Sunday, October 25, 2009

Read-a-Thon Wrap-up

Our first attempt at Dewey's Read-a-thon was a success - at least we think so. We made it through most of the 24 hours - with breaks for a couple naps and the KSU football game. We read some good books, learned a few things and, best of all, did it together! Here are some random lessons learned from read-a-thon and ideas for next time:
1. We are too old to pull all-nighters! Our plan for next time is to pick a 12-18 hour span and allow ourselves a full night's sleep.
2. Blogging and participating in challenges can easily consume all your reading time. Next time around we will limit our challenges to those we can do in just a couple minutes.
3. Speaking of challenges, we are brainstorming a "read together" mini challenge for April. So start now to convince your significant other to join you.
4. We didn't get nearly as much reading done as we had imagined. Between distractions (children, people at the door, phone, food...) and time spent on challenges and blogs, we frequently lost focus on the books. Our goal for April is to actually read for 50 minutes of each hour - with 10 minute limit for challenges, snacks and potty breaks.
5. I noticed lots of participants making advance food plans in the days leading up to the read-a-thon, but didn't really pay attention. Now I understand the advance prep. Cooking and/or prowling the pantry looking for munchies consumes a lot of time. (At least it did for me. Dave's snack needs are much simpler - see Eat to Read challenge for details.)
6. I will limit myself to short books/novellas or at least easy reading - trying to absorb anything deep became impossible after the first few hours.
7. Cheerleaders are wonderful people!
8. The biggest lesson learned: The joy of Dewey's Read-a-Thon is not in the number of pages read or winning prizes, but in the people met and the shared love of reading. Our blog is only a month old and this was a great way for us to break into the book blogging universe. It will take me quite awhile, even once my brain returns to full function, but I intend to visit the blogs of every participant and send thank-you messages to those who commented on ours. Welcome new friends and fellow bloggers - it's great to meet you.


  1. Oh my goodness -- I just realized that you are a blogger from Kansas! We are few and far between in the book blogging community.

    I would say you did a GREAT job with your first read-athon. This was my second and I decided to have few goals and lots of fun. I succeeded :)

  2. Hi Dave and Tami,

    I'm writing to introduce myself. I'm a blogger, formerly of Kansas, who just completed my second Read-A-Thon. I enjoyed reading this post about your experience with the Read-A-Thon and all you learned. Planning and preparing food ahead of time was something I learned in the first one in April. This time the crock-pot and so forth was ready.

    My husband is a KSU graduate and I'm a KU grad and, yes we have our own family rivalry. We are now retired and traveling the country in our RV. We just spent the month of September in Kansas visiting family and friends. Reading books is one of our favorite hobbies also, although we don't read out loud to each other as you do. We do occasionally read the same book but seldom agree on it. That's okay with us. It makes life interesting.

    Welcome to the book blogging world. It's been a fun and interesting year for me and I'm sure it will be for you too. I'm adding you to my Google Reader so I can keep up on your posts. Nice to meet a new friend.