course this is all relative as I have a toddler and so diaper changes and as of recently, potty visits will be happening throughout the day. I also think it’s important to take breaks, rest your eyes, stretch your muscles etc. And of course we need to eat! Snacks are a must and they can be as healthy or junk-y as you want.

Have fun

I think the most important aspect of the readathon is to have fun. Get your whole family involved. Pick up a comic or graphic novel. You aren’t limited to any format either, ebooks, print books and audiobooks are all readathon material.

I will be hosting a mini challenge on Saturday. There will be prizes! I am so excited to cheer, read and keep up with readathon happenings. I probably won’t finish a book but I sure will have plenty to read.

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Diego’s readathon stack!

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Read-a-thon: End of Event Meme

The read-a-thon is almost over and I feel great about having participated in this event. I had the best time reading blog posts, looking through Instagram and Twitter and seeing the wonderful readers from around the world come together. I even won a prize! And I never win anything, haha.

I want to thank the organizers, the hosts, cohosts, and readers for making the read-a-thon such a success. There was an incredible feeling of community throughout. I can’t wait for the next read-a-thon. I enjoyed sharing the day with my son, who is only two and a half but had no problem putting his own stack together and going through it in about 10 minutes while I read along side him. I also read his picks to him which made me think, parents are often engaged in read-a-thons of sorts. I know my son doesn’t let a day go by where we don’t read to him at least two books.

For my last read-a-thon post I am answering the closing meme:

  • Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 20, my eyes were tired and burning and I just couldn’t read anymore. I fell asleep! But I am back for the last hour.
  • Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I don’t have any titles per se but I think it’s a good idea to have a couple of short reads/novellas in your stack. These are quick reads and will give you a feeling of accomplishment and some much needed momentum when you finish them.
  • Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I can’t think of anything right now. I think the event was organized beautifully.
  • What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The hosts and cohosts were really on their game! The posts and challenges went up every hour on the hour. It was amazing.
  • How many books did you read? One and a third. I read a short story collection for children and read about 30% of The Thirteenth Tale (which I am loving btw!)
  • What were the names of the books you read? Los Cuentos de Syramar and The Thirteenth Tale
  • Which book did you enjoy most? They are both good reads but The Thirteenth Tale would be my choice.
  • Which did you enjoy least? Neither
  • If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Enthusiasm is contagious. Cheer loud and cheer proud! My only advice is to have fun. I spent most of my read-a-thon time cheering and interacting with other readers. I loved it.
  • How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I am DEFINITELY participating next time! I will be cheering and reading again and if I can participate even more I will. 😀

See you next time!

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Read-a-thon: update

I haven’t done a whole lot of reading but I’ve done quite a bit of cheering. I got through Los Cuentos de Syramar by Damarys Reyes Vicente. It was a collection of short stories for children and it didn’t take me a lot of time to read.

I’ve since started The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I hope to be able to finish it today.

Diego got in on the action with his own stack of books 🙂

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Read-a-thon!

The read-a-thon officially starts at 8am for me but I’m getting a head start on the cheering (I signed up as a cheerleader) and it’s so wonderful to see all the stacks of books being devoured tomorrow. I don’t know how much reading I will get done but regardless I know I’m going to have an awesome time.

Look out for other read-a-thon related posts in the near future!

Are you participating in the read-a-thon? Tell me in the comments!

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