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Dewey’s Read-a-Thon!

October 3, 2009

readathonbuttonIt’s that time again. :) Time to stock up on short books, yummy snacks, and as much caffeine as possible. Time for my favourite event ever, during which I’ve met bloggers that are now close friends. And time to appreciate how amazing Dewey was and how much she gave to all of us. That’s right: it’s Dewey’s Read-a-thon, now taking sign-ups for the event which beings October 24th at 5 AM PST (and for those Americans groaning, at least we’re not on the other side of the international dateline!).

I’ve participated in every read-a-thon but one. That one was the third one, it took place in October of last year. Dewey e-mailed me asking if I’d like to help run it, and I said yes, but then my health went a bit downhill, and I was worried that doing this would make me go into a full-blown flare-up. And since I was in grad school, I couldn’t afford that, so I had to e-mail her a bit later and tell her I couldn’t do it. She was understanding, as usual. But then that turned out to be her final read-a-thon. And I have always regretted that.

There is a reason I’m telling you all this. The fourth read-a-thon, the first without Dewey, was run by three marvelous women who had helped Dewey in the past: Hannah, Nymeth, and Trish. I had a great time, and I thought they were amazing for taking on all that work, and I was secretly happily I could just be a participant.

Famous last words. Earlier this week, they invited me to join them! And of course I said yes. With four people, we’ll each be taking a 6 hour shift, so for the other 18 hours I still plan on being a reader and cheerleader. And with any luck I’ll be able to fit in a leetle bit of that during my shift itself! ;)

I think it’s obvious that I love the read-a-thon. Before the last one, I gave you ten reasons to join in the fun. But in this post, I’m going to convince you to be a cheerleader! As part of the committee, cheerleading has fallen to me, and this time it’s going to be organised. That’s because I’ve been a cheerleader for two of my three read-a-thons (the first time, I was nervous about biting too much off, but then I ended up being an ‘unofficial’ cheerleader anyway). And both times, I’ve been voted one of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders. I say that not to brag, but so that you know that you can be a reader and a great cheerleader. But to be honest, last time I felt a little overwhelmed as a cheerleader! Since I skipped read-a-thon #3, I jumped from the relatively small pool of readers in read-a-thon #2 (where I could visit each of them every three hours) to the huge pool in read-a-thon #4 (where I quickly realised I wouldn’t be able to visit them nearly as often!)! As a type-A person, I wanted to be visiting EVERYONE on a regular basis, and I was so frustrated! Since the read-a-thon is so much bigger than it used to be, I’m creating a system so that cheerleaders will have manageable ‘chunks’ of readers to visit, and those chunks will shift so that you get to visit everyone during the read-a-thon. :) So if you were a cheerleader last time, and felt a bit stressed out, I promise it’ll be different!

It’s ironic that I first talked about the downside of cheerleading in a post where I want to get cheerleaders! But I wanted to address that and let former cheerleaders know that they’ll have a bit more of a ‘support system’ this go round. :) Now I can talk about all the awesome things of being a cheerleader!!!

WillCheer Number one is that you get a great connection with all different kinds of readers! The *best* feeling when you’re a reader is to see comments on your update post. It doesn’t even matter what the comment says, whether it specifically talks about the post or if it’s just “You’re doing great! Keep it up!”. And readers visit the people who leave comments. I think part of why I get so many hits and comments as a reader is that I’m also a cheerleader, so I’m bouncing around the read-a-thoners and they come by to see what I’m up to! If you’re just a cheerleader, you’ll still get visits! (And if you have a post up, comments too.) And some people will like your blog so much they subscribe. And then you have new blogging friends!

As a dual cheerleader/reader, I loved getting a break from the books. If I didn’t feel like reading, I could just go visit blogs! And I didn’t feel at all guilty about it, because I was a cheerleader too. :) During the hours when I really wanted to read, I just didn’t cheerlead for a bit-doing both roles doesn’t mean you have to spend equal time on them! You can favour whichever one you want, and that might shift throughout the twenty-four hours.

If you want to participate in the read-a-thon, but you know you don’t have 24 hours, cheerleading is the way to go! You can cheerlead when you get the time throughout the day (or night!). And you’re eligible for prize drawings and participating in the mini-challenges. :)

I guess I’m being a bit incoherent, but there’s a reason that I’ve always signed up to be a cheerleader as well as a reader: it’s more fun!!! As a cheerleader, you get to see what all the different readers are up to. Every comment you make will be appreciated, and the readers will love you! You can get creative with it-using pictures or vlogs or funny songs or cheers on your own blog as well! And remember how volunteering makes you happier than anything else? In the read-a-thon, while being a reader is all about you, being a cheerleader is all about the community. For me, the event is much more meaningful because I cheerlead. And I think it will be more meaningful for you as well.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to sign up as a cheerleader. If you have any questions or concerns, you can either ask them here, or at the read-a-thon site, or e-mail me (astripedarmchairATgmailDOTcom). If you’ve been a cheerleader in the past, I encourage to comment or write a post about your experience! Oh, and Maree of Just Add Books was tweeting about the read-a-thon and said “Have laptop, will cheerlead.” I said that was a great motto, and Nymeth said there should be a button! So I got to work on it and made one! :) Feel free to use it on your own blog as soon as you’ve signed up to be a cheerleader!!! I’ll be putting it in my sidebar until after the read-a-thon.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2009 10:49 am

    We’re so happy to have you on the team!

  2. October 3, 2009 10:54 am

    I will probably join in with the cheerleading as I know I won’t be able to participate.

