Friday, April 22, 2016

'Twas the night before Readathon

I'm not sure I've mentioned it here, but I'm participating in Dewey's 24-hour Readathon on Saturday.

This is my third go-round with the Readathon, but I'm certainly not a hard core, stay up all night kind of reader. I'll read for as much of the day as I can, and will most likely get a couple of additional hours in before church on Sunday, but I value my sleep.

Preparation is the key to being able to read most of the day without guilt.

First, the "stack".

While most of the pictures of reading stacks I've seen from other Readathon participants consist of physical books, mine are all on the Kindle.

This is really a partial stack, as I could only fit the first five books or so on the screen at once. Ironically, the one book that is not shown - Private Justice, the first book in a series recommended to me by a friend - is no longer in the stack because I've read it. Along with the next two in the series. All in the last ten days.

How's that for a warm up?

The beauty of the Kindle is that if none of the original choices grab my attention on Saturday, there are close to one hundred other books in my "unread" kindle library, plus the vast quantities of books available for purchase and immediate download from Amazon.

I'll certainly not want for reading choices.

Next, the snacks.

People seem to be almost as excited by the snacks and other food they've planned for the Readathon as for the reading itself.

Me, I'm planning to stick to mostly "real food" meals and snacks, though I do have both Oreos and Goldfish crackers available as well. The current plan includes:

Breakfast "power sandwich" at Panera to start the day
Hummus and green pepper strips for a morning snack
Chicken and broccoli mostly-crustless quiche and a spinach salad for lunch
An apple, graham crackers and peanut butter for the afternoon pick-me-up
Leftover lemon chicken with mushrooms over pearled couscous for dinner

While I will begin the day with coffee, most of the rest of the day my libation of choice will be ice water. That's pretty much what I do most days, anyway, and the water will keep me well hydrated. If I want a change up in the afternoon, I've refrigerated bottled water and those tubes of Crystal Light lemonade that are made to mix in.

A glass of wine (or two) and some cheese and crackers may round out the later night hours.

Lastly, the locations.

As much as I love to read, I simply cannot stay in one place for the entire Readathon.

As mentioned, I'll start the day at Panera, at 6 a.m. It's an hour before the "official" start in my time zone, but I'm generally up and out by that time on the weekend anyway. The restaurant doesn't start to get noisy and crowded until 8 - 8:30, which gives me plenty of time to get a good start on Hitchhiker's Guide.

Home, then, by midmorning, to curl up in the recliner for a few hours, and the morning snack. I can keep reading through lunch, as the kindle cover works as a stand, allowing me to read almost hands free (still have to keep a finger clean to swipe for page turns).

Here's where things may go a bit awry. Ideally, I'd stay home the rest of the day, moving among the dining room table, recliner, couch and desk to read. But there is a good chance I'll want to get out once more, most likely to Starbucks later in the afternoon. I find that I concentrate better in a slightly noisy place. The bits of my brain that would usually be wandering off and pulling me toward distractions are occupied with keeping the noise at bay, allowing me to focus more keenly on actually reading. It works for me, anyway.

I never, ever read in bed (Bed is for two things, and reading is incompatible with either), so the last reading of the night will be on the computer at the desk upstairs. That's another great thing about the kindle - I can read my books directly from my amazon account on any screen - phone, tablet, computer.

That's the plan. The day will be a success not if all these components come together as laid out, but if I simply spend more of the day reading than not.

The true gold in the Readathon is the impact it has on my usual reading habits. I find that during the week before, and for several months afterwards, I'm more deliberate in my reading, planning out times to read rather than fitting it in any old time. Given that I work full time and have other rather time consuming hobbies, increasing reading time takes that extra bit of planning.

It's well worth it.

1 comment:

Leann Richardson said...

I have read Hitchhiker's and Girl Meets Change. I know of Ludlum because Dan has read some of his stuff. Sounds like you are having a great day full of enjoyable quiet reading time. I am opting to take next weekend when boys are out of pocket to do some Saturday reading. Today was just too full.

As for reading in bed.... guilty! LOL I do it all the time but especially in winter when the electric blanket is the only warm thing in the house. ;)