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Sunday Salon: Cheerleader Sign-Ups, New Acquisitions, and #wordverify!

The Sunday Salon.comToday is an exciting day! I have three fabulous things to share with you. I’ll jump right in.

Read-A-Thon Cheerleader Sign-Ups

That’s right, today sign-ups begin for cheerleaders for the October 22nd Read-A-Thon! After cheering for several past Read-A-Thons, this year I’m co-chairing the cheerleading committee with the fabulous Trish. We’re so excited!

The main Read-A-Thon website has all the info you need to sign up, so if you’re already convinced, head over there and add your name to the list of awesome people willing to cheer their fellow readers on. If you need more convincing, here are some reasons I love being a Read-A-Thon cheerleader:

  1. October 2011 Read-A-Thon Cheerleader BadgeCheering gives you a break from reading! If you have ever tried to read for 24 hours straight, and you do not have superhuman powers of wakefulness, you know it gets to be a lot. What better way to reinvigorate yourself than by visiting some of your fellow readers with encouraging words?
  2. Cheering gives the readers you cheer for a boost of energy! We all love getting comments, tweets, etc, right? During the Read-A-Thon, providing that moral support falls mostly to the cheerleaders. In short, we provide a gigantic dose of enthusiasm to help keep participants going.
  3. Cheering turns the solitary activity of reading into a social event! You get a chance to visit some great, possibly new-to-you blogs and readers throughout the day.
  4. If you can’t participate for the whole event, cheering makes the most of the time you can! Whatever time you have for the Read-A-Thon, cheering is a great way to spend some of it. A few hours of cheering let you get involved in the community aspect of the Read-A-Thon.

Are you convinced?? I hope so! Go sign up! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask away.

New poster and booksNew Acquisitions

I haven’t posted about my new acquisitions lately, mostly because I’ve intentionally been acquiring fewer books. This week, though, I got some new bookish things from a few different sources, so I wanted to share.

On the bottom is The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen, which came to me via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. I’ve heard some interesting things about it and am looking forward to reading it soon. (If you’ve read this one, do you think it would make a good Read-A-Thon book?)

Next are two books I picked up at a library used book sale: a collection of three novels by E.M. Forster (Howards End, A Room with a View, and Where Angels Fear to Tread), three of whose books I’ve already enjoyed, and The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.

The top book in the stack is By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham, which I won from Wendy of Caribousmom during Book Blogger Appreciation Week and can’t wait to read. It’s been on my TBR list since it came out!

And finally, on top of it all (literally), is a gorgeous Little House on the Prairie print I won from Melanie at lit*chick! She has an Etsy store called the Paper Pear where she sells these literary prints, and they are lovely. This one is going over my desk, right next to my fiction shelves.

That’s it for me for this week. Have you acquired anything new and exciting?

#wordverify

This final piece of Sunday business has a bit of a story to it. During Book Blogger Appreciation Week, in the middle of a marathon commenting session, I tweeted wondering if anyone would care to join me in creating a new language based on CAPTCHA strings. Sheila from Book Journey replied that at one time she’d run a weekly meme called Word Verification Balderdash treating word verification strings like words in the board game Balderdash — in other words, picking out your favorite nonsense strings and making up definitions to go along with them! For example (from Sheila’s blog):

Revent: When one becomes so upset about something they have to just get it out so they vent about it. Then…. hours later, something triggers this anger again and causes one to revent.”

The meme was passed to Ryan at Wordsmithonia and eventually stopped. I was excited to hear about Sheila’s meme and sorry I’d missed out. I LOVE Balderdash! Sheila gave me her blessing to reincarnate her idea, which I’m hoping to do as a Twitter hashtag: #wordverify. (I nixed #wordverification because it takes up so many precious characters!)

