The Readathon Post

Once again, it is Readathon time! Twice yearly, readers from all over set aside a day to spend with their noses in books. Many read for 24 full hours, some read for charity, others spend a lot of the day cheering on other readers. Basically, it’s a 24-hour reading party with lots of options for participation.

This is the first year I haven’t had theatre plans on Readathon day, so I’ve really been looking forward to it. Last time, I discovered that a low-key approach is the way to go for me. I’m not setting any major goal to read a certain amount, I’m not spending a lot of time visiting other blogs and entering mini-challenges, and I’m not staying up for the full 24 hours. My plan is to read primarily from my stack of library books (pictured below), although I have shelves full of other possibilities if none of these end up suiting me. I may read one book, two books, three books, or more—who knows?—but the point is that I’ll be reading for enjoyment.

Readathon Central

I’ll also be reading for charity. As in past years, I’ve selected a group of high school classroom library projects from Donors Choose, and I’ll be distributing 10 cents for each page I read among these projects. (I’ll count pages I read through the whole weekend.) I always choose high school projects because I was a high school teacher for a brief period, and it’s my high school reading experiences that stand out most in my mind. The particular projects I’ve chosen this time have a special place in my heart because they are all in schools in the same part of the world where I grew up. (One is in the next county and two are a few counties west.) Of course, I’d be thrilled if others choose to support these or other projects as well.

I’ll post a few updates here on this post during the day, but most of my updates will be on Twitter and GoodReads. Most of the socializing that I’ll do will also be through Twitter. Reading blog posts will be reserved for when I need a long break from my book(s). I probably won’t enter any mini-challenges, unless one comes along when I’m needing a break. So, low-key all the way! Should be a good day!

Intro Meme

Where are you reading from today? My home in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC

3 facts about me …
(1) I have a three-legged cat who likes to keep me company when I read.
(2) I am/was pursuing a master’s degree in theological studies but am currently on what may be a permanent hiatus.
(3) I do not like mint, although I will tolerate it in toothpaste. People seem to find this odd, but in my old book club there were two other mint-haters, so it’s not unheard of.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? I have eight books out from the library that will be my focus, along with Paradise Lost for my church book club. I don’t, however, intend to get through all of those, and if none of them feel right, I have almost 200 unread books on my shelves. Lots of choices!

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? No goals but to enjoy myself.I’d like to finish one of my library books.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
Don’t compare yourself to others. Some people read faster, especially on Readathon day. Others read easier books on the day. Read what you feel like reading, and enjoy it!

Update 1

Time of Update: 9:14 am
Pages Read: 26 (Paradise Lost)
Time Spent Reading: 46 minutes
Money Raised: $2.60 (Donors Choose)
Favorite Quote: “Not free, what proof could they have given sincere/Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love,/Where only what they needs must do, appear’d”
Observations: Off to a good start. I wanted to get one book of Paradise Lost read today so that I’d only have one more left to read before my book club discussion of books 2–4 on Monday, and I’ve done that. It’s poetry, so slow reading, sometimes out loud, is rewarding.

Update 2

Time of Update: 12:16 pm

Pages Read: 124 in Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson since last update. (150 pages total)

Time Spent Reading: 2 hrs.., 17 min. since last update. 3 hrs., 3 min. total

Money Raised: $15 (Donors Choose)

Favorite Quote: “She would have made a good wife for Macbeth; she certainly wouldn’t have fretted about a few blood spots.”

Mini-challenges entered: “Show Me the Books” Challenge at Crystal’s Reading Room.
Six-Word Celebration” at Estella’s Revenge. My entry: “A day to read. Sheer bliss.”

Observations: I love Kate Atkinson. So, so much. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a writer whose humor is so spot-on exactly the same as mine. She’s definitely on my list of writers I want to have coffee (or tea) with. And people, if you’ve only read her crime novels (which are excellent), you really should branch out to her other, less-popular work (which is even more excellent).

Update 3

Time of Update: 5:30 pm

Pages Read: 381 pages

Books Completed: Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson

Time Spent Reading: 7 hrs., 1 min. total

Money Raised: $38.10 (Donors Choose)

Favorite Quote: “Personally, I don’t think it right to make up things about real people—although I suppose there’s an argument for saying that once you’re dead you’re not real any more. But then we have to define what we mean by real and none of us wants to go down that tortuous path because we all know where it leads (madness or a first-class honours, or both).”

