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Dewey’s Readathon Updates: October 2014

ReadathonWell I said I wasn’t planning to be up for the start of the Readathon, but here I am! (Though I have to say, I miss my leisurely east coast start time…)

Update #1: 5am PST

Kickoff Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Bay Area, California. *yawn*

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Oh goodness. They all look so good. Probably The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu, which will keep me company through cleaning, cooking, a walk, and possibly a few other audiobook activities throughout the day. (I’m already three discs in and hooked!)

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I will be making myself a big bowl of homemade popcorn at some point, I have no doubt. YUM.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Ack, open-ended question! Um, I like to read…a lot, heh. Fiction of most stripes is my favorite, and I love audiobooks. I’m a knitter and a quilter once the weather gets cold. I live outside of San Francisco with my husband and my cat (who is wondering why I’m up so early!), though I grew up in Ohio.

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?

Well, for starters, I’m up on time! I liked what I did last time — didn’t push myself too hard, took a long walk with an audiobook in the middle of the day, got lots of good reading done. I wish I’d been a little more social, though, so maybe this time I’ll try to be around more.

Updates to follow, once I’ve…you know…had a chance to read something.

And with that, The Goldfinch and I are off to make a hearty Readathon morning breakfast. Happy reading!

Update #2: 6:15am PST

Breakfast is done (buckwheat pancakes with strawberries, a cup of tea, and The Goldfinch on audio), and now I’m settling in to work on Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander.

Mini-challenges:

  • Usually I wait a bit and do a couple of mini-challenges at once (or else I get no reading done), but this time I couldn’t resist jumping in. I did the Coffee or Tea? challenge over at Fig and Thistle! I’m #TeamCSLewis all the way on this one. Here I am with my first big mug of rooibos of the day:

Erin with a big mug of tea

Update #3: 9:25am PST

I’ve been reading pretty solidly, and now it’s time to clean the house (BOO). Thank goodness for audiobooks!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: I just finished Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, which I’d started before today’s event. I think I’ll be moving on to Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar next.
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This one will last me through the Readathon and beyond (26 discs!), but it’s excellent.
  • Running total of pages read: 122
  • Running total of time spent reading: 2 hours, 37 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 55 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • First up: Shelfie! Here’s the “novels to keep” section of my shelves:

Three shelves of a bookcase

  • My Quotable Quotes selection from my galley of Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander:

“People tend to get so stuck in the unhappiness of their lives because at least it’s familiar, and they find comfort in the discomfort because at least it’s predictable and what they know. Breaking that cycle requires you to face your fears, to explore the unknown and to let yourself be afraid and vulnerable.”

  • Here’s Book Staging for Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, which is about the sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell:

"Vanessa and Her Sister" galley on top of a notebook and "A Writer's Diary"

Update #4: 1:15pm PST

Cleaning is done, lunch has been eaten, and I made good headway on The Goldfinch, which is enthralling. I’ll be switching gears for the next chunk, going back to reading.

Stats:

  • Currently reading: I’m about to start Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar.
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 122
  • Running total of time spent reading: 2 hours, 37 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • For the Show It Off mini-challenge, I’ve got my signed galley of Fire by Kristin Cashore. This series is hands-down one of my very favorites. I have the other two books in hardcover, though…so of course, I have two copies of Fire: one hardcover and one signed galley!

Signed galley of Fire by Kristin Cashore

  • My <140-character cheer for they day: Read the day clear away! Nighttime, too — read on through! Feeling tired? Let’s get wired! Books galore, read some more! <insert pompom shaking here>

Update #5: 4:25pm PST

After a short nap and an hour or so with Vanessa and Her Sister, I’m about to head out for a nice long walk, The Goldfinch playing on my iPod. It’s a lovely sunny day, and I’m looking forward to being outside!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 202
  • Running total of time spent reading: 4 hours, 34 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 3 hours, 14 minutes

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m about a hundred pages into Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, about Virginia Woolf and her siblings.

