Before Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon started, I set myself the goal of enjoying the experience, no matter how many books and pages I read and how many hours I lasted. Since this was my first go, I knew I’d be figuring things out and exploring the social media communities. For me, the point of participating was to engage not only with books (which I can do on my own anytime) but also with the awesome book people participating.
I had a chance to do that and adored it. Readathoners are the nicest people on the Internet (if not the planet). Full stop. One of my other favorite parts was doing mini-challenges. They gave me a little break from reading to process my experience. Next time, I will try to organize my time in advance. I don’t want to be too regimented but do want to make sure I’m giving myself structured time to engage, read, and write.
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I would say the second hour. In the first, I finished a book I had begun before the challenge. The funny thing about this strong start is it managed to intimidate me. I got anxious about wanting to keep up the momentum. I ate a cookie, drank some coffee, and gave myself a little talking to about my goal: Engage and have fun!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Books that keep/have kept me up all night reading: Anything by Liane Moriarty, M. C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train. Basically, this amounts to thrillers and mysteries in whose characters readers can feel invested. If I want to find out what happens because I care about the characters, it’s a binge reading win.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
I had such a wonderful experience and have been so awed by the organizers’ efforts. I did see two terrific suggestions on the group’s Facebook page to host a chat session the next day and to repost the mini-challenges purely for fun even after they’ve closed for prizes.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The Facebook group was AMAZING. And this is coming from someone who does not love Facebook as a general rule The cheering was fantastic (yay Team Owl!), and the mini-challenges were inspiring.
5. How many books did you read?
I read two books in full, finished one I’d started before the challenge, and began a fourth that I will likely finish today.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero (begun before the challenge)
El Deafo by Cece Bell (read in full)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (read in full)
Death of a Prankster by M. C. Beaton (began at the end of the challenge)
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed them all for different reasons. My favorite is the Beaton series because I love her wry humor, the setting (the Scottish Highlands), and her endearing Hamish Macbeth. For the October Readathon, I might just spend the whole day reading Hamish Macbeth!
8. Which did you enjoy least?
I enjoyed them all, of course! 🙂
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Barring something unexpected between now and October, I will definitely participate. The date is set in my calendar. I’d love to ramp up the social aspect by helping out in some way, whether it’s on social media or hosting a mini-challenge.
And finally, in response to the questions, If you could have the ideal, perfect reading day, what would that look like? Where would you be? I give you this photo of a beach on the island of Chios, Greece (where I go every summer I can swing it to visit family). My perfect reading day would be spent in one of these chairs:
How did everyone’s Readathon go? What was your favorite part? Are you planning to join in October?
My responses to mini-challenges from the day itself
My bookish self is loving reading all day. That is all … oh, except for this halfway point mini-challenge:
1. What are you reading right now?
I’m about three quarters of the way through The Girl on the Train. It’s a slower read for me than El Deafo. With suspense novels, I have a tendency to read very slowly and to reread sections twice. It’s definitely keeping me reading, and I’m excited to get back to it.
2. How many books have you read so far?
I’ve read one in full (El Deafo), finished one I’d started before the challenge (You are a Badass), and am slowly closing in on my third (the aforementioned The Girl on the Train).
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I’m interested to see how long I will last! I will be taking a little time off to recharge my Nook, catch up with work, and spend some time with my boo. Then I plan to jump right in and get as close to the mark as I can.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
I’ve been taking small breaks to check emails and see what’s happening in the Readathon world. Other than that, it has been clear sailing.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
It feels like any good Saturday, but intensified and way more social. I’m not sure if that qualifies as surprising, exactly, but it’s awesome.
Can you name your top 5 bookish childhood moments? That’s the hour two prompt!
The weird thing is, I don’t remember being read to as a child. I’m sure I was. Apparently, that wasn’t quite as memorable as reading for myself. No one who knows me is probably surprised to hear this. I was that kid who wanted to do things on her own terms. “Nooooo!” I would wail, agonized and distraught when my mother attempted to cut my meat for me. I was three.
I loved this book so much that I owned three copies of it, and they were all falling apart. It was my go-to book, the one I’d read when I was between books and was still deciding what adventure to jump into next.
2. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Reading this book inspired a brief (very, very brief) fascination with the stock market. It was also the first book (that wasn’t an ancient Greek classic) in which I can remember meeting a character who was, as I am, Greek-American.
3. All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
I loved the boisterous life of these five sisters living in lower Manhattan at the turn of the 20th century. Their experiences brought history to life and sparked my interest in learning more about the past.
4. Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd
This book made me want to travel to the past. It’s the first time travel novel I ever read and kicked off my fascination with the genre (still going strong). As an adult, I discovered a sequel I didn’t know existed!
5. Big book of Greek fairy tales (in Greek), title and author unknown
One of my earliest substantive memories of reading with others isn’t of being read to; it’s of snuggling with my grandmother and cousin and reading aloud to them from a gigantic book of fairy tales. It was summertime, and we were in our grandmother’s tiny house on the tiny Greek island where she was from, called Oinousses. My grandmother would say, “Just one more story, and then sleep.” And after each one, I would beg to read yet another one.