Quite honestly, I have no idea how to start a Twitter hashtag. I’m hoping others will like this idea and it will just catch on! I realize for some blogs word verification is necessary, but I’m also pretty sure we all get tired of typing in nonsense strings over and over. So, hopefully #wordverify will make those pesky codes a little more fun. (Also, this totally counts toward my post BBAW goal of learning about Twitter. I’m trying to start a hashtag, for goodness sake!)

Whew! That’s all for me today. I’m off to watch some football! How is your Sunday shaping up?

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  • http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/ Sheila (Book Journey)

    Awesome. I am excited to see you kick off #wordverify!

    • Erin

      Thanks for sending it my way, Sheila. I hope it’s a hit!

  • http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/ Diane@BibliophileBytheSea

    That looks like a great stack of library books. enjoy Erin.

    • Erin

      I’m excited to read them, Diane, thanks!

  • http://www.fizzythoughts.com softdrink

    Hooray for the Cheerios!

    • Erin

      Hip hip, hooray! We’re excited. Though I’m not sure how you did it alone every year!

  • http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com Trish

    Yay for cheerleading! I agree that cheering helps make the event so much more about community than solely reading. Love it!

    I haven’t heard of the Cunningham book. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by him so I’ll have to check it out.

    So…are you a Steelers fan?!

    • Erin

      I was thinking about it, and I’ve actually never done a readathon without also cheering. I don’t think it’d be the same event for me if I were only reading!

      I’m hoping the Cunningham book is good. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but the good things people say have all been things I appreciate in books, so I think I’ll like it. I LOVED The Hours!

      Ha, no…I’m actually an ANTI Steelers fan. I grew up in Ohio, so my first choice of teams is the Bengals. Haha, awesome, I know. They’ve been bad for years, but they’re the team I cheered for when I first got into football and I can’t abandon them. The Steelers are my least favorite team, followed by Baltimore, followed by the Patriots. You know, in case you were wondering :-) (Yes, it is torture for me to live where I live during football season!)

  • http://www.eclectic-eccentric.com Trisha

    Cheerleading is definitely a nice break from reading during the readathon. Plus it gives you a really good excuse to check out everyone else’s blog!

    • Erin

      Exactly! I’ve never done a readathon without cheering, but I think I’d feel lonely and isolated. I’d rather break up all that reading with some socializing!

  • http://www.readingonarainyday.com/ Aths

    I like your #wordverify idea. I also do the same thing – make up definitions but only in my head and then I forget about it. So next time I run into one, I’ll remember to tweet it. :)

    • Erin

      I hope you will! I’ve been doing it over the past week or so, and I find it makes those pesky codes a little less obnoxious :-)

  • http://ardentreader.wordpress.com Christina

    Yay cheerleading! I’ve done it in the past when I haven’t be able to participate in the read-a-thon. Last year I tried to do both officially and found it didn’t work for me. But that may have been the format; I never knew who I was supposed to be cheering for. Are you and Trish going to sign blocks of people?

    The E.M. Forster collection sounds like a great find since you’ve already enjoyed several of his other books. I haven’t read anything by him. At least, not yet.

    • Erin

      Yes! The plan is to have teams of cheerleaders assigned to blocks of readers, all of which will be laid out on the Cheerleader HQ blog. That’s how it was my first time cheering, and it was much easier. I got a little confused last year as well.

      I know I’ve been terrible with Tale of Two Cities (I’m sorry! I’m going to read it!), but maybe we could pick up an EM Forster together. Let me know if you might be interested, down the road a ways.

      • http://ardentreader.wordpress.com Christina

        I would be interested! But I would have to wait until December or January when I’m home and have more time to read. Trying to balance four books right now is just a little too much. Hence the reason why I’ve stalled out on Tale of Two Cities…

        • Erin

          That sounds excellent. I don’t have any time right now either. Shall we shoot for Dec/Jan? Do you have a preference for which Forster you’d like to do?

          • http://ardentreader.wordpress.com Christina

            Yet, lets shoot for Dec/Jan. The two Forsters on my TBR list are A Passage to India, which I know you’ve read, and A Room with a View.

