Sunday, October 18, 2015

The final stretch...

I fell asleep!!!!!

And stayed there. I sort of remember looking at the clock around 5 AM, and thinking that I needed to get up, and then suddenly it was 9:30. Shoot! Some of my favorite RATs were ones where I either stayed awake the whole time (no longer an option) or took a short nap and then forced myself to stay awake for the final hours. I'd like to get back to that. 

image from

Despite my missing the end, I had a really fun time! I felt more relaxed about it all, which was a nice change from normal life. While, yes, I do wish I had read more (and not gotten hooked into TV at lunchtime) and been able to stay awake longer, I had so much fun! My favorite Readathon Pal, Sherry Ann, helped me get through it all. Thanks, buddy! I don't think I could do this without you! And being on Instagram was a blast too, it was great chatting with other readers in a more casual setting. And one of my favorite bloggers left me a comment, which made me happier than it maybe should have. But I love her and think she's great, so nyah. 

It also helped to have done a big cleaning binge over the last week at my house so I didn't notice the paperwork clutter quite as much as usual. But in April I'll have to do a better job and figure out some places to take pictures ahead of time so I'm not scrambling, turning in a circle in my living room, going "Uuuuhhhhh..." for a long time. 

One of the many nice things about the 'thon, though, is that for the day after it's over I read like crazy, trying to finish up the things I couldn't or didn't get to. And who couldn't use some renewed reading vigor?!? Here's what the rest of my day looks like - plus coffee, of course, or I'd sleep for long stretches again. I'll see you all in the spring!

Closing Survey

1. What hour was most daunting for you?
For sure Hour 19, or 1AM - that's when I fell asleep and passed out for 8 hours! Not good, and unlike me to not wake up in that time.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books to keep a reader engaged for next year?
Any kind of graphic novel is a good choice, so pick what sounds good to you. This time around, I really enjoyed reading Mindy Kaling's latest book. I partially listened to it and partially read it, and I like having that option for one book. It ups my chances of finishing it in time to count it!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the RAT next time?
No! You guys do such an amazing job and work so dang hard. It feels like a nicely oiled machine at this point, thrumming along happily without any major hiccups.

4. What do you think worked really well this RAT?
The cheering seemed to be happening on a good schedule all over the place - did you guys do something different there? I suspect yes, but you've always been good at it, so what do I know?

5. How many books did you read?
I finished four and read from two more.

6. Which book did you enjoy most?
One of the ones I didn't finish, "The Haunted Looking Glass" by Edward Gorey. This collection of classic ghost/scary stories was just right, I could pick it up and leave it at any point, and it was perfectly creepy for this time of year!

7. Which did you enjoy least?
"Sex Criminals: Volume 2" by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. I really enjoyed the first trade edition of this series, and this second volume seemed to shift gears somehow. I'll be interested to see how they develop The Quiet a little more next time (and with some awesome new characters - I love Robert Rainbow!), and how or what they can do to deal with the Sex Police. Like, how in the heck did they even become who they are? I dunno. It was still a solid read, but I was expecting more bank robberies like the first time. Also, this sounds like a supremely dirty book, but it's really not. If you can handle some fairly honest things about sex, and a few drawings of naked people, you'll see that it's really not a filth-fest like it sounds. 

8. If you were a Cheerleader...
I wasn't.

9. How likely are you to participate again, and in what role?
Of course I'll be back again! You'd think that after all of these years I'd have it all figured out by now, but I really don't. I really need to sleep, and while I did so this time right when I should have, I forgot to set an alarm, so I just stayed asleep. 

Hour 19

...or, here's hoping I'm still awake! 

It's nearly 1 AM, the start of hour 19, and I'm really getting tired. I think I'll take a nap after this update and then be back at it in a couple of hours. The longer I resist sleep, the more I'll wipe out. After dinner (at 10 PM), I put the TV on to help give me something else to concentrate on and keep me going. It's worked so far, but I'm starting to nod off and I don't want to lose my place. Aside from being awake for this long, Time Team may be an excellent Readathon companion!

Pages read: 124
Time reading: 90 minutes

Total pages read: 491
Total time reading: 7.5 hours
Challenges completed: 7 (Intro, Mid-event, and Hours 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, & 12)
Books finished: 4 (Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, Sex Criminals: Volume 2, and Immortal In Death)

And now, time for a Disco Nap!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The third quarter already?!?

