04 October 2009

Fall Read-a-Thon: Start Getting Ready

Oh boy, we're just 20 days from the fall Read-a-Thon! What's a read-a-thon? Twice a year (spring and fall) book bloggers all over the world take one full day to do nothing but read and then blog and tweet about it. Sound like fun? It really is.

There are many ways to get involved, as you'll see on the Read-a-Thon blog. The first choice to make is whether you want to read or cheerlead or do both. Last spring I was a cheerleader, and I had a blast (read my story). In fact, I tied with Eva from A Striped Armchair for most enthusiastic cheerleader (read her story). This year, I am thinking of being a reader, or maybe I'll do both. Argh, decisions, decisions! Whatever you decide, sign up with Mr. Linky on the Read-a-Thon blog.

Now's also a good time to start gathering your books. Be sure to include some light, fun novels to read when you start to feel tired. And don't forget audiobooks--they are a great way to rest your eyes but still keep reading. Okay, you might be thinking that you couldn't possibly read for 24 hours straight. That's okay, there is no need. You can take a break, you can take a nap, you can even sleep for a few hours. Not everyone commits to the full day.

Take a moment to read about mini-challenges in the Read-a-Thon FAQ. Then put on your thinking cap and come up with your very own mini-challenge to give the readers a break. Mini-challenges ask the readers to complete a short survey, answer a question, or visit a blog or website. This is a great way to participate if you don't think you can take the time to read or otherwise cheer.

What else can you do to get ready? Inform your family and friends that you are taking a whole day for yourself and you want as few distractions as possible. Better yet, get them involved; maybe your kids will commit to 2 hours of reading and then to writing a small blog post to summarize the experience. All of you who home school could take advantage of the Read-a-Thon and give the kids extra-credit or an hour off of school for every hour they read. Use your imagination to make the Read-a-Thon work for you.

Finally, have I mentioned prizes yet? Yes, there will be prizes. Check out the list from spring 2009 at the Read-a-Thon blog. Notice that many prizes are donated by people just like you. Look around your bookshelves and donate a book or two, consider making something (I'm making another handmade lace bookmark), or buy some cool book-related items or a gift card.

And just in case you didn't guess, I'm one of the people in charge of organizing the prizes, so I'm encouraging you to donate a prize. As soon as you figure out what you want to give, just email deweyreadathon (at) gmail (dot) com and your prize will be added to the list.

Don't be shy, don't miss out. You do not need to have a blog to be part of this event; just sign up and read! (Oh, and donate a prize!)


Ana S. 10/4/09, 8:36 AM  

Thank you for this very enthusiastic and informative post :D

Julie P. 10/4/09, 8:55 AM  

Great post. I still haven't decided how best to participate!

Molly 10/4/09, 9:06 AM  

Well, I thought I was excited about this event until I read your post, now I am absolutely giddy :)

I had never thought of donating a prize before (I have no idea why?!), but I am sure that I can find a couple of books to add to the prize list. I will look through my "stash" and send a confirming email later.

I look forward to reading with you this go around.

Anonymous,  10/4/09, 9:35 AM  

I'm torn over cheerleading and reading, too. I've never been a reader (okay, that sounds wrong, but you know what I mean), so I'm tempted. But cheerleading is so much fun. Aaargh!

WordLily 10/4/09, 9:56 AM  

Great post! Love it!

Unknown 10/4/09, 10:55 AM  

I'm afraid I can't take part. I have to look after my two little boys, so am not able to read during the day. I'll try to cheerlead a little bit, but I won't be able to do more than an hour or so. I hope that you have a great day and get lots of people to sign up!

Kailana 10/4/09, 11:35 AM  

It's hard to believe it is almost that time again so soon! This year is going by so fast!

Anonymous,  10/4/09, 12:14 PM  

I discovered the last read-a-thon in progress, through the Twitter cheerleading. I was very new to the whole book blogging scene, and it was a great way to discover new people and new blogs.

Now I'm looking forward to my first time as a participant. I'm preparing my family (I'm not sure if my husband believes me or if he thinks I'm making the whole thing up). I'm getting my reading list together. I e-mailed about my prize. All together, I'm excited!

Nise' 10/4/09, 12:28 PM  

Looking forward to it! Can't decide if I want to do both or just be a cheerleader this time around. I will email shortly re the prizes I would love to donate!

bermudaonion 10/4/09, 12:45 PM  

I'm on the fence with this. That might be my one free weekend for a while, and I might just want to veg out some.

