Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon 2020 | Tips, Tricks, and My TBR

The Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon – April 2020 – has ended. Find my final wrap-up/summary here

The first Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon of the year is [almost] here – and after a great time participating last year, I’m excited to once again read as many books I can over a 24-hour period.

If you are new to Dewey’s Readathon, you can get all the info here, although the most important details are in the name: a readathon that lasts 24 hours. This time around, the reading beings at 8AM EST on April 25th (and corresponding times around the world).

My first time participating was last year in October, and I had so much fun. After ringing in 2020, I made sure to look out for the April announcement and put it on my calendar. With the current state of the world being what it is, I have been looking forward to this readathon even more.

The following is my TBR for the readathon. I’ve also included some tips for making the most out of your 24 hours below if you’re considering participating for the first time and/or are looking for some tips for success.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon TBR

I am approaching this TBR in similar way that I approached last year’s: randomly select books from my shelves. This worked out quite well, as I’m happy to say I enjoyed each book I finished (plus the beginning of another I didn’t finish before the 24 hours were up). This year, my TBR is made up of some intentional picks and a couple of random selections. I’m once again including an audiobook, and this time have thrown in a couple of ebooks – and at this point why don’t I just tell you what I’m reading?

Physical Books
  1. In the Name of Salomé by Julia Alvarez | 353 pages | Summary
    Just like with all of the unread books on my shelves, I’ve been meaning to read this for some time now. I already know that I love Julia Alvarez’s writing (In The Time of the Butterflies) though, so it doesn’t feel risky to put it on this TBR.
  2. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers | 305 pages | Summary
    This book is a little more of a risk, since I am not familiar with Morgan Callan Rogers’ writing. But it’s a good length and is based on the Maine coast – according to the summary the setting is very important to the plot, so hopefully my high standards are met.
  3. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | 526 pages | Summary
    This is going to be a reread, and the only reread on this TBR. At the beginning of the year I thought about rereading both this and The Kingdom of Copper before the final book in the trilogy comes out this summer (The Empire of Gold), and figured this is a great chance to at least get started.

EBooks
  1. Catalyst by Tracy Richardson | 248 pages | Summary
    I will be reading this to review for the blog tour that starts in May.
  2. Drift, Stumble, Fall by M. Jonathan Lee | 310 pages | Summary
    This was (and still is, I think) available to read immediately on NetGalley; its interesting plot and great reviews convinced me to give it a try.
  3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman | 674 pages | Summary
    I was one of the lucky ones who were able to download this off of NetGalley before the site crashed (Neil Gaiman announced yesterday that his publisher was putting it up on NG for anyone to download, and a lot of people were understandably interested).
Audiobook
  1. Alison Larkin Presents: The Secret Adversary, Murder on the Links, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie | 24 hours and 14 minutes | The Secret Adversary Summary
    My audiobook habit is supported by the fact that I continue to forget to cancel my Audible subscription, so this week I found myself with one credit with which to purchase a book. I knew I would choose an Agatha Christie novel, because I have for the past couple of months and just love listening to them. I have sort of been participating in the Year With Christie readalong, and May’s book is The Secret Adversary – so I will be listening to that one for Dewey’s readathon. I will leave Murder on the Links for another time (I’ve already read The Mysterious Affair at Styles and have no immediate plans to reread/listen to it); it just seemed silly to use my one credit for a single book when I could get three.

And that is my TBR! 7 books, 2,416 pages (plus the approximately 9 hours – based on 1x speed – for The Secret Adversary), and 24 hours. Based on last year’s TBR of four physical books (all around 200 pages) and one audiobook, this is extremely ambitious for me. But considering the reading slump I’ve been in for most of this year, I wanted to give myself more of a variety of books to choose from during the readathon, just in case that slump rears its head and I find it hard to focus. I am still going to try to get as close to finishing as many of the books I’ve listed here as possible, though – I’ve just decided a little wiggle room is what I need for this year’s readathon.

Which sort of brings me to the next part of this blog post:

Tips & Tricks For Success

  1. Go in with a plan – one made for your reading habits and preferences. Even if you aren’t a big fan of set TBRs, having an idea of what you specifically want to read ahead of time can save you from wasting valuable minutes of the 24 hours staring at your shelves. Whether you have a stack of pre-selected books, single out one shelf in a bookcase from which you will choose your books, or attempt to get through a NetGalley or ARC backlist, a plan can make the readathon go more smoothly.
  2. Start with something short. Kicking off the 24 hours with a book under 100 or 200 pages (or whatever “short” means to you) can be less daunting then starting with a 500 pager. In other words, get that readathon momentum going with a book that can be finished in under three hours or so.
  3. If possible, have one or two (or more) audiobooks in your mix of planned reads. That way, you can keep up that reading momentum during breaks, when you need to give your eyes a rest, or if you have responsibilities that can’t be foregone during the 24 hours.
  4. Take breaks! Stretch, go for a walk, organize your bookshelves, bake some cookies, whatever. I made sure to take at least a 10-15 minute break every hour, but obviously adjust that to what makes you feel comfortable.
  5. If you need to nap, nap! Last year I spent maybe two or three of the hours napping, so if you feel your eyes drooping, give in. Set an alarm and get some rest so you can power through the rest of the readathon.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy yourself! Whether you read for one hour, ten hours, or all 24 hours, the idea of this readathon is to read as much as you can.

Who else is participating in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon? Do you have any other tips and tricks for success? Tell me about or link to your TBR in a comment below, and if you want to follow along hour by hour with me on April 25th, follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram.

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