8:45 - Hour 14

Instagram was a small distraction, but mostly I've been reading. I took a walk, just long enough to get a chunk of my audiobook in and lose the feeling in my fingers. Brr! And since I finished two books, I think it's time for a snack and to see what I feel like reading next.

Pages read:120
Time listening: 35 minutes
Time reading: 1 hour 20 minutes
Books finished: "A Wreath for Emmett Till" by Marilyn Nelson and "Why Not Me?" by Minday Kaling

I also did the Hour 11 Challenge, but maybe a little too late. Hosted by one of my favorite blogs, Fig & Thistle, you had to post a picture of yourself with a thumbs up or thumbs down for Pumpkin Spice and all related things. I am very firmly #TeamPumpkinSpice. (And sorry for my pale face and crazy hat hair - what can I say, I wasn't expecting any selfies today!)

6:30 PM - Hour 12

Not possible it's already half over, nope, no way. I have done a crappier job than usual, which is really saying something. I need to stop putzing around the house, make some coffee, grab some water and get my butt in a chair!

But first, it's time for a stat update, it's been awhile.

Total pages read: 367
Total time reading: 6 hours. Ish.
Challenges complete: 6! (Intro, Hours 2, 6, 7, 8, & 12)
Books finished: 2 (Sex Criminals: Volume 2, Immortal in Death)

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
My Edward Gorey ghost story collection. And I'm about to start Nimona.

2. How many books have you read so far?
Two that I've finished, and I'm working on a few more.

3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half of the RAT?
I'm not sure yet - mostly I'm excited that I haven't gone into overdrive planning what I "need" to read, and will choose something that feels right.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Uh, I let them distract and interrupt me? Now that the day is winding down, though, I expect I'll be able to concentrate in longer stretches. 

5. What surprises you most about the RAT so far?
How fast it's going! Seriously, is there some kind of a time warp going on that I'm unaware of? 

The next 6

3:00 PM / Hour 9

Well, that was some wasted time! I grabbed lunch, ate, and then got sucked into TV. Whoops! Time to buckle down and get focused again. I've pulled a couple of GNs, and a new book too, so as soon as I'm done here I'll be back at it! 

Hour 8 Challenge

Hosted by Books, The Universe, and Everything. Armchair Traveling! It's one of my favorite things about reading. If you could be transported to the setting of a novel, what book would you choose, and where would it transport you? 

I'd love to be able to visit rural 1950's Britain and the fictional world of one Miss Flavia de Luce. Seeing Buckshaw, the crumbling family estate, the small village of Bishop's Lacey, and wandering in the spooky woods would be such a thrill! (I realize that this place doesn't actually exist, but small rural English villages do!) And if I could spy Flavia speeding past on Gladys, or Dogger in the greenhouse, that would be even better. 

image found on bunnylake's Tumblr page via Google

1:15 PM

No updates yet, per se, as I've been dithering around online in the last 45 minutes. And I'll probably be doing more of the same for awhile. I'll be heading out to pick up some lunch soon, and will watch a little TV too. I think a graphic novel may be up next for me. 

Hour 7 Challenge

This one is hosted by The Secrets In Books. The challenge is to share your creepy Halloween read. I have a couple of scary reads in mind for the rest of the month, but I chose "The Haunted Looking Glass", a collection of short stories chosen and illustrated by one of my favorites, Edward Gorey. I'm hoping to get through several of these today, and that by their relative short nature and various authors, I'll be all different kinds of scared!

The first 6 hours

12:30 PM

Despite some phone calls, I finished my first book! 

Pages read: 127
Time reading: about 2 hours
Challenges done:
Snacks: Coffee and that doughnut. I'm hungry for actual food!

Hour 6 Challenge
Top Ten, hosted by Jessica. Make a Readathon top ten list, not too hard!