          • Erin

            Sounds good! We can go for A Room with a View. That’s probably the next one I want to read of his anyway.

  • http://www.reviewsbylola.wordpress.com Stephanie

    I love the print! So cool. I usually do unofficial cheering during the readathon, only because I like not being assigned a specific time or blog to visit. I just hop on the computer and visit other blogs whenever I feel like I need a break. I am so excited for the readathon!

    • Erin

      Isn’t it lovely? Unofficial cheerleading is great, too! Any and all enthusiasm is, of course, very welcome. I’m glad you’re excited, too!!

  • http://www.ragingbibliomania.net/ zibilee

    I love it that bloggers sign up to be cheerleaders for the readathon events. It really is such a wonderful and fun thing to do. I am hoping to have the time to be a reader this time around. It seems like every time these events happen, I have other things crowding my calendar. I also love the print that you got! It’s just beautiful and I can imagine that you are going to be really excited about displaying it. I hope that you have a wonderful week in reading!

    • Erin

      Me too! I’m glad you’re getting to read at least a bit this year. I’ve lucked out so far. All two, soon to be three, of the readathons I’ve done have fallen on free weekends. Well…the first one I did I had to stop a few hours early because my husband and I had to travel to an out of town wedding. But he was sweet, driving the whole way and letting me sleep :-) Isn’t that print lovely? I’m so excited to get it hung up! Little House was one of my favorite books as a kid.

  • http://wormhole.carnelianvalley.com Charlie (The Worm Hole)

    Giving meaning to the strange words, I love it! Sometimes they’re so peculiar you make mistakes in typing, I wonder how many there are. I’m considering readathon but wasn’t able to join in in the end last year, and it’s likely to be the same again this time.

    • Erin

      Me too! I’m hoping others will, too. I get especially confused trying to type the ones that look really similar to real words but aren’t. Who writes them, do you think? The ones Blogger uses all sound remarkably like potential words but never are!

      As for the readathon, if you’re around, you could always just jump in if you have a little time. Even a little bit is fun!

  • http://nisefunpages.blogspot.com Nise’

    Can I revent about embedded comments with word verification? No?, okay, moving on. You will make a great Cheer Captain. I am finally able to participate in a limited capacity this Fall. The last two RATs I had to miss because I was on vacay and this year I have vacationers at my house. So I will cheer early and later during the RAT!

    • Erin

      Haha, excellent use of the word! As long as you have vented in the past, reventing is just fine. I’m excited you will be able to participate in the readathon this year, and that you’ll be cheering with us!

  • http://www.caribousmom.com Wendy

    Fun post, Erin! I am looking forward to your cheers during the Readathon :) And so glad you are excited about the Cunningham book – I’ll be anxious to read your thoughts on it!

    • Erin

      And I’m looking forward to cheering! :-) I have to finish up some review commitments before I can dig into the Cunningham, but I adored The Hours and will definitely place it high up on my reading list.

  • http://www.quirkygirlsread.wordpress.com quirky girls read-jehara

    I have been trying to get on twitter more since BBAW. I liked your idea of starting a twitter support group. If you are still down for it, let me know. :)

    • Erin

      Me too! How’s it going for you? I’m definitely up for a Twitter support group. What’s the best approach, do you think? I thought maybe we could set up a Twitter list (I’ve got that part figured out!) of anyone interested, then everyone in the group could follow the list. We could ask each other questions, retweet one another’s tweets, say hi to one another…just sort of support one another so we don’t feel so overwhelmed? It would, of course, be public, so other people could jump in as they wanted, which might be fun. If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear those, too!

      • http://www.quirkygirlsread.wordpress.com quirky girls read-jehara

        That sounds like a great start!!!! I like it!!

        • Erin

          Great! I have a bunch going on right now but I should have time this weekend, maybe, to start setting something up. I’ll keep you posted :-)

  • http://litandlife.blogspot.com Lisa

    I was contemplating cheerleading this time anyway but if you and Trish are in charge then you can definitely count me in. Off to sign up now! Love the idea of #wordverify!

