Readathon: And then we came to the end…*

  

Minutes read since last update
254 out of 570

Pages read since last update
199 of Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute

Books completed
Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute

Distractions
Sleepiness

OVERALL MINUTES READ
816 out of 1,390

OVERALL PAGES READ
631

OVERALL BOOKS COMPLETED
2.33

Donation to The Trevor Project based on my page count
631 x 0.05 = 31.55

Donation to The Trevor Project based on Ash’s page count at English Major’s Junk Food
She hasn’t done her final post yet but it looks like her page count will be similar to mine…

Thoughts
I technically have 39 minutes to go but having just finished a book and being quite sleepy, I think I am done reading until I have a bit of a nap.

I think the readathon was very good at pushing aside TV (didn’t watch any) and the Internet (spent very little time online) in favor of reading. But for the likes of me with my need for sleep and other unavoidable distractions it really should be a 12-hour readathon. In the end I did just over 13.5 hours of reading in a 24-hour period. Then again 3.5 of those 13.5 hours was after a night’s sleep, so my reading time over a 12-hour period wouldn’t be 12 hours. Still, it would help me focus on reading.

Finally, as I have mentioned before I think I felt like I would have been more interested in variety, bouncing from book to book. But in the end my need to complete things outweighed my interest in variety. So I only really read from three books, finsihing two and getting a third of the way through the third.

Would definitely do it again, if only so I won’t feel left out.

Next Steps
Catch up with all my favorite blogs and comments made on My Porch over the past 24-hours. And then more reading this afternoon. Yay.

(*Hat tip to Joshua Ferris’ brilliant first novel.)
 

Readathon: Last post until tomorrow morning

  
Minutes read since last update
95 out of 120

Pages read since last update
2 pages in The Carlyles at Home by Thea Holme
51 pages in Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute

Distractions
None

Thoughts
When I picked up the Carlyle book again I was totally enjoying it as I did early today. The only problem was that it included way too much about home improvements which kept me thinking about all of the stuff that needs to be done around here. I found my mind drifting way too much.

Odd little coincidence, the Carlyles live on Cheyne Walk and in the first 20 or so pages of Requiem for a Wren they mention a house on Cheyne Walk. Crazy, no?

Next Steps
More Requiem for a Wren until sleep hits me. I plan to get up early. We will see if I actually do.

Readathon: Finished a book

   
Minutes read since last update
210 out of 300

Pages read since last update
202 of The Position by Meg Wolitzer

Books finished
The Position by Meg Wolitzer

Distractions

  • Dinner.
  • Thinking about doing push-ups.
  • Thinking about new windows.

Thoughts
I enjoyed the Wolitzer. I think I thought there would be more variety during my readathon. But I guess I did finish a 307-page book so I shouldn’t expect too much variety. But still have time to mix it up a bit tonight.

Next Steps

Not entirely sure. I probably still have a good three hours before I go to bed which, based on my peformance so far, means that I probably only have about 100 pages left for tonight. I guess I am a slower reader than I thought I was.
     

Readathon: In the swing of it

  
Minutes read since last update
150 out of 250

Pages read since last update
105 of The Postion by Meg Wolitzer

Distractions

  • Squirrels.
  • Thinking about the flue liners that need to be repaired.
  • A nap.

Thoughts
Well the Wolitzer is definitely moving a long at a faster pace. The weather is really nice so I enjoyed reading out on the porch. But then I started to get sleepy and transferred to the living room couch. Of course it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what happened next. I took a nap. Although it took a chunk out of my reading time, I don’t regret it for a second. I love to nap in the afternoon–what could be more luxurious–and I feel quite refreshed and ready for lots more reading.

Next Steps
I may keep reading the Wolitzer until I finish, but I am just as likely to pick up something else. John has a work reception tonight (I know, on the weekend?! Damn you IMF.) so I will have plenty of uninterrupted time to myself.
  

Readathon: A slow start

  
Minutes read
107 out of 150

Pages read

57 of The Carlyles at Home by Thea Holme
15 of Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood

Distractions

  • John.
  • Thinking about my fingernails.
  • Thinking about how to rearrange the living room.

Thoughts
Last night before I went to bed there were about six titles that I could have devoured all at once. I started reading a line or two from each and couldn’t wait to get started. This morning I couldn’t figure out which one to start. First up was the Atwood. Interesting but just didn’t feel right. Only read 15 pages. Then I got distracted by John….38 minutes later I decided to pick up the Carlyle book. Distracted at first but managed to get into the swing of it and read 57 pages.

Next Steps

  • Lunch
  • I am going to hit something much lighter for a while. I have enjoyed the reading so far, but need something to really whisk me away.

   

Readathon: Where will I perch?

  
Here are the reading spots I will choose from for Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon.

The Library.
This will be good in the early stages as it gets the morning sunshine
 

The Living Room.
Also, good in the morning and good for those moments when I want to actually doze off a bit.

 

The Bedroom.
Probably will be most used during the late evening on Saturday and early morning on Sunday.

