Monday, October 24, 2016

Dewey's Day - Update 2, a day late

Soooooooo yeah. I so didn't make it 24 hours. I ended up doing most of my updates on Litsy, and filling in on instagram when I thought of it. But I did keep on reading, more than usual. I ended up napping for 3 hours at 9PM my time, and then finally collapsed around 3 in the morning and slept through the end. I was really thinking I could've last longer than I did, but since I'm not pushing myself now... it was what it was.

End of Event Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
3 AM / hour 18 (I think). That's when I finally petered out and had to go to bed.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next time?
I really enjoyed "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill (under 200 pages and creepy) and the "Calvin and Hobbes" collection I read (lots to choose from, easy to squeeze in a few pages). 

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the RAT for next session?

4. What do you think worked really well this RAT?
Cheering! I like that you made it more "unofficial" this time, giving everyone a chance to cheer if they felt like it the day of. 

5. How many books did you read?
8, plus 2 magazines.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
"Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Waterson
"The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill
"Double Sin" by Agatha Christie (on audio)
"Freaky Friday" by Mary Rodgers
"Camera" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
"Sad Cypress" by Agatha Christie
"A Ghostly Road Tour" by Jan Langley
"William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope" by Ian Doescher

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
It's a toss-up between Calvin (always great) and Woman in Black.

8. Which book did you enjoy least?
"Freaky Friday". Ugh.

9. How likely are you to participate again, and in what role?
I will 100% participate again, as a reader. If you guys keep the cheering more open (i.e. you don't get scheduled a group of readers ahead of time) I'd like to do that more as well.

Thank you SOOOO MUCH to my RAT buddy, Sherry Ann of Sherry Ann's Book Blog! I couldn't do this without you, you are such a great friend and support. :) 

See you all in April!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dewey's Day - Update 1

Good Morning, Read-a-Thon-ers!

I don't know about you, but right about now, I'm very thankful that coffee exists. It's pretty much the only way I'm upright and semi-functioning. 

Like last time, I'll have only a couple of posts for the day, and will break down individual updates into chunks. You can find me here, on Litsy (@LauraBrook), and on instagram (@laurareadsandreads). 

Here are my two piles for the Thon. The top photo has my current library checkouts. If I get through one or two, that would be fine, but I'm not excited or worried about getting through them today. 

And underneath, this small stack has the few books off of my own shelves that sounded good to me earlier this week. They're all relatively short reads (or short stories), and I'm looking forward to getting through most, if not all, of these. Call me crazy, but it seems do-able from where I'm at now. (Note: This will seem very not-do-able in just a few hours.) 

Opening Meme:

1. What part of the world are you reading from today?
My mostly-books house outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2. What book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Hmmm. Probably the "Calvin & Hobbes" collection and "Remember Me" by Christopher Pike. But if neither get read today, that's okay.

3. What snack are you most looking forward to?
My Krispy Kremes! And also greek yogurt. 

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
I love to read, which is probably not surprising, and my two cats are very happy to rub against (and then knock over) the stacks around my house. I'm having to find a new profession/job due to some health issues, but I'm currently a massage therapist of nearly 10 years. Still getting used to the glasses that were new the last Dewey's. And I'm semi-obsessed with the Litsy app. It's one of only two internet-y places that are filled with kind, bookish people, and nary a bad vibe exists. 

5. If you participated last time (you know I did!) what's one thing different you'll do today?
Once again, sleeping is for sure on the table, as much and as often as I need it. I've been on a good reading streak the last couple of weeks, so it should be easy to slide back into the reading "zone" when I'm done with breaks. 

Hour 7 Update

I slept horribly last night (cruisers were loud on the main street a block from me, which woke me up and then I was so ticked off I couldn't calm down), and yet somehow I've managed to get a surprising amount of reading in! 

I've managed to finish two books start-to-finish, and I'm about halfway through an audiobook. My Mom stopped by quickly to drop off a surprise brunch (tacos!), and I talked to one of my best friends for awhile. Took a shower, decluttered some paperwork, and am getting ready to run outside to take out some garbage. If it's warm enough I might even read out there for a bit. 