    • Erin

      Excellent, Lisa, we’re happy to have you cheering with us!! Glad you like #wordverify. I’ve already been having fun with it :-)

  • http://www.readinasinglesitting.com Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

    Wordverify sounds great. I’ll run it past my linguist friend Lauren (who runs the Superlinguo) Tumblr blog. :)

    • Erin

      Ooh, that’d be great, Stephanie! I’m hoping others will think it’s fun and join in :-)

  • http://www.readinasinglesitting.com Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting

    Oops, excuse the typos in my previous post :) Hope you knew what I meant!

  • http://www.historyofshe.wordpress.com She

    I loved The Book of Lost Things! I hope you do toooooooo!

    • Erin

      Oooh, glad to hear it. I fell in love with its cover while shelving at my old bookstore job several years ago and have been watching for my own copy ever since. (is that weird? I hope not!) I don’t think I’ve ever read a review of it, so I’m happy it’s good!

  • http://herebedragons.posterous.com Hannah

    #wordverify sounds awesome!

    Also, I LOVED The Revisionists. Loved loved loved it. I can’t wait to see what you think. I have never participated in a Read-a-thon and thus can’t for certain say that it would make a good read-a-thon book, but it is one that you want to read all in one sitting, so I imagine it would be a good one. Seriously that book is awesome.

    • Erin

      Yay! Generally books you don’t want to put down are excellent for readathons, I’ve found, so maybe I’ll save it. I’m excited! And if you’re off on 10/22, you should totally do at least a little readathon-ing :-)

  • http://sophisticateddorkiness.com Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    You and Trish are going to be awesome. And cheering during the Read-a-Thon is a ton of fun. It’s one of my favorite parts. I’ll be signing up as soon as I know that I can participate that weekend :)

    • Erin

      Aww, thanks Kim :-) It’s one of my favorite parts, too! I guess we’ll let you hold off on signing up until you’re sure you can participate… 😉

  • http://www.lifewithbooks.com Jenners

    I better start working on Mr. Jennrs to let me do the readathon. Though with the puppy now, I doubt I will succeed.

    And look at your starting your own hashtag!

    The Book of Lost Things was a really weird read. Good but weird. I can’t quite figure out what the target audience is.

    • Erin

      He must be able to give you at least a few hours out of 24? Send him out for ice cream with BB and the puppy :-)

      Heh, yeah…hopefully it will stick around. We’ll see…

      I can handle weird as long as it’s good as well! I think the same author wrote The Gates, which was also good but weird, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At least this way I own a copy (for just a buck) and can finally stop pining for the cover.

  • http://wordsmithonia.blogspot.com Ryan

    I’m excited about the #wordverify I had a lot of fun doing this and I’ve missed it. I was sad to let it go, but I really never had the time to do run it every week.

    • Erin

      It seems like such a fun idea! I was excited when Sheila told me about it. I wish I’d been around for the meme, but I can certainly understand not having time to run a big weekly event like that. Hopefully we can still have fun with it in this smaller, more spontaneous format.

  • http://bkclubcare.wordpress.com Care

    hi, May I ask for you Twitter handle? so I can find you. Mine is @bkclubcare. And have you already kicked off #wordverify? I’ll just go look for it…

    • Erin

      I’m glad you found me! I kicked off #wordverify when I published this post, but I haven’t done much with it since because I haven’t had time to read many blogs. I hope others will join in!

  • http://www.thepickygirl.com jenn aka the picky girl

    The Book of Lost Things is so good! Creepy but good. And I just finished The Revisionists a couple of weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but then it was awesome.

    • Erin

      I’m excited to finally own a copy of The Book of Lost Things! The cover has always intrigued me, though I don’t really know what the book is about, so I’m glad to hear it’s good. And I’m excited for The Revisionists! I’ve heard only good things. I’ll give it more than a few chapters before I start judging.