Last weekend I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I started and finished a 400+ page book in less than 24 hours. 458 pages to be exact. I rented Big Little Lies from my library and couldn’t extend the rental because there was a hold on it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have found myself in this predicament. I love to read but it’s still daunting to look at all those pages and wonder if you can get through them.
The first (and probably last) time I started and finished a large book in a short amount of time was the Harry Potter series. And even so, I don’t think I read any of those books in less than 24 hours. So to go back and read that much in a single day was daunting to say the least. These days I read so much more online on my phone and social media. It felt weird -but good – to spend so much time reading a book versus scrolling through my phone. It was like I was shutting off the world around me and solely focusing on getting this book done.
There are a couple of strategies that helped me get through it so here goes…
– Make sure you’ve eaten beforehand. I personally don’t like to eat while reading a book because I like to hold the book with both hands. Plus depending on the plot line, the eating distracts me from focusing on the story. What line was I on? What did he say exactly? I’d rather eat before and solely focus on the book. That way I’m also getting the full experience of reading and relaxing. If you do want to eat, I’d go for no fuss items such as almonds or pumpkin seeds.
– On that note, do have something to drink with your book. The cliche cup of coffee or tea will work but you’ll definitely need brain fuel to get through the reading. Taking a sip between chapters, enjoying the moment, reflecting on the story so far… all better with a nice cup of tea in your favorite mug.
– When you do take breaks to eat, it’s time to relax your brain. Get away from the book by either catching up with family or – if they’re out – watch some tv. I watched tv every time I was eating to make my brain relax from the reading. Mindless tv is perfect when you’re trying to get through a massive book.
– Be in a good reading position. For me, that’s sitting on the sofa with a cozy blanket and Daisy by my feet. Get comfortable because you’ll be there for a while.
– Set a time by when you want to have finished half of the book. I knew I wanted to be half way through the book by dinner time so that after dinner I could focus on the third quarter. That left me with finishing the last quarter in the morning when I woke up and be done by noon the next day.
It’s exhausting to read that much in 24 hours. You need a lot of determination and energy. There were a couple of moments where I could have fallen asleep – I was on the sofa after all – but my drive kept me going. Funnily enough, I have to return All The Light We Cannot See next week and have yet to make a large dent in it. I did however learn from my 24 hours marathon and will break up the reading in smaller chunks. Come it’s due date at the library, I hopefully won’t feel as exhausted and delirious as with Big Little Lies.
Ever since we’ve moved, I have really enjoyed going to the library. I was surprised at how large their collection is and how easy it is to rent and request books. Do you take advantage of your local library?