2. How many books have you read so far?

I’ve only finished one, and it was one I’d started before the event: Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander. I’m definitely a slow reader!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Snacks. For some reason, I’ve been saving the stuff I’m looking forward to — popcorn and mug cakes and Brussels sprouts (yep, I know I’m a weirdo with that last one!) — for the second half.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

No interruptions. I did clean, but I listened to an audiobook, so that counted as reading time. I also got super sleepy around 2pm, so I took a short nap. No sense in falling asleep every fourth word!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How quickly it’s going by! That always surprises me. The early morning hours stretch out so leisurely, and then suddenly the event is halfway over.

Mini-challenges:

  • I couldn’t resist doing the second half of the Beloved Books mini-challenge! Here are five of my absolute favorite kids’ books, mostly from my childhood. Can you name them?

Five kids' books with their titles covered up

Update #6: 7:15pm PST

Walk and a snack with The Goldfinch, and now I’m settling in to read again. I can feel the sleepiness hovering…another nap might be in order!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 202
  • Running total of time spent reading: 4 hours, 34 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 5 hours, 44 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • I went with red, black, and white for my Color Cover mini-challenge. Some of my favorites, too!

Red, black, and white book covers in a square

Update #8: 10:30pm PST

Losing steam…which means my reading pace is getting even sloooower… At some point, I’ll switch back to audio and work on a quilting project. But I have a little more reading in me, I think!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 296
  • Running total of time spent reading: 6 hours, 24 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 6 hours, 19 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • For the Pet Parade challenge, here’s my readathon buddy…totally conked out. At least she’s still keeping me company, sort of!

Cat sleeping next to a book

  • My Mad Lib comes from Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar:

I am hula-hooping in the postage-stamp garden behind this crumbly hotel drinking a margarita from a handle-less blue cracked bowl. John Travolta is painting on a bluff overlooking the harbour. I should be painting, or reading Dr. Seuss under a plane tree, but incriminatingly, I am doing our household accounts. They pass to the silliest woman in our family. Mother, Stella, and now me.

Update #9: 2:15am PST

I’ve been listening to The Goldfinch (thank goodness it’s so long!) and working on a quilt for the past chunk of time. I’ve pretty much switched to audio from now until I collapse in a sleeping heap, I think — too tired to process written words! This is waaaaay later than I’d planned to participate, though, so yay there. Three more hours to go…

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 331
  • Running total of time spent reading: 7 hours, 6 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 8 hours, 49 minutes

Update #10: 3:15am PST

Aaaaaand I’m done. I could make myself stay up, quilting and listening for another two hours, but then I might not wake up in time to watch football. Tradeoffs! Such an awesome event — thank you to the organizers and cheerleaders and prize donors and hosts and all my fellow readers. You all rock, seriously!

Final Stats:

  • Reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Total number of pages read: 331
  • Total of time spent reading: 7 hours, 6 minutes
  • Total of time spent listening: 9 hours, 39 minutes

Update #11: The Day After

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Probably 2-3pm PST, actually, so…hour 10? I had to take a nap…couldn’t keep my eyes open.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I found The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt on audio to be really engaging, and the reader is excellent. I listened more than I read this time around, I think in part because I was so absorbed in the story. And I was glad I didn’t have to keep finding new audiobooks — I had plenty of listening with The Goldfinch to last me through the event and beyond.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not off the top of my head. It’s an awesome event, and I’m so grateful to everyone who participates!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I know it’s not a new thing, but I love the hourly post format: a little text, a video or gif, a list of active mini-challenges, and door prize winners. The consistency makes it super easy to pop in, see what’s going on, and then jump back into reading.

5. How many books did you read?

I finished one that I’d started before the event and got through about two thirds of another. I also listened to half of The Goldfinch (which is 26 discs long!).