  3. October 3, 2009 10:56 am

    I was an unofficial cheerleader last time. I tried to visit a good number of blogs every two hours, left a lot of comments, but didn’t know how to organize it into visiting each one. I’m thinking about signing on to be official this year, but I would also want to do it while reading, you know? Like a minimal cheerleader or something? Does that make sense? Do you think that’s possible?

  4. October 3, 2009 11:04 am

    I LOVED cheerleading last spring and loved being a co-winner with you of most enthusiastic cheerleader. Great fun.

  5. October 3, 2009 11:18 am

    I always end up unofficially cheerleading too with all of the blogs that I follow plus a few extra ones…I really should sign up :p I’m so so SO excited about this Eva!!! I always get crazy about the REad-a-Thon!!

  6. October 3, 2009 11:24 am

    I always cheerlead and I did find it a bit overwhelming last year! I think I was like you and missed the one before the last one so the increase in blogs blew my mind! lol I saw lots of comments from you last time, and you read, so I think you are a fitting choice! I think watching your vlogs from the read-a-thon is when I started regularly reading your blog, actually. :)

  7. October 3, 2009 11:36 am

    CHEERLEADING is FUN!! I heartily recommend it. :)
    and you don’t have to have a laptop to cheer…

  8. October 3, 2009 12:36 pm

    I love the button, and I LOVE your energy and enthusiasm :D If this doesn’t convince people to be cheerleaders, I don’t know what will :P

  9. lena permalink
    October 3, 2009 12:53 pm

    I don’t usually have whole days to read but I’ll definitely be cheerleading again this year :) And I love love love the idea for the button!

  10. October 3, 2009 12:56 pm

    Cheerleaders are the soul of the read-a-thon, it just would not be the same without them!

  11. October 3, 2009 1:58 pm

    I’ve been a cheerleader both unofficially and officially and had lots of fun doing it! Trying to balance out the reading and the cheerleading can be difficult though. This year I have signed up for both, so we will see if we can get the balance right, for what I am sure will be another huge read-a-thon.

  12. October 3, 2009 9:34 pm

    This time around I officially signed up for cheerleader. I’ve always done both, primarily reading but commenting as much as possible on my breaks, but this time around I wanted to make an actual commitment to reaching out beyond my reader subscriptions.

    Being a cheerleader really is such an important role and I hope more people will sign up this year!

  13. October 4, 2009 2:41 am

    I signed up to be a cheerleader and a reader, not sure how its going to work but sure it will work its self out.

  14. October 4, 2009 6:06 am

    I am so trying to keep that weekend perfectly clear, but I’m getting more and more worried that I won’t be able to. If all works out, I plan to read for 12 and cheer for 12. or maybe do what I did before: read 8/cheer 8/read 8.

  15. October 4, 2009 7:04 am

    I have the same concerns Amanda mentioned. I’ve always done it unofficially, but even then sometimes felt like it was sucking up all my reading time. I’m seriously as slow on the computer as I am at reading. *sigh* I just don’t know what to do…I don’t want to commit to something and then find I have no time left for reading. :( So, do you think I should sign up or just stick with the unofficial route?

  16. October 4, 2009 11:52 am

    I’m in! I signed up for the Read-a-Thon AND to be a cheerleader! This will be my first year officially cheerleading, though I’ve done a bit of unofficial cheerleading in the past. Can’t wait, Eva!

  17. October 4, 2009 8:45 pm

    I’ve signed up to be a cheerleader. This is my first year participating, so I may need some help on the to do’s :)

  18. October 5, 2009 9:32 pm

    Oh, how I wish it wasn’t a weekend! Just not sure I can convince my husband and my dinner guests that there is great reason I’m neglecting the family, house work, and socialization because I’m reading and blogging…..which I do EVERY SINGLE OTHER DAY TOO.

    Sigh. Maybe in April? It sounds like so much fun!!

  19. October 6, 2009 1:01 am

    That’s great that you’ll be helping run this one–it’s definitely a job for at least 4 people. I’ll be away at a choir retreat that Saturday, so I can’t participate this time. Such a bummer!

  20. October 6, 2009 8:42 pm

    I won’t be able to participate this time around – a family wedding out of town will be taking up my weekend – but I heartily agree with you – cheerleading is SO MUCH FUN! I’d really like to be a reader, but I can’t imagine not cheerleading when I have the chance to participate next. Great post – you are the perfect person for this job!

  21. October 7, 2009 2:18 pm

    I was waffling on whether or not to give up cheerleading and be a reader, but you’ve convinced me. Off to sign up to be a cheerleader!

  22. October 11, 2009 6:27 am

    Wordlily, thanks!

    Vivienne, I’m sorry you can’t Read, but you’ll make a great Cheerleader!

    Amanda, we’ve talked about this on Twitter. ;)

    Beth, yay for Cheerleader testimonials! lol

    Chris, you should sign up! And I always get crazy too!

    Kailana, yeah-that last time was crazy! And I love how some of my close blogging friends I originally met during read-a-thons!

    Care, I didn’t mean to discriminate against desktop users! You’re one of the best cheerleaders Care!

    Nymeth, thanks!

    Lena, yay!

    Bart, so true! :)

    Marg, I’m so happy you signed up for both!

    Trish, awesome!!!

    Katrina, I’m organising a system that’ll help you!

    Bybee, I’m crossing my fingers you get the weekend free. :)

    Debi, I’ve e-mailed you!

    Andi, AWESOME!

    Tracie, thanks for joining in! I’ll be sending an e-mail with hints and tips, so don’t worry-you won’t be in the dark!

    Rebecca, I’ll miss you. :(

    Ali, there’s always April!

    Elizabeth, thank you!

    Softdrink, yay!!!

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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