Louise 10/4/09, 1:02 PM  

I think this sounds very exciting and will have to look into it and to see what my options are for donating something. I have been out for almost a week with the flu or a severely nasty cold (don't know which, but I've been miserable) and since I am still sneezing and wheezing and coughing, I am just stopping by to say hello. When I feel better, I'll let you know what I decide. But I think it sounds great, just have to check that there are no plans made already for that weekend.

Sandy Nawrot 10/4/09, 1:26 PM  

I stumbled upon the last read-a-thon too late to make plans...it snuck up on me somehow. But my daughter and I were committed to doing it this time. Until I realized that I will be on a cruise when it happens! A few of my good friends from high school have rekindled our friendship on Facebook, and are going on a girls' cruise that week. Sigh. My real life keeps getting in the way of my blogging social life!

Literary Feline 10/4/09, 3:13 PM  

Good luck with the Read-a-Thon this year, Beth, whatever role you decide to take on. I have yet to participate in one. Maybe someday. Honestly, with all that goes on during the event, I'm surprised anyone has time to read! LOL

Stacy 10/4/09, 4:30 PM  

Twenty days is all? For some reason, it feels like forever to wait, I am so excited. I was thinking of cheerleading this time around but my oldest daughter is doing the read-a-thon with me, so I have decided to read and blog along with her but we will both be sure to stop by and give encouragement when we can to other readers.

Michelle 10/4/09, 5:03 PM  

The read-a-thon falls on the weekend of kidlitosphere and I'm slated to present/attend that so I can't participate here. I'll definitely be cheerleading all of you on though!


JoAnn 10/4/09, 6:11 PM  

I'm SO disappointed...the read-a-thon and parent's weekend at my daughter's college are at the same time! Looks like I'll have to wait until spring, *sigh*

Jenners 10/4/09, 7:27 PM  

I'm actually thinking about trying this ... but I'll have to negotiate with my husband for the time!! : )

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 10/4/09, 9:19 PM  

I'm thinking about cheerleading only this time, but not sure. I think I know what to do with my extra copy of The Magicians.

Alice 10/4/09, 9:58 PM  

Have fun with this!

Anonymous,  10/5/09, 12:56 AM  

I am very excited to be participating for the first time. I've committed to being a reader, not sure I can handle cheerleading too. I'm looking forward to it!

Margot at Joyfully Retired 10/5/09, 1:58 AM  

I am definitely joining in. I had so much fun at the Spring Read-A-Thon that I'm excited to do it again. Glad to hear you are in charge of prizes. I'm trying to decide what I want to donate. I'm also going to do a bit of cheerleading this time. It meant a lot to me last time when you and other cheerleaders came by and encouraged me.

Jen - devourer of books 10/5/09, 10:49 AM  

I'm sooo excited for the Read-athon! I think we're going downtown on Sunday, so I can't stay up all night, but I'm still planning to have a good time. If Daniel won't take a bottle by then, I may go with books, computer, and all to my in-laws' house for awhile and sit in a bedroom reading while they play with Daniel, they can bring him up to eat.

Unknown 10/5/09, 12:32 PM  

I caved in and signed up for being a reader for the first time. I hope it goes well considering that I am the biggest sleep-head there ever was. I sometimes think I might have some traces of narcolepsy :)

S. Krishna 10/5/09, 10:55 PM  

SO excited - I cannot wait!

Kim 10/6/09, 1:53 AM  

I am like Molly--just about giddy over this. In fact, even though it is almost 11 pm and I work tomorrow, I may get up from this computer and go work on my book list! I was so sick last time I did the challenge in April with Bronchitis--so sick I had missed a week of work. I had a blast anyway and can't wait to see how much better it can be while in good health. ;)

I just emailed a prize idea I had to donate. Probably will be able to add some books into the mix as well.

Anonymous,  10/6/09, 6:12 AM  

I so want to join this, but I'm sure what I'm doing that week, I'm hoping it will be free, fingers crossed.

Elizabeth 10/6/09, 10:46 PM  

I'm SO SAD I can't participate this time - tried to get my cousin to change his wedding date, but no go. I'll be cheering you all on from afar!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) 10/8/09, 12:32 AM  

Good post! I am so disappointed I can't participate, but I'll be home visiting family and friends that weekend, so I can't justify sequestering myself away from them just to read. Boo :-P

Also, your new template is lovely, I don't think I've seen it yet!

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