10. Have fun!
9. Have some snacky treats on hand - Jessica's right, 'thon calories don't count!
8. Try a new genre of book. It'll help keep you awake and interested.
7. Plan a favorite title or author, it's nice to have something to look forward to.
6. Cheer, whether officially or unofficially. I've made some great readathon friends over the years, and I always like to visit them and a few new people too.
5. Take the day off from real life. It's one day. Probably things can wait until tomorrow. And if they can't, carve a few longer stretches of time for reading. 
4. Don't sweat the small stuff. Even though it's a blast, don't feel like you need to do every mini-challenge or follow Instagram or Twitter constantly. It's about you enjoying yourself in whatever way works best for you, no pressure!
3. Naps are essential. Missing an hour of reading time will only allow you to read easier from then on. 
2. Plan a little trip for yourself. Usually I run a small errand and listen to an audiobook at the same time. It helps to get out of the house and get some fresh air.
1. Have fun! Seriously, it bears repeating. :)

Total pages read: 212
Total time reading: 3 hours
Challenges completed: Intro, Hours 2 and 6
Books finished: 1 ("Immortal in Death" by J.D. Robb)

9:30 AM

After managing to waste away nearly an hour (thanks so much, iPhone games!) I got tucked into a book and made some decent progress. As usual, I'm shocked by how fast the time goes, and by how little I'm actually reading.

Pages read: 85

Time reading: an hour
Challenges done: Intro meme, Hour 2

Snacks: So far just coffee and water, but a blueberry doughnut is calling my name...

Hour 2 Challenge

Cover Escape, hosted by Unabridged Chick. The challenge is to post a book cover you'd like to escape into. I sort of cheated and picked three different covers. While the Paris one would involve time travel, and the Venice one a random canal shot (and a heavy filter), I'd have to ultimately pick the Chatsworth book, simply because it's actually possible to achieve. Perhaps not with the Dowager Countess, though, as she's passed away and was probably far too busy to hang with a random chubby American anyways, but still.

The Start

This time around I don't have any big goals. I'd like to finish three books, one of them I start and finish today. I'm currently reading about 10 books, so wrapping up a couple of those would be nice, but I always like to knock out one whole one during a 'thon. I've got some Graphic Novels lined up, some YA, an audiobook or two, Mysteries, and Fiction. And since I prepared as little as ever, there will be some spontaneous choices made throughout the day too - that makes me pretty darn happy. 

Good morning

Anyone awake yet? I think I am. Thank goodness for coffee. 

Unlike my usual plan of taking the night before off of work and doing things around the house in preparation for a weekend of reading, I decided to take a client. Okay, fine, no problem, I'll still have a few hours after that to get things done. But, I forgot that my writing group was meeting, and I didn't go last time (due to work), so I'd better show up. I set my alarm for 9 PM, figuring that would be fine. Well, it ended up being better than nothing, but not by much. Not that I didn't have a wonderful client and a nice time at writing group, but I need to either be better at planning things out (i.e. actually looking ahead at my calendar) or better at saying "no". 

So here I am, theoretically bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to get this 'thon on! 

Opening Meme

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Nothing in particular, I'm just looking forward to reading.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I bought a couple of blueberry doughnuts that are sounding pretty darn tasty.

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm a constant reader, Anglophile, book-obsessed lady, working only 1 job these days and very thankful for the relative sanity that that brings. My cats and I always look forward to days like this - full of sitting and laying around with blankets, reading and trying not to nap. Or, sometimes napping a lot more than reading, which is okay too. 

5. If you participated last time, what's one thing you'll do different today?
I keep forgetting to check, but this is somewhere around my 15th time doing this. This time around I'm much more relaxed about the whole thing, not overly worried about taking a break, or super-planning my TBRs, or going crazy with snacks. I just want to read a lot and chat with friends and enjoy the community of Dewey's. 

I'll be doing a few posts that will be continually changed to include a few hours each. It worked fairly well last time, and I liked not having to do a lot of repetitive updating.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

In two weeks, it's time once again...

...for Dewey's Read-a-thon! I'm looking forward to the time-out on real life and the chance to sit and read for an extended period of time. There has been so much crap going on since April I can hardly believe it. I can't wait to turn off my cell phone, ignore email, and relax. I'd like to be a cheerleader this time around, but really, reading is all I want to do. I'll check on my favorite ladies and some new blogs, of course, but that's about it. I'd like to try using Instagram this time around, but I don't know if that will be more of a hindrance or a help at this point. My only goals are to read as much as possible, hopefully pulling only from my read-and-get-rid-of piles. That's right, no special library trips for graphic novels or magna or picture books, unless it's something that I've already requested. (And by that I mean requested as of now, not something I think I "have to" read now because it sounds interesting. That's partially how I have over 1,000 physical books to be read in my house.) (Well, that, and I like books.) (A lot.) 

I'm off to officially sign up and check on my formatting from last time, see if I want to make any changes or anything. I hope to see you all there!