Observations: Ah, Kate Atkinson. A perfect read for readathon day. Her books make me laugh so much. And this one is so perfectly constructed—perhaps my favorite of hers that I’ve read. Reading a book by a favorite author was a great choice for today. I have not yet gotten tired of reading because her books are ones I can devour. I am going to switch to a graphic novel (American Born Chinese) because it’s easier on the eyes. I have vague thoughts of ordering a pizza for dinner, but I’ve been snacking on pumpkin muffins all day and so am not that hungry.

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? I’m in between books, but will probably read Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe next.
2. How many books have you read so far? Two (Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang), plus a bit of Paradise Lost
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? None in particular. I may only read one more. I’d like to get in another graphic novel, The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I actually rescheduled a theatre ushering gig, but the readathon was only part of the reason for that.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? No interruptions. It’s been smooth going for me!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How easy and pleasant it’s been this time. There seems to be a more laid-back energy about it than in past years, but that may just be because I’ve made a deliberate choice to be laid back!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I’d like to see more mentions of reading for charity in the run-up to the event. I think some newbies didn’t know that many people do that.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I always say I’ll spend less time reading others’ blogs, but I never manage to avoid it.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Not really. I don’t think I have a late night in me, though.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I’ve been alternating my caffeinated beverages with glasses of water. That seems to keep my energy at the right level.

Update 4
Time of Update: 7:17 pm

Pages Read: 614 pages

Books Completed: Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson, American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Time Spent Reading: 7 hrs., 42 min. total

Money Raised: $61.40 (Donors Choose)

Favorite Quote: “ ‘Freedom’ to serve as the slave-boy of a mortal?! I’d rather–.”

Observations: What a great book! I thought I knew the basic idea of this one and where it was going to go, but it took me by surprise!

Update 5
Time of Update: 10:38 pm

Pages Read: 803 pages total

Books Completed: Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson, American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe

Time Spent Reading: 10 hrs., 9 min. total

Money Raised: $80.30 (Donors Choose)

Favorite Quote Since Last Update: “I too had begun to wish to live a long life in this house surrounded by snow. And every last exit was closed to us. What more could we want than this?”

Observations: This last book (Nip the Buds) was a really interesting read. I’m still absorbing it and sorting out what I think. There were some things that I really liked about it, but other parts that are a puzzle.

As for readathoning itself, I got up at my usual weekday time (perhaps a bit early for Saturday), and it’s now approaching my usual bedtime. I’m actually only now starting to get tired. The main problem I’ve had is just getting stiff and needing to get up and walk around periodically, which I’ve done. I could probably manage a couple more hours, but I’d be left tired for days afterward, so I’m going to take a graphic novel (The Color of Earth) to bed with me shortly and go to sleep when I’m feeling ready to do so. I’ll probably add a final update to this post in the morning. To everyone who’s staying up (or just now getting up), enjoy the rest of the ‘thon!

Final Update
Time of Update: 7:28 am

Pages Read: 1,122 pages total

Books Completed: Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson, American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe, and The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

Time Spent Reading: I’m guessing a little over 11 hours. I stopped keeping track after my last update last night.

Money Raised: $112.20 (Donors Choose) I’m especially excited that I read enough to fully fund one of the three projects I had chosen. (And to be completely honest, I would perhaps have gone ahead and funded that project even if I hadn’t made that goal, but it’s exciting to have done it. In fact, I was so excited that I went ahead and gave that donation this morning!)

Favorite Quote Since Last Update: On lovesick men: “Outside their homes, they’re all fuss because they can’t get any, but when they go home they’re quiet as a mouse.”

Observations: This was my first time reading a manwha (Korean comic), and I really enjoyed it. Graphic novels were a great way to break up my reading. My mind was pretty focused the whole time, but the two graphic novels rested my eyes.

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37 Responses to The Readathon Post

  1. Iris says:

    Oh, I love your idea of reading for charity. I should do something similar next time or maybe come up with something half-way through the read-a-thon. Like you, I dnot have goals and I will not be reading as much or as fast as I can, that’s just not what works best for me. Good luck!

  2. Juxtabook says:

    Very good luck to you and enjoy!

  3. fantaghiro23 says:

    Hi! Low-key works best for me, too. The past 2 readathons, I felt bad because I only finished two or so books. Then I thought: Why should I feel bad? I’m supposed to be doing it for fun anyway.

