When a readathon is approaching, there is often a feeling of excitement and anticipation of the enjoyment of reading all those books you’ve set aside to read. Before you’ve even set aside those books for reading there is something you should consider.
How long is the readathon?
The readathon may only be 24 or 48 hours. You’ll need to think realistically and be a little strategic of the books you lean towards if you are one who needs to finish at least one or two books during this time. Realistically, you will not be reading the full 24 or 48 hours. You’ll need to sleep, and prepare food for meals or snacks. You can do some food prep before the readathon so all you need to do is stick the food in the microwave or oven. But perhaps as some of those books you pick, you grab an audiobook so you can listen while food prepping or while taking care of other things which may come up. You also probably won’t be grabbing Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings if you are wanting to be able to say you finished one book. Otherwise, accept that you will just be using this time to make good progress on the book or books you are reading.
What am I/my family going to eat?
If the readathon is something short like the 24 or 48 hour ones, you can do a lot before the readathon. If it’s longer though and you also do the shopping and cooking for your family, you’ll need to be a little more strategic. Plan what you can get before the readathon starts, and what prep you can do. Can you cook something and save it in the freezer until it’s planned day to be eaten then stick it in the oven or microwave to heat it up again? If you can, you’ll need to work in this food prep. And again, when looking at what to read, if you’ll need to go grocery shopping for the more perishable items you may not want to get before hand but will need during the readathon, plan an audiobook for the grocery run. Or perhaps an ebook you can read in the checkout line.
Get ahead as much as you possibly can without shooting yourself in the foot. Meaning don’t rush through something and not think it all the way through just to hurry and get it done. When we rush, mistakes tend to happen. When we don’t stop to think, mistakes tend to happen. I’ve done both myself, multiple times. Please do not brush me off and say it won’t happen to you. I’ve also had to help fix the mistakes made by others when they don’t think something through or rush to finish something. In fact, someone rushed something out the door and we found it had a mistake. There was no undoing it because it was already literally out the door, and in the mail. Plan to the best of your abilities, and do what you can before the readathon starts. Also do any straightening up of your reading area, if you have a reading area, or room or what-not if it’s going to bug you while you try to read.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is another thing I’ve done, and continue to struggle with. You see someone else reading faster than you, or able to spend more time reading and so they are at 200 pages read and you’re still on page 50 of the book you’re reading. Or perhaps they’ve even finished a book of 400 pages, and you’re still on page 50. Everyone reads at a different speed; everyone’s life responsibilities are different. Stop comparing yourself to others, and just sit and read as much as you can, at a comfortable speed so you can actually absorb and enjoy the book.
Read what you want
Don’t stress if you can’t find a book to complete a certain prompt strictly. Stretch it if you can, or just don’t read a book for said prompt. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable. If you have to read a book you really don’t want to read to fill a prompt, skip the prompt. If the prompt is for the cover to include a certain color, maybe there is another version of the cover which contains said color. Don’t run out and get said cover to count the book, but the book becomes available to complete said prompt. You can also hit Twitter, Goodreads, or any other social media place where readers gather, and look to see what others are reading, or ask for recommendations which would fit your preferred genre or tropes you tend to enjoy reading.
These are a few tips I hope you’ll find helpful in preparation for your next readathon.