Preparing for the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

I love autumn – the cold, crisp mornings and bright blue skies, the leaves swirling in the wind, and Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon – a great excuse to do nothing but read, blog, munch on snacks and burrow under a warm quilt. This weekend is the Read-a-thon and I am starting to stack up some books in anticipation.

Have you participated before? If not, I highly, highly recommend that you try it out sometime. Not only can you make a substantial dent in your TBR pile, but the socializing and connecting with other bloggers is wonderful.

Not into staying up all night? That’s okay – many readers (including myself) don’t make the full 24 hours. I usually try to pick a time goal that I think is reasonable and just go for that.  This year I will shoot for 20 hours which means I need to start at 5:00 am (PST) and stay awake until 1:00 am the following day. Very do-able! Unlike a lot of participants, I don’t take naps during the Read-a-thon because if I did, it would be all over. Want more information about the event? Check out the FAQ post.

I have many books to be read this month and I always try to have more in my Read-a-thon stack than I can reasonably read so that I have choices. What I have learned in the past is to choose books which are short and stimulating. Short stories are great. So are thrillers or women’s fiction. If I am going to read literary fiction, I try to do it early on when I am the most rested because by hour twelve or so, my brain starts to get befuddled.

So, are you curious which books I am considering? Here is the stack (so far):

Literary Fiction

  • The Marriage Artist by Andrew Winer (I expect to be part-way into this one before the Read-a-thon begins)
  • We the Animals by Justin Torres

Short Stories

  • Men in the Making by Bruce Marchart (which JUST arrived and is a collection of short stories by an author I adore)
  • Little America by Diane Simmons


  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors
  • Love at First Bark by Julie Klam

Genre Fiction

  • The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (gothic fiction)
  • Iron House by John Hart (suspense-thriller)
  • Summer in the South by Cathy Holton (women’s fiction)
  • Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason (suspense-thriller)

This stack could change – but I like the diversity in it and most of the books are short which is essential during this event.

As in past years, I intend to only update my blog every two hours to allow myself longer stretches of reading time. Although I have usually sponsored a charity, I won’t be doing that this year although I hope to offer up some books for giveaway to participants through the official blog.

Let me know if you’ll be reading along this weekend so I can stop by and give you some encouragement!

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    • Amused on October 18, 2011 at 17:45

    Like you, this isn’t my first time at the read a thon rodeo and I always look forward to it! I love the variety of your books and I hope to be able to last as long as you do. I allow myself a little more sleep in time as I can’t handle our early west coast wake up time but once up I am good to go 🙂

  1. The Lantern is a great readathon choice! I am reading The Marriage Artist now, so I hope to be finished with it by Saturday, or at least close to the end.

    • zibilee on October 19, 2011 at 05:22

    I am planning on participating as well, and am so excited about it! I have never done a readathon before, and am really looking forward to it! Good luck with your goals!

    • Wendy on October 19, 2011 at 06:45

    Leah: I would rather get up with the sun and go to sleep earlier 🙂 LOL! Good luck to you as well!!

    Stephanie: Oh, good to hear about The Lantern. I am looking forward to the Marriage Artist which I hope to start by tomorrow.

    Heather: Oh, you will LOVE this event!!! It is so much fun! I’ll stop by to see you 🙂

  2. Your reading choices look great! I posted my stacks, yes I said stacks. I wanted to make sure I had a book for every reading mood. I don’t stay up all night either. I tend to be an ugly person if I don’t get sleep. I remember being young and being able to stay up all night. Those days are looong gone! Good luck Saturday and have fun!

    • Wendy on October 19, 2011 at 16:04

    Beth: LOL! I like to have a lot to choose from as well – that way, I can read whatever I want depending on my mood (and sleep deprivation)! Ha – staying up all night – I haven’t done that in at least 20 years!!! Good luck to you, too 🙂

  3. I canNOT wait to get started doing the Read-A-Thon! Like you, I like to have a giant stack of books to choose from depending on my whims, and sleep deprivation.
    I’m going to shoot for… as much of the time as I can, and as many books as possible.

    Something to consider: I’ve read Love at First Bark, and it’s a superfast easy read, possibly good to reserve for the hours when you need a fast pick me up. Also fun, if you love animals.

    So here’s the question- what’re you doing for snacks? I’m shooting for staying up all night.

    • Wendy on October 20, 2011 at 09:23

    Elizabeth: You sound very enthusiastic!!! YAY! I like to have a variety of snacks on hand: popcorn, chips, fruit, cheese and crackers, nuts, yogurt…and lots of favorite drinks like tea, fruit juices and gatorade. I try to steer away from candy or excess sugar because although you get an instant “rush,” you also get the fatigue afterwards! I also like to make a casserole the day before so I don’t have to cook dinner (I just heat up the casserole and my hubby is happy and so am I!!). For lunch I do something simple, like a sandwich.

  4. I like your mixture of genres, you’re well prepared book-wise!

    I’m taking part but my reas-a-thon starts at 2pm so having also been awake all morning I will need to take a break around midnight and get a few hours sleep.

    But I love this read-a-thon – I posted about my prospected reads yesterday.

    Have a great time!

  5. After taking several read-a-thons off for scheduling reasons, I’m thrilled to be able to participate this time. I’m beyond impressed you’ll attempt 20 hours. I made it 18 one time, but I’m aiming for only 12 so I can still enjoy a nice night off with my husband! Happy reading!

  6. I’m joining in, but I don’t know what books I’ll be reading yet (I have a poll on my blog to help me decide). I’ll be staying up as long as I can, so I won’t have a target time as such.

  7. I’ll be mostly cheering and kinda reading. I have been collecting a stack of books, all on a theme, for more than two weeks now. Well, I always like to have a plan. Even though I’m fairly sure this will result in about 25 pages read of each and not much to show for it in the end. (Because I didn’t choose short books, which I agree is a key to success motivation wise!) Except all the fun! Can’t forget that…the most important part!

    • Wendy on October 21, 2011 at 16:09

    Judith: I saw your stacks! They look great 🙂 I am sort of glad my time zone is 5:00 am start time because I’d rather get up early than stay up all night 🙂 Good luck!

    Carrie: YAY! Good luck! I usually shoot for 20 hours, but we’ll see – sometimes I don’t make it 🙂

    Abigail: Good luck! I’ll come by and vote in your poll 🙂

    BuriedInPrint: I love the cheerleaders!!! I usually try to read at least 2 complete books – but I have been known to move around too if I can’t get into a book. Yes, fun is definitely the best part 🙂

  8. Looks like you’re all prepared! This is my first time participating, so I’m a little nervous. Hoping I can stick with my planned list of reads! I can’t remember the last time I stayed up for 24hrs! Good luck!

    • Wendy on October 21, 2011 at 16:33

    Kristilyn: You can do it!!! Don’t be nervous – this is so much fun. I promise, you will be addicted to this event before you’re through 🙂

    • Care on October 21, 2011 at 17:23

    Happy Readathon! (and happy planning for NaNoWriMo, too.)

    • Wendy on October 21, 2011 at 17:32

    Thanks, Care 🙂

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