24 Hours of Reading! Dewey’s #Readathon

readathon2016

5am

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon officially begins, and I am still sleeping. My plans to get up early were derailed by one of my kids keeping me up talking until 12:30 last night. No matter. I’ll stay up longer at the end of day.

7:30am

The Readathon finally begins for me! I start with an audiobook of Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk as I get dressed, make coffee, drive one kid to her volunteer location, and grocery shop for readerly snacks and beverages. I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while and I am not let down. The first 3 chapters are moving and beautiful. I tear up when she talks about her dad and laugh out loud when she remembers secretly praying the the Egyptian god Horus because he has the head of a hawk. Delightful.

9am

readathonsnack

Kids are where they should be, snacks are in the pantry, and I’m ready to put away the audiobook and get to the meat of my readathon stack. I’ll start with Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara, inspired by the recent T.V. show. I was skeptical because I’ve read many reviews calling this “a poor man’s Lord of the Rings” but have to admit that I’m pleased so far. I like Allanon’s little history lesson. World-building is my favorite part of just about any novel.

11:30am

Husband and daughter come home from volunteering, give me a hard time because I’m taking a break to interact with other readathoners on Twitter and Litsy, rather than reading. Readathon isn’t just about burning through books, it’s about sharing the reading with other readers all over the world. I love reading the updates on the Dewey’s blog, I love seeing the snack and location photos readers are posting on social, and I am inspired by all the reports of finished books only 6 hours in! Okay, time to get back to reading.

1:30pm


I’m enjoying The Sword of Shannara, but my Rediscovering the Classics book group read for October keeps preying on my mind, so I think this is the perfect time for a little lunch break and switch to that book. I’m hoping I can finish Blindness today, but I anticipate I’ll be going back to Shannara tonight when I’m ready to adventure again in magical places.

Also of note, my 12 year old has decided to join me in the readathon, now that her morning volunteer commitments are complete. Another bookworm in the house! Here is her Readathon Stack…


As Napolean said, “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”

3pm

outdoorreading

Getting restless means a little movement and a change of scenery is called for. It’s still too hot to go running, so I’m taking my reading to “the Tipsy Bookshelf,” my little outdoor reading nook. Still reading Blindness, I’d love to get through this book today but have a feeling I’ll have to switch it up before I can finish. This book is intense, and the subject matter can get pretty oppressive, not to mention that the lack of quotation marks, or any indication of which character is speaking when, as a matter of fact, makes my brain hurt after a while.

I’m starting to get the distinct impression that I’m not going to be able to finish a book. I see other readathoners with social media updates celebrating their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd books finished and I start to feel a little discouraged. I suppose I could have chosen to finish one of the books I’m already in the middle of, but today I really wanted to take on new books. Something to think about for next time.

5pm

runningandreading

That’s enough sitting, it’s time to get the blood pumping again. This is what a readathon reader wears to go running! The plan was to listen to H is for Hawk while I ran a couple miles, but my 16 year old wants to go running together, and frankly, I’ll take any time I can get with her at this point. So it’s an hour without books. It gave my eyes and derriere a rest, and gave me renewed vigor for the evening!

7pm

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Time for a little break to fix up some lemon-rosemary chicken and a green salad for dinner. And while that’s cooking…

Did I mention that earlier in the day I participated in Midnight Book Girl’s Bookish Memories Mini-Challenge?  A little earlier in the day I got a little “ping” on my phone. It was Midnight Book Girl herself congratulating me on being the U.S. winner! For any newbies or potential readathoners out there, I urge you to participate in as many of the mini-challenges as you can. Whether you win or not, they’re just fun! They get you thinking about your reading in new ways, and I always love seeing other reader’s responses. Here was my entry in the Bookish Memories Challenge:

It was the summer before 8th grade, I was staying with my grandparents in their cabin high up in the Sierra National Forest, last house on a dirt road, far away from other people or civilization. My grandmother took me to their tiny local library (45 minutes away!) and I picked Stephen King’s The Shining to check out and take home. My first King, my first read of The Shining. I stayed up all night in my attic room of their cabin reading about Danny Torrance and the Overlook. It was terrifying! And from then on, I was hooked on Stephen King. I can’t imagine a better time or place to read The Shining for the first time!

Let’s face it, reading for as much as I can in a 24-hour period isn’t all that different from my average Saturday. What makes the readathon special is that hundreds of others are reading with me. It’s one of the rare opportunities I have to be social in an introverted setting and I love it!

11pm

bedtimebook

I’m starting to lose steam, but I’m determined to make it until midnight at least! I’ve opened the door to let in the cool night air, and I’ve switched back to the more exciting book, both in an effort to revive my flagging spirit. But I’ve also relocated to the bedroom to read and have poured myself a glass of wine. I’m pushing forward, but honestly, it could go either way at this point.

12pm

It’s been a great day. Time for bed. To sleep. To sleep perchance to dream… of more books, and the next Dewey’s Readathon in April 2017!

Final Thoughts (in no particular order)

  • I didn’t plan as much ahead for this readathon as I did for the April 2016 readathon, and as a result I feel that I got less reading done. It felt less like a marathon and more like a regular Saturday for me. Next time I will plan the kid activities and chauffeur needs ahead of time, shop for reading snacks and beverages before the day, and make sure I sleep well the night before so I can wake up and begin at 5am.
  • I only read two books during this particular readathon, rather that switching between 4 or 6. I still created a stack of potentials (which is half the fun!) but was really only in the mood to work on 2 of the 6 I had planned for.
  • Because I started two books from page one, I didn’t finish either of them. I made quite a good bit of progress in both of them, but it was a little disheartening to not be able to say “I finished!” at all during the readathon. Next time I’ll begin with a book I’m already working on so that I can finish at least one book and get that feeling of accomplishment.
  • Checking in on social channels with other readathoners takes up a fair amount of reading time during the day. I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped, but I had too much fun interacting on Litsy, Twitter, and various blogs to have any desire to do things differently. Being a part of this community of bookish friends is a joy and a privilege. I can’t wait to cozy up again in April with my books and my fellow readers for another 24 hour stretch!

readingnook

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