“All time spent reading is time well-spent.” ~ W H Auden. The joys of participating in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon

In my last post I wrote about becoming a first-time participant in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, which ran across this past weekend. Although I had seen social media traffic about previous readathons, I was not quite sure what to expect. But I needn’t have worried – it was really great fun.

I knew before starting that I would not have to read for the whole 24 hours – the ethos is very much ‘do your own thing’. I also suspected that my reading plans would be too ambitious. Tick and tick. In the end, I read for a total of 7 hours in roughly three main concentrated periods. I completed two of my original goals: I finished Mary and O’Neil by Justin Cronin and The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch. I started my second planned Murdoch, The Red and the Green, but found that I was getting too boggle-eyed and headachy from spending too much time with the Kindle app on my iPad. So I swapped to a book from my current library pile – Carol by Patricia Highsmith.

In total I read about 400 pages, which is pretty good going for me. I usually try to get through about 100 pages on a ‘normal’ day.

I will aim to write more about the books themselves in a future post. In the meantime…

What were the best things about participating in the readathon?

  • engaging with fellow book lovers around the world about this marvellous shared passion;
  • experiencing good quality reading time – I found that reading The Italian Girl pretty much straight through enhanced the flow of the story;
  • giving myself permission to prioritise reading over other commitments felt very luxurious.

And the challenges?

  • I should have anticipated that reading for much longer periods on my iPad would be a strain. I don’t usually have a problem reading ebooks, but it was a welcome relief to pick up a print book after a while;
  • I would undoubtedly have read more if I had not been so glued to everyone else’s comments, updates etc. It was hard to tear myself away sometimes!

What will I do differently next time?

The next readathon takes place on 6 April 2019. It’s already in my diary and I am looking forward to having another go, when I expect to:

  • plan more of a mix of reading media, combining printed books, ebooks and audiobooks will allow for even more reading;
  • plan better when to engage with other participants;
  • make more of an effort to participate in the various hourly challenges etc. This time I really only scratched the surface with all the goings on. I definitely feel I missed out by not joining in on the readathon bingo lol!

Having said all of this, though, it seems to me that the best way to approach the readathon is actually to be very laid back about it, just taking things as they come, in accordance with how you feel at any given moment. I can see that an element of planning will help to enhance one’s participation, but the most important thing to remember is that it is meant to be a fun event, not a slog!

I don’t need any encouragement to read – it is definitely one of my priorities these days. One of the added joys of this hobby, though, is the sharing of recommendations, reviews, ideas etc with fellow book lovers. I always enjoy my online conversations with fellow bloggers about their reading habits and recommended titles. Participating in the readathon allowed me to extend this even further. So roll on next April! 😀📚