Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

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Yes, it is true. I’ve gone deep into the book blogging world. I’m participating in challenges that measures how many books I want to read this year. I participating in the Book Riot Read Harder challenge and various other challenges on Twitter. But this weekend I’m participating in a challenge that has been on my radar for about six months. I discovered it last fall and I’ve been looking forward to it since. It’s the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I, along with book bloggers, lovers, and readers, across the web, will spend 24 hours on Saturday, April 23, reading. And I’m looking forward to it!

I have a pile of books ready and I’m putting together ideas for my snacks. Snacks, from what I can tell from reading the blog, Twitter, and Facebook, are an extremely important part of the a-thon. Any binging session whether its a TV show or a pile of books demands that the the one binging has sustenance. And so there has been a lot of discussion about goodies that will help you get through all 24 hours. While treats are good, many a-thoners argue that protein will help the reader stay awake.

In addition to snack suggestions, there is discussions about what to read to help keep you going during the event. Experts suggest that having a variety of books in the TBR pile is essential. Fiction, nonfiction, comic books and graphic novels, YA, novels, short stories are all suggested. But many who have participated in previous a-thons suggest saving easier reads, YA, and short stories for the early morning hours when it will be harder to stay awake.

Another fun part of this challenge is the social aspect. Participants are encouraged to blog, tweet, and FB during the challenge. We are encouraged to cheer each other on. It’s a great way, I think, to get to know other bloggers and book nerds out there in the world. In addition to the blogging and cheering are prizes. Yes, there are prizes! Bookish swag for the devoted bookish nerds. I would participate even without the swag, but that it’s a part of it makes it even more fun.

So, in anticipation of Saturday I’ve been planning. What to read, what to eat, and what goals to set for myself. Because that is a part of this too. Will I aim to stay up all night or read certain number of pages? Will I blog, tweet, etc. every hour or just when the spirit moves me? Since this is my first time my main goal is to try and stay up the entire 24 hours reading. I’ll take breaks, of course, but reading for 24 hours is my goal. Next time I might volunteer to cheer, but for this first one I’m just reading and blogging/tweeting.

Are any of my bookish friends interested in participating along with me this weekend? Suggestions for snacks to keep up my strength after midnight?

Housekeeping

This is what one of my favorite professors used to say at the beginning of class when she need to take care of a bunch of small issues that had nothing to do with the class lessons that day. Stuff like handing back papers, reminding of work due in coming weeks, etc. So today, I’m not writing something long (like last week!), I’m just round up a few thoughts for the end of this week.

I broke my half-assed vow not to buy any new-to-me books. I fell off the #readmyowndamnbooks wagon. I bought two new hardcover books on Amazon and had them shipped to me by two day shipping. And I blame the folks over at Book Riot for this lapse (Because I have no control over this, right?) I watched a video about illuminated novels and immediately purchased two that are mentioned. I’ll write something more about illuminated novels and why I like them next week.

I also got my last Quarterly box from Book Riot this week. I subscribed to it for a year and it was a lot of fun. Every four months Book Riot through Quarterly sends a box of books and items that bookish folk like myself will love. For example, in one box in addition to the books I got a cool notebook that looks like an old library card, and a pencil bag that matches. Fun stuff like that. Each box had a theme. This week’s box is travel. So both books are nonfiction about travel and some bags that are for traveling. Both are TSA approved. This last box was okay, but it seemed to be less curated, I guess. So now I’m looking for a new book box.

I finished a book this week. It wasn’t for any of my book challenges, but something I’ve had on my to read list since I first heard about it around Christmas. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. It’s a great book and I really enjoyed it. 4 1/2 stars enjoyed. And it’s something that was published in the last two months! And this is her first novel! And she is in her fifties! There is hope for me after all.  I’ll get my thoughts on it up on the blog next week.

Do you have any suggestions for book box subscriptions? Or illuminated novels? If so please leave a comment.

