How to Prepare for a Read-a-Thon

By April 14, 2009 culture No Comments

This weekend I plan to participate in Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon (or what I lovingly refer to as the Reading Madness). There are 116 bookworms registered so far.

Questions have plagued me as I’ve prepared for my first read-a-thon: What books will hold my interest in the wee hours? How many books do I need in my stack? How much coffee will I need? What sort of snacks will I want at 3:00 A.M.? Will my eyes stay open all night? Am I crazy?

Book Selection

The read-a-thon Web site has wonderful tips and suggestions for us first-timers. Taking some of the reading selection tips into consideration, I have sorted through my yet-to-be-read shelf and opted for the following titles:

An adventure narrative—Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)

A reflection on the often-painful realities of life—Telling Secrets: A Memoir (Frederick Buechner)

A tribute to God’s power in our weakness—The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin (John Piper)

A spoof on the self-help movement—Maybe Life’s Just Not That Into You: When You Feel Like the World’s Voted You Off (Martha Bolton and Brad Dickson)

A literature classic—Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)

A story to get lost in—Ann of Green Gables series (Lucy Maud Montgomery)

All these books have less than 200 pages, so I won’t be caught up in them from start to finish. I won’t get through them all; but I like the variety I have at hand, and I look forward to diving in!


For some reason, I just cannot imagine the read-a-thon working apart from some interesting snacks. What does one have on hand for such an occasion? I’ll have my favorite coffee (Target’s Archer Farms brand hazelnut creme); my favorite popcorn (Orville’s Smart-Pop Light Kettle corn snack bags); maybe even my favorite indulgence (Swiss Cake rolls).

Any suggestions?


I love the idea of spending a bit of time reading at my favorite coffee shop. However, weekends tend to be a bit rowdy in such places; I’m not sure it will suit me. I think most of my time will be spent cozily at home: at my desk or in my comfy overstuffed chair. Wherever I land, the space needs to be neat so that I am not distracted by clutter (right now my office is in desperate shape!). I’ll have to do some cleaning Friday so I’m ready to read-away my weekend.

Want to Join In?

If you plan to do any amount of reading at all this weekend, why don’t you join the fun?! Many participants are unable to read for 24-hours straight. I’m shooting for a bit of reading every hour (but I’m still waffling on the midnight to five o’clock stretch).

All readers are welcome.

  • http://www.solvingstonehenge.co.uk sarsen56

    Wow – what a distraction, the idea of hazelnut crème coffee that is! I just lost around 15 minutes trying to find someone in the UK who might stock it, it sounds just fantastic. You really shouldn’t do this you know, I have work to do….

    Sarsen56—The hazelnut creme coffee is fabulous, so if you have a Target store, that’s where you can find it! I sure hope you have Target stores there . . . it’s the Disney World of discount stores. 🙂 —es

  • http://afondnessforreading.wordpress.com Robin

    You’ve got some good books picked out there! Enjoy your reading!

    Robin—Thanks! I’m starting with Piper while my brain is alert. 🙂 I’ll stop by later to see how things are going for you. —es

  • http://www.melissas-bookshelf.com Melissa @ Melissa’s Bookshelf

    Good luck to you! Sounds like you’re all ready to go 🙂 Looking forward to your updates and happy to have found your blog!!

    Melissa—thanks for encouraging! I’ve had a slow start but I’m getting ready for a lengthy afternoon stretch. I’ll check in w/your site later this afternoon. —es

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