One day. 24 hours. Cheerleaders. Mini challenges. Prizes. Snacks. Readers around the world. And — of course — books!

What is this glorious event of which I speak? Why, it’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Badge

Twice a year, readers and bloggers around the world settle down for 24 hours of reading. Bloggers post about their reading, cheerleaders visit participating blogs to provide encouragement, and everyone participates in mini challenges hosted on blogs that have volunteered. There’s even a Twitter feed dedicated to the event. This Saturday, October 9th, is the next Read-a-Thon. It will be my first time participating, and I am pumped!

Apparently, if recent posts by past participants are to be believed, much planning goes into Read-a-Thon prep. People plan snacks, clean favorite reading areas, and comb through their bookshelves to find the ideal reading material. Schedules are cleared, commitments rescheduled. So much anticipation!

In my time zone, the Read-a-Thon runs from 8am on Saturday to 8am on Sunday. Since my husband and I will be driving to an out of town wedding on Sunday, I don’t anticipate making it much past midnight. If I’m going to help with the driving, I’d best be awake! I’m also signed up to be a cheerleader, which means I’ll be taking a break from my own reading to see what other bloggers are up to and provide encouragement as needed.

Today is my day for preparations. I have four reading spots to fix up. I have snacks to brainstorm and then procure. And, I have books to select. This last one is the hardest for me. I’m tempted to just browse my shelves when the time comes and grab whatever interests me at that moment. I have a feeling, though, that shorter, lighter books will be easier to get through during a sustained reading session than longer or denser books. It’s probably easiest to start with a potential pile and then branch out if those don’t work. Ack, so many factors to consider!

If you’re not signed up yet to read, or you’d just like to browse the (enormous) list of participants, you can do so here. There’s also a list of Read-a-Thon start times by time zone. Or, if you’d like to be a cheerleader, you can sign up for that as well! Questions? Check the FAQs. And finally, if you’re interested in who Dewey was and how the Read-a-Thon got its start, there’s a history page on the Read-a-Thon site as well.

My questions for you: If you’ve participated before, what do you do to prepare? Do you have any advice for a first-time participant? Or, if you haven’t participated in the past, will you be reading with us on Saturday?

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    1. Sounds good! I’ll be happy to have visitors. I think I’m safer reading than cheering the whole day, because I bet my TBR list would implode from all the added books!

  1. I participated last year but had to go to the hospital for a cat scratch infection in the middle of it, LOL. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it this year but I hope you all have a great time 🙂

    1. Wow, I think that might be the most original injury I’ve heard! Did you get to read in the waiting room, at least? 🙂

        1. Not even a cat scratch infection can keep a reader from her books on readathon day (if ever!) 🙂

  2. So happy you’re getting to participate for the first time! Really, most of the prepping for me is figuring out what I want to track during the readathon and drafting some posts. It helps to have things organized ahead of time when it comes blog posts and stuff. It saves a LOT of time.

    This will be the first year I’m doing this on wordpress and I’m a little scared. Drafting isn’t the same here as on Blogger…

    1. I got my reading material together today and started thinking about what I want to track. I’m not a big page counter, so I’ll probably just figure that piece out at the end. Still trying to decide what sort of progress marker to track instead!

      As for drafting, I find it easiest to write a draft in WordPress, copy the HTML, paste it into a Notepad or TextEdit file, and then as needed copy it from Notepad/TextEdit back into the HTML tab of a new WordPress post. A lot of copying and pasting, but it saves having to add images and formatting all over again!

  3. This is my second read-a-thon. The only preparation I make is to do all chores and housework in the days leading up to the read-a-thon. Other than that I pretty much play it by ear.

    1. Good advice! I’m thinking I’ll have reheatable meals too, so that I don’t have to cook. Though I’ve got my iPod Shuffle loaded up with some audiobooks, in case I do end up having to actually do something!

  4. Have fun! I get to participate for a bit of it this year and actually read. I think I’ve only been a cheerleader in the past. I’ve got a stack of short books ready, but haven’t planned much else. I think I’ll just see how it goes. My one piece of advice is to turn off word verification, but since you don’t have that, it doesn’t apply 🙂

    1. Thanks for the reminder! I do have comment moderation turned on for someone’s initial comment, so maybe I’ll turn that off for the event. I’m guessing any sort of delay in the commenting process would really annoy the cheerleaders, who I do not want to annoy!

      Have fun reading!

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