The Office.
This is less of a reading space and more of a updating the blog space.
My Porch.
The weather is supposed to be gorgeous and these chairs are pretty comfy.

Readathon: My 24-Hour Readathon Book Pile

      

The big challenge for me is trying to figure out what I should read during Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. The organizers suggest variety, levity, and in some cases brevity when choosing books. I think that is basically good advice. My problem is that I don’t want to read anything that I am really looking forward to (like a few Dorothy Whipples) because I worry that reading them in a compressed period of time may make me rush too much through them. I don’t want to take a savor-worthy read and cram into a few hours.

I needed to find books that will be exicting and engaging but not so precious to me that I will feel like I am giving them short shrift. And to avoid that feeling of having to read a particular book (turning the read-a-thon into a chore) the key is to have many options. I have a pretty long list from which I will choose.

Kingsley Amis – Lucky Jim
I have heard good things about this academic novel. And its on the short side.

Margaret Atwood – Bodily Harm
I read this one years ago and I have been meaning to go back and re-read all of Atwood’s fiction.

Frank Baker – Miss Hargreaves
I know that Simon T will think that this is one that I should savor, but it has been sitting on my TBR for as long as I have been reading his blog and it seems to be one that will draw me in pretty quickly. I may need that. And if it turns out to be savor-worthy I can always re-read.

Heinrich Boll – End of a Mission
Anything by Boll would make for good contrast with most of my other selections. I will pick this one up when I feel the need for something a little more masculine.

Charles Burkhart – The Pleasure of Miss Pym
The only non-fiction on my list, this is a thin volume about the work of one of my favorite authors.

Jasper Fforde – Thursday Next: First Among Sequels
I enjoyed The Eyre Affair, but not enough to become a bona fide Fforde groupy.

MFK Fisher – The Boss Dog
A very short book of vignettes that take place in the south of France. I have tried starting this one before and haven’t gotten past the first page. Just wasn’t in the mood. I figure this way I can power through until I start to like it (I hope).

Thea Holme – The Carlyles at Home
Molly Hughes – A London Child of the 1870s
Two of my shorter Persephones. (How convenient that they fall next to each other in this alpabetical list.)

Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House
A scarey thriller by a very good writer. Perfect for October.

Dezso Kosztolanyi – Skylark
Don’t know too much about this short Hungarian novel except that it is a NYRB edition. And I have had wonderful luck with those.

Bernhard Schlink – Homecoming
If it is half as compelling as The Reader it should easily hold my attention.

Nevil Shute – Requiem for a Wren
I love Shute, and you might think I would  consider his work to be savor-worthy. But the bottom line is, whenever I read his novels I can never put them down. He writes gripping, fascinating, page turners. Can’t wait.

Matthew Stadler – Allan Stein
Don’t know anything about his one, but I needed a little gay on the list.

Meg Wolitzer – The Position
I loved Wolitzer’s The Wife and liked Surrender, Dorothy. In this novel four children in the 1970s have to cope with the surprising and run away popularlity of a sex manual written by their parents.

Oscar Wilde – The Happy Prince and Other Stories
Wilde tells a great fairy story. (No pun intended.)

Readathon: Christopher Columbus to the rescue.

Columbus Before the Queen
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Brooklyn Museum

This coming Saturday I am going to participate in my first 24-hour read-a-thon. I have observed them before and always felt a little left out . So this time around I was happy to see that it worked out with my schedule. In fact, it works out perfectly because Monday is Columbus Day and I don’t have to go to work. So even devoting one whole day to the read-a-thon I will still have two more days of weekend.

This particular read-a-thon is dedicated to the memory of Dewey, a book blogger beloved by many who passed away late in 2008. I first came across Dewey’s blog very soon after she passed away. I was just beginning to discover the world of book blogs and was saddened to come across her blog only to find out that she was no longer with us.

I would by lying if I didn’t admit that I have qualms about participating in the read-a-thon. I am notoriously bad at challenges. I tend to love the idea of them and the build-up but when it comes to the actual challenge I tend to fail spectacularly. I am easily annoyed by expectations even when they are my own.

In order to feel like I have had a successful read-a-thon I have implemented the following ground rules for myself:

1. I am going to read from 10:00 AM Saturday to 10:00 AM Sunday. I plan, however, to get a regular night’s sleep. I absolutely hate the “I stayed up all night” feeling and don’t want to ruin my Sunday. So the plan is to go to bed midnight-ish on Saturday and then get up 6-ish on Sunday to get in a final four hours of reading.

2. Even though part of the fun of the read-a-thon is seeing what other bloggers are up to, I am going to refrain from browsing all of your blogs until after the read-a-thon is over. I know once I start checking up on my blogroll I will get way too distracted and then won’t get any reading done.

3. I tend to read in short spurts. Even when I am enjoying a book I tend to need breaks pretty fequently. So I am going to institute a 45 minutes on, 15 minutes off reading schedule. Even that is subject to change. I love spending time with John so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if he proves to be a distraction.

4. I don’t think I am going to build in any book completion expectations. I think that would make it seem too much like work.

Coming Soon: The pile of books I am going to choose from.