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Honestly, they’re all excellent. I think this is the first readathon where I haven’t had a clear favorite or least favorite.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

See previous question!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn’t. I used to cheer every time, but lately I’ve just wanted to curl up on my couch and read the day away. But I so appreciate the wonderful cheerleaders!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Very, as long as my schedule works out. I love this event. I’ll probably just be a reader again next time. We’ll see.

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  • debnance

    You know, I’ve been in fourteen readathons and I’ve never yet tried an audiobook! I really must try that next time. Great idea.

    If you need a little singing boost as you read along: Here’s <a href=”http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2014/10/singing-my-way-through-october-2014.html”>Singing My Way Through the Readathon!</a>

  • bookgoil

    You are doing awesome! I love your shelfie!

  • melissa1lbr

    Yeah for audiobooks! They have saved my bacon nearly every readathon I’ve done!  Looks like you are off to a great start and now I want some popcorn :)

  • Eeyorenyk

    Hang in there dear reader! We’re almost halfway through the readathon
    and we can do it for another 12 hours!
    Xoxo Katja #TeamButler

  • onwingsofbooks

    Loved your book staging! It looks like you’ve had a good day reading too!

  • kimthedork

    Wow, 5 am is an early start time! I would definitely need a nap by mid-afternoon too. The first part always surprises me too — it always seems crazy when we hit hour 12. It’s been a great day, but time really flies!

  • http://theardentreader.wordpress.com theardentreader

    I see some familiar titles on your “novels to keep” shelf. :) So glad to hear you think The Goldfinch is excellent and you’ve been able to avoid interruptions. Hope that continues into the second half. Enjoy your Brussels sprouts! (I’m a fan of them, too)

  • TriniCapini

    I am ALWAYS surprised at how quickly the time goes as well. How does that even happen? I’m always envious of y’all’s 5am start time and today I attempted it but then fell asleep on the couch. 😉 Glad you’re having a great readathon!

  • http://www.midnightbookgirl.com/ Midnghtbookgirl

    You have had a great readathon!  I am so envious of your signed Kristin Cashore- her books are just amazing!

  • readathon

    You’ve had a rocking day! And your cat is gorrrgeous!

  • Eeyorenyk

    Hi there,
    It’s the 21th hour and I’m still cheering on YOU. You can do this, we’re
    almost through another
    #Dewey #readathon #rahrahreadathon #TeamButler

  • Charlie at The Worm Hole

    Didn’t know you were taking part, good to see you :) And well done on the 5am start as well as staying up this long.  Love that you’ve got a signed copy of Fire, that’s pretty awesome.

  • http://www.thecuecard.com/ swright9

    Good job on 24 hrs!  A lot of Goldfinch no doubt.  Is the narrator/reader good on audio?  cheers. 
    http://www.thecuecard.com

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    debnance Wow, fourteen! Audiobooks are awesome — not only do they give your eyes a break, but they let you do things you might “have” to do anyway — like cook and clean and walk or drive somewhere — without breaking stride :)
    I can’t believe you visited 200+ blogs during the event — you’re a superstar!! Thanks for coming by to cheer me on!

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    bookgoil Aww, thank you :)

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    melissa1lbr So important for me — without audiobooks, I don’t think I’d make it through nearly as many hours of readathon-ing. Hope you got your popcorn :)

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    kimthedork I definitely miss the 8am start time I had back east :) But on the other end, it actually worked out ok — I made it much closer to the 5-am end of the event than I ever did when it was 8am!

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    TriniCapini Wait, you’re jealous of 5am?? Whoa :)

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    readathon Cat says thanks 😉

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    Eeyorenyk Thank you so much for your cheers and support! I really appreciate them :)

  • http://erinkurup.com/ erinkurup

    swright9 The narrator is really good! I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. He does great character voices, accents and all, and reads at a good pace. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more by him.

  • bingeingonbooks

    That sounds like so much fun! I just finished Goldfinch and wrote a review about it. It was a great book! Loved it!