The Readathon Approacheth

deweys-readathonbuttonAs I write this on Friday night, the fall edition of Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon is just a few hours (or “one sleep”) away. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to participate in all but a few Read-a-Thons since my first in Fall 2009, just two years after Dewey began the event. Today, a team of bloggers have carried on the event in her memory, and it’s been exciting to see it evolve and grow.

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to join in this time because I had several things going on, and I find I don’t enjoy participating much when I’m squeezing reading in between multiple other commitments. But most of my plans got shifted, and I’m left with almost a full day. Hooray!

Whenever I can, I like to take a day off before the Read-a-Thon to clean, prepare or purchase some snacks, gather my books, and generally take care of responsibilities and distractions. For some reason my Friday cleaning turned into a thorough going over of the house, including picking stuff up and wiping underneath! So my house feels like the orderly oasis I want for a day of reading.

2014-10-17 21.31.46Lots of folks build tall stacks of books to read on Read-a-Thon day, but many of you know that I like to use the Read-a-Thon to tackle a long, but absorbing book–what I call the “one-book Read-a-Thon stack.” I was stewing all week over whether to read The Quick by Lauren Owen or The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The Tartt has come more highly recommended (The Quick has the potential to be terrible), but the little type in my mass market paperback of The Secret History was giving me pause. Well, it turns out that The Quick was due at the library today, and I couldn’t renew it, so I took that as a sign. I also have Claire Tomalin’s Thomas Hardy bio on hand if I want some larger type for a while, and I’ve not gotten around to the latest issues of Ms Marvel and Fables. Plus, of course, I have about a million books in the house. So I’m not lacking in choices if I finish the Tartt—or if it just doesn’t pan out.

As usual, I plan to read for charity, giving 10 cents per page read to a literacy project at Donors Choose. The option to do this is something that makes the Read-a-Thon really special for me.

Aside from a break for a yoga class, I expect to spend all day reading, with cooking and eating and internetting and moving around breaks as needed. I’ve got the supplies on hand for a Crock Pot Apple Crumble, so I can enjoy the scent of that cooking as I read. And I’m expecting a Blue Apron box tomorrow with the materials to make calzones, which seems like an ideal Read-a-Thon dinner.

I may pop in and add some updates on this post during the day, but in the past I’ve found that posts are too time-consuming and feel less like fun and more like work. So most of my updates are likely to be on Twitter and/or Instagram. I don’t ever stay up all night—that leads nowhere good, but I’ll stay up until I’m sleepy and maybe read a little more when I wake up.

I’m looking forward to a fun day of geeky bookishness. How about you? Are you Read-a-Thonning? Or doing something equally fun? What would you read if you had a whole day for reading?

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Crock Pot Apple Pumpkin Pudding
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’ve been blogging for more than 6 years, which I guess makes me an old-timer. I’m a magazine editor in my day job, I volunteer at a couple of DC theatres so I get to see lots of plays for free, I’m active in my church, and I recently took up yoga.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? No big changes for me. I’ve worked out a pretty good system for myself. I going to try to eat healthier snacks than usual–I tend to load up on junk and order pizza, which is great, but I end up feeling more tired than if I ate better food.

Post Read-a-Thon Update

The Read-a-Thon came to its official end just over half an hour ago. I read most of the day yesterday, with a long break to go to yoga class and shorter breaks for online chat, cooking dinner, and such. And I went to bed just a little later than my usual hour. It was a good day.

2014-10-18 19.33.31I read a couple of chapters of Claire Tomalin’s Thomas Hardy biography and all of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I should have a review for The Secret History up later today, but I’ll say now that it was a good choice for the Read-a-Thon. There was plenty of suspense to keep me interested, and it wasn’t particularly challenging. (It was not, however, not a ridiculously amazing book. Just a solid crime thriller, which is no small thing.) My page count was 536 pages, which means I’ll be giving $53.60 to a classroom library project on Donors Choose.

All in all, it was a good day.

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23 Responses to The Readathon Approacheth

  1. Lisa says:

    It sounds like everything is set for a great day of reading! The crock pot crumble sounds delicious. I enjoy cheering from the sidelines but oddly have no desire to join in.

    • Teresa says:

      I usually make pumpkin muffins for the Readathon, but then I saw that recipe and realized it used the same ingredients plus apples, so I have to try it.

  2. realthog says:

    Golly, this sounds a lot of fun — I wish I’d heard about it earlier.

    The Tartt novel’s a real goody: I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

  3. Kristen M. says:

    I don’t know how I was not following you on Instagram but now I am! I’ll be sleeping in and then reading, reading, reading. Have a great day!

    • Teresa says:

      I haven’t had the Instagram account for long or shared the link much, so that’s why. I’m only slowly finding people I know there. Hope you enjoy your day!

  4. amymckie says:

    The pudding you’re making sounds delicious! And I hope The Secret History ends up being really great.

  5. Jenny says:

    I think I must be the only person I know who disliked The Secret History. I am really curious to know how you get on with it!

  6. readerbuzz says:

    Now that’s an interesting choice…one big book…I like it!

    Hope all is going well with you.

    If you need a little singing boost as you read along: Here’s Singing My Way Through the Readathon!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hope your Readathon is going well!

  8. Amanda says:

    Hi! I’m a long-time reader of the blog, but not much of a commenter (really, ever). I felt the same way about “The Secret History.” If you haven’t read The Goldfinch, I highly recommend the audio version. It’s another fun read. Neither blew my mind, but they’re a fun way to spend time reading.

    Thanks for the blog! And maybe I’ll comment again in another two years!

  9. POOH, see, we built up The Secret History too much so you didn’t have space to be wowed by it. I take responsibility for my part in that. :p Also, I love that book like crazy and maybe need to reread it again sometime soon. It is better every time I reread it.

    • Teresa says:

      The build-up was maybe a little bit of my problem with The Secret History. I was expecting something more original, I think? But it was entertaining! I’m not sorry I read it. (And I think you were the one to give me my copy, so thanks!)

  10. Stefanie says:

    A very good day! I participated too and made a donation to FirstBook. Didn’t read as many pages as you managed but my husband, who had to work, and I combined pages and made a decent donation out of it. Secret History made a awesome airplane book for me a number of years ago.

    • Teresa says:

      I can see how it would be a good airplane book. In fact, now that I think about it, good airplane books and good Read-a-Thon books have a lot in common.

  11. I never seem able to get my self together to be able to do the readathon. I thought I was going to do it this year but then ended up having to take home work that weekend. I can totally understand the need for a clean house. The only time I ever seem to want to clean is when I am trying to read.

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