Hour zero: Pre-Readathon Update
The Readathon is important to me, for all the reasons I tried to explain in yesterday’s tribute to Dewey at the official Readathon blog (while I’m at it, let me also point you towards this post I wrote along with Debi, Chris and Renay for BBAW 2009). It feels like a lifetime ago, but I remember the first readathon so vividly. It happened while I was in Nottingham for my undergraduate year abroad, and although I didn’t sign up as a reader, I ended up spending most of the weekend cheerleading and having fun with people who would become very good friends of mine. This is actually the first time I get to participate in the Readathon in a very long time, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.
Let’s move on to the who, when, where, and what:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I’m joining you from the UK, which means the Readathon starts at 1pm for me. I know a lot of people favour an early start, but I’m actually glad I got a whole morning to prepare my snacks, put something together for lunch, and write my introductory post. To get a bit more specific about the where, here’s my official Readathon bean bags and blankets nest (it seems fitting that my BFF and fellow Readathon veteran Debi knitted that throw for me):
I was looking forward to reading in the garden for a bit, but the weather turned grey in the past few days, so it looks like this Readathon will be strictly an indoors affair.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
First of all, let me show you my stacks:
As for what I’m looking forward to the most, argh, hard — so many books I’m really excited to read. I’ll probably be starting with Gene Luen Yang’s Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift part 1 — a quick read with characters I already know and love. I’m also really looking forward to the Hilda books by Luke Pearson. Moving on to the next stack, I really want to read my long overdue first Courtney Summers, Cracked up to Be, and also some Sara Zarr, because Jenny reminded me of how much I love her. Lastly, I’m dying to finally read Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot. As for the children’s stack, Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog will probably be the first one I reach for (I blame Debi, who posted the opening line the other day).
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Snacks! I said the other day I get almost as excited about Readathon snacks as I do about the books, and I stand by it. Here’s what I have:
There’s some leftover Easter chocolate to keep me going; and last but not least, I have plenty of coffee.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m Ana, I’m ancient in blogging years (seven and a bit), I’m Portuguese but live in the UK, and I work for a large public library system. I love reading (obviously) and tend to favour fantasy, kid lit, the Victorians, non-fiction (especially science, social history and gender studies type stuff) and forgotten classics. Thank you so much to everyone who stops by with encouraging comments today — the Readathon wouldn’t be the same without all you awesome cheerleaders, official and unofficial.
Hour Five UpdateThings are going well so far. I started with The Rift by Gene Luen Yang; as I predicted above, revisiting a world and a group of characters I love was the perfect way to start the Readathon. Then I moved on to the adorable Hilda comics by Luke Pearson, and during hour three I read Sharon Creech’s novels in verse Love That Dog and Hate That Cat (I loved them and they made me cry a lot. Probably a book about someone losing a beloved yellow dog wasn’t the best choice for me right now). Having boosted my sense of achievement with short stuff, I moved on to a full-length novel, and am now about two thirds of the way into Cracked Up to Be.
Most adorable panel ever?
Read so far and currently reading.
To any fellow Readathon participants reading this, how are you doing?
Hour Nine UpdateSince my last update I read the rest of Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers and The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan, plus I started Bake Sale by Sara Varon, another adorable comic. I also stopped for dinner and took half an hour or so to visit other readers’ blogs. I’m starting to get tired and I’m currently considering coffee, though part of me worries it would make me too awake. I’ll be staying up to make sure my Hour 13 Mini-Challenge posts, but after that the plan is to get some sleep and then get up early on Sunday for a few more hours of reading before the finish line. We’ll see how it goes. How’s everyone else holding up?
Delicious gnocchi for dinner.
Hour Eleven: The & So To Bed UpdateI finished Bake Sale and started The Westing Game, but even after a cappuccino I’m finding it hard to stay awake. I’ll try to read a few more chapters before calling it a night, but I figure it’s better to get some sleep now and wake up nice and early tomorrow so I’m around for the final stretch of the Readathon. If I don’t update or tweet again, I’ll see you all in a couple of hours! I’m definitely not quitting and hope to get a good amount of reading done tomorrow morning.
Hour Eighteen: I’m back!Good morning! I didn’t get much further into The Westing Game last night, but I’m up now and ready for another six hours of reading. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in my Hour Thirteen mini-challenge while I was asleep — I had a ton of fun going through your entries just now.
Morning photo update:
Roses in my garden.
Early morning sky — it looks like it’s going to be a sunny day, but probably still too chilly to read outside.
Yes, I have a lot of cat mugs.
Breakfast - porridge with strawberries :D
Hour Twenty-Three: Home Stretch!I expect this will be my last update until the End of the Event Meme. Since I last checked in I finished The Westing Game, read Giants Beware! (another delightful comic), and also read one more novel in verse, Out of the Dust (it was really good and it made me want to finally get around to The Grapes of Wrath). Now I’m starting my final Readathon book, Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow. I don’t expect to finish it, but it will be good to get started on a book I’ve been really looking forward to for the last couple of hours of the Readathon.
I may pause for a snack soon — breakfast feels like ages ago — but other than that, I’ll be reading until the finish line.
Post-Readathon Update: End of the Event MemeAnd we’re done! Is it just me or did the Readathon just fly by? Here are my answers to some of the End of the Event questions:
Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hours 21-22 were hard. I got up at 5:45 in the morning, and even though I got a reasonable amount of sleep at night, between 8 and 9 in the morning I was nodding off again. Black tea helped, though, and other than that I was fine — I think my strategy of going to sleep at a reasonable hour and then getting up early on Sunday for some more reading works really well for me.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
There were a lot of comics and novels in verse in my stack, and those proved excellent Readathon choices. I flew through Love That Dog and Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech and Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Giants Beware! (comic) was also an excellent choice; and if I hadn’t read them before, Monster on the Hill or Jane, The Fox and Me would have been perfect.
How many books did you read? What were the names of the books you read?
Here’s what I read:
- About 100 pages of Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
- Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
- Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
- Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
- Bake Sale by Sara Varon
- The Rift part one by Gene Luen Yang
- Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
- Hilda and the Troll, Hilda and the Midnight Giant and Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson
That looks far more impressive than it is because of the aforementioned comics and novels in verse. Some of those were extremely quick reads, but that’s what works for me during the Readathon.
Which book did you enjoy most? Which did you enjoy least? I’m totally in love with what I’ve read of Sorrow’s Knot so far, I loved the two Sharon Creech novels, and I know that Cracked Up to Be will stay with me for a very long time. As for my least favourite, I guess it’s Bake Sale. It was really sweet, but not quite as memorable as the other books I read.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I’ll be here every time, as long as the Readathon doesn’t fall on a weekend when I work (that had been the case for the past few editions). And I’ll be a reader again, because setting aside some solid hours for reading and getting all these books off my TBR pile in one day was really satisfying. Also, even though I didn’t official sign up as a cheerleader, using some of my breaks to visit other readers’ blogs or to cheer them on on Twitter made the Readathon much more fun, so I’ll be sure to do that again too.
Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to cheer me on, chatted with me on Twitter, and generally made the Readathon such a fun shared experience. I hope to see you again next time!