So many reading challenges, So little time

I have a lot of books in my TBR (aka to be read) pile. In fact, it is as tall as it is deep. And the books are layered in the order I acquired them. It’s almost like an archeological dig; the oldest books are on the bottom and the newest on the top. And because of this structure I seldom go back and read books that have owned for years. I have to remind myself that those books do exist because I do want to read them! In fact there is one book that I keep re-buying. At least once a year I re-buy this book even though I have a copy. But I forget time and again that I own that book because it is at the bottom of my TBR stack.

What to do? Well, I came up with a solution one day after reading a book blog that I follow in Facebook. A reading challenge! So many books that I own and never have gotten around to reading fit the tasks for that particular reading challenge. So, keeping in mind all the books I have, I attempted to complete the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge.

What is a reading challenge you ask? Well, let me explain. Reading challenges have been around for a while. In fact, while in elementary or middle school you may have participated in the Pizza Hut Book It! Challenge. Remember? You read a certain number of books and earn a certificate for a free Personal Pan Pizza? Well, in the last few years’ book nerds who missed having fun challenges have begun setting up reading challenges on book blogging sites and reading websites. And the challenges range from number of books (Goodreads) to specific genres (reading only women writers or graphic novels, for instance). One of the reasons I follow the Book Riot Challenge is it encourages the reader to read a variety of different genres that may be outside of their comfort zone. And reading a lot of different genres is something I like to do. I don’t limit myself to reading one genre and I buy books in a variety genres. So their challenge would fit my goal of reading books that I already own.

Sadly, I didn’t complete the challenge in 2015. I was five books shy of reading the 24 books. Plus, I did end up buying two books (a graphic novel and a comic book) and borrowing a significant number from the library. But I still count it as a success since it did introduce me to graphic novels. I had not read any even though I know they are a really popular form right now. And it also introduced me to the world of reading challenges out there on the internet. There are challenges to meet everyone’s fancy. So this year I decided to again do the Read Harder 2016 Challenge and the Goodreads challenge. And quite by accident I found myself attempting some challenges I found on Twitter: #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, #ReadWomenWednesday, #FridayReads, and #WeekendReads. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks dovetails nicely with my commitment to the Read Harder Challenge. I have decided to again read books from my TBR pile, and if I don’t own something that will fit the task, to borrow from the library. I will not buy any new books for the challenge. Also, I want to read one book per task even though I could use a book for more than one challenge according to the Read Harder guidelines.   #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks is reading my own damn books and not buying any new-to-me books until July. Which has also been really hard since I love bookstores. But I’ve only bought one new-to-me book since January. So yay me!  #FridayReads and #WeekendReads are exclusively on Twitter and I just take a picture of whatever book I’m reading on Friday and post it with the hashtag on Twitter.

As of this date I’ve completed six tasks and read six books for the Read Harder Challenge. And for the Goodreads Challenge I’ve read 23 of the 52 books I’ve set for myself (last year I read over my goal of 52 books and read 77! That was the first time I’ve ever met and exceeded nothing happened to move the plot along. And the main character seemed stuck as well. But in the end she did move and grow as did the plot. But it might not have needed 900 pages to do it (maybe my goal for that challenge). My favorite read so far for the Read Harder Challenge is Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. My least favorite is The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber. And I thought I would really love this one! But there is a huge section where cut out 200 or so pages to tighten it up a bit?

Like many book nerds on the internet I love the challenges. But I think for me the challenges really do help me find and read books that I already own. And have owned for years, in some cases. I like that it gives me an opportunity to look at my bookshelves to find a book that will work for a task. And it makes me appreciate how wide ranging my reading tastes are and have been for a while now. I’m not locked into reading only one genre as I was only a few years ago. But at the same time the challenges help my focus my reading and not be overwhelmed by the large TBR stack.  

Books

I love to read. Because I love to read I buy books. Lots and lots of books that I never seem to get around to reading. Which is a shame since I really want to read them.

And every year I try to make a dent in my HUGE to be read (TBR) pile. One of the ways I’ve done this is by participating in a book challenge. Book challenges seem to be a fairly recent phenomena which encourages readers to read a books that are of a certain genre or an author. By using the challenge I can go back to the TBR pile and find different books that I may have forgotten I owned and read it to meet the task.

So as a part of this blog I will be blogging my progress for this years reading challenge.