    Good luck with your reads!

  4. leeswammes says:

    Have fun in the read-a-thon! I’m about to start, myself.

  5. Erin says:

    Happy Reading!!! :)

  6. Vasilly says:

    I don’t like mint either! Though I don’t mind it in my toothpaste. Happy reading!

    • Teresa says:

      Glad to hear I (and my two book-club friends) aren’t the only ones. People always seem to think it’s weird when I refuse after dinner mints, mint choc. chip, etc.

  7. Lexi says:

    I can’t wait till the hour for the pet photo mini-challenge…I’d love to see a picture of your three-legged cat! I have three (four-legged) cats who are keeping me company today while I read.

  8. I still have 19 minutes before I start. Your 10 cents a page is making my 5 cents look cheap. Having never done this before I wasn’t sure how many pages I would be reading. I might make adjustments at the end to make up for poor reading performance.

    • Teresa says:

      I’ve made adjustments in the past–the pledge is usually my lower limit :).

      And you were including another read-a-thoner’s pages, which I wouldn’t dare to do! I kind of knew about how much I’d read.

  9. Ronnica says:

    Good progress! Kudos for you for attempting a classic during the Readathon!

  10. Mystica says:

    Enjoy your reading time!

  11. stacybuckeye says:

    “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Addison
    Have a great workout today :)

  12. Just stopping by to cheer you on! Looks like you have some great books picked out for the read-a-thon!

  13. Joanna says:

    Wow, Paradise Lost, challenging! You’re doing great, hope you’re having fun!

  14. christina says:

    Oooh, I must have peppermints at all times during the work week. I’m constantly sucking on them after reading out loud to the children. :) Happy reading.

  15. softdrink says:

    (Non)traditional Buddhist readathon blessing:

    Just as the books fill the shelves,
    Pile together on the floor and stack up on the table
    So may the joy of the readathon
    Flow forth to brighten your day and lift your spirit.
    Books already read, books in progress and books yet to be read.

    By the power of every word on the page
    May your book be delightful,
    As scary as Lovecraft’s Cthulhu
    Or as sweet as a box of See’s candy.

    Let the power of the images evoked by words
    Keep you stay awake long through the night
    May no obstacle impede
    Your day filled with books.

    For all of those who are reading today
    Who follow in the path of Dewey
    May your day be filled with the four blessings
    Of fabulous books, tasty snacks, comfy chairs and joy.

  16. Vikk says:

    Love that you’re reading for charity and enjoyed reading your mime. I just finished mine.

    Back to reading.

  17. Trish says:

    The party’s starting to pop
    And you’re already having fun.
    Don’t let the momentum stop
    And get some reading done!

    Kate Atkinson, huh? I have one of hers–maybe I’ll pick it up later. Glad you’re having a great time!

  18. Frances says:

    Good luck, Teresa! Every time you mention Kate Atkinson, I do a slapping the forehead bit and ask myself why I have not read her yet.

  19. Willa says:

    I love the readathon!! Even though I am not attending it I really enjoy reading about it :-) Hope you have a wonderful time!

  20. Iris says:

    That is a lovely quote! And pumpkin muffins sound like a great snack. I actually have a short story collection with one story by Kate Atkinson on my shelf, maybe I will read it some time tonight?

  21. Trish says:

    Oh I totally agree–readathon should be laid back! Enjoy!! :) And congrats on making it halfway.

  22. softdrink says:

    1, 2, 3, 4
    Hope your book isn’t a bore
    5, 6, 7, 8
    And your readathon is going great!

  23. 803 pages – great job! Sounds like you enjoyed the day!

  24. stacybuckeye says:

    I love that you are reading for charity. You’re in the home stretch now. Happy reading :)

  25. Valerie says:

    Enjoy reading during the rest of the readathon. You’ve been doing a good job with it and your updates!

  26. Cass says:

    Great job!! Enjoy your rest!

  27. tanabata says:

    Congratulations on the money you raised for your charity! You did a fantastic job!

  28. Marieke says:

    Well done! I can’t for the life of me keep track of reading time. Wasn’t American Born Chinese just the perfect read-a-thon book! I loved it.

  29. Teresa says:

    Thanks so much to everyone for your support!

  30. rebeccareid says:

    Sounds like it was a great day for you! I think I need to plan ahead next time and get graphic novels. They would be perfect for late at night. And I need to do a charity next time.

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