Books finished: 2 (William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill)
Time reading: 6 hours

Hour 12 Update

Where has the day gone? I'm surprised by how fast the daylight goes in the fall - it's dark by 6 PM now, and pretty soon it'll be dark at 4 PM. I like it, though, because I feel less bad for sitting and reading in pajamas as soon as I get home every day. 

Books finished: 2 (Camera by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers)
Time reading: 3 hours 30 min

I'm just putting some lasagna into the oven, and I'm almost done with my audiobook. I think I'll take a break after dinner and maybe nap. This afternoon I took a big stack of books I'm hoping to read today/this weekend outside and managed to photograph them without looking like too much of a kook for my neighbors. Afterwards, it was such a nice fall day, breezy and sunny and cool, that I read outside for a couple of hours. I'll miss the warm fresh air in the early hours of the morning when I'm fighting to stay awake!

Mid-Event Meme

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm almost done listening to "Double Sin" by Agatha Christie.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've finished 4, soon to be 5.

3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half of the 'thon?
Nothing is jumping out at me, I'll just take it as it comes.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with these?
Just a few, and mostly self-inflicted. I just roll with it. This past spring I hardly read at all, I couldn't concentrate, and ended up watching TV mostly instead. Today, though, I've really liked reading so much, and I'm not berating myself for taking a break when I want to. 

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-Thon so far?
How much I'm reading! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dewey's is upon us once again

This time around I keep vacillating between being excited about it and feeling blasé about it. It helps that the weather has finally turned more autumnal (though it's still in the 70's far too often for this time of year in Wisconsin for my taste), and the leaves are suddenly turning colors. This is the first year that I haven't been a member of bookclubs since college, and it's been nice reading whatever I feel like and noticing the strange patterns I get myself into. (Example: whenever I see something on social media about a book I own and haven't read, it makes me pull it off of the shelf to be read "next" - and then it sits around in random piles for months on end, never quite getting into my hands to be read.) That being said, I did just pull a very small stack of books that would be nice to read for this 'thon. And if I don't get to them? No pressure, they can go right back where they came from. 

I'll post a picture once a little more time has passed, and I've figured out a few more to add to the stack. And at this point, I plan on not checking out anything from the library that wasn't already either checked out or on hold. Believe me, there are plenty of options here that I've already spent $$$ on that need reading. (I said this last time, though, and while I ended up panicking and anxiously checked out a dozen or so things the day before, it was still MUCH better than in years past.) 

While not setting a strict rule for myself this time around, I'd like to read things that are more seasonal and spooky, like short ghost stories, darker literary fiction, paranormal themes, etc. It's something I attempted 4 or 5 years ago but didn't have much luck with. But between everything I see on Instagram and LITSY, I'm getting more excited to actually give it some effort this time around. It helps that I lean toward these kinds of things already, so there's a nice stockpile at my house. 

Something else that's newer for me this time around is the pressure I put on myself to stay up and participate in everything. Or rather, that I'm letting that pressure go. I used to be able to easily make myself stay awake for the whole 24 hours (or very nearly) when I first started doing Dewey's. Within a day I was back on my regular schedule, and it was a fairly smooth transition. Now? Very different story. My health has slowly but steadily gotten worse over time and I live in a constant state of exhaustion. The idea of trying to read for a full day is still thrilling for me (why yes, I am a nerd), but the actuality of it is not only nearly impossible but also pretty bad for my health. My already mostly non-functioning adrenal glands can't take it. I get shaky and feel like I'm losing my mind. And it takes me 3 or 4 days to recover. (I'm noticing similarities to alcohol hangovers - though it's been years since that's happened to me.) The most recent Dewey's this past spring, I planned on sleeping whenever I felt like it, and it went okay. This time, I'm going to try and read for two hours and then rest. If I sleep, that's fine, I'll wake up when I wake up. If I don't sleep, I'll give my brain and eyes a break. Important, since this is a marathon and not a sprint. Plus, there are hundreds (thousands?) more participants since I started this RAT, which is a wonderful thing, and I've noticed that more younger people are doing all of the mini-challenges. Which is excellent, great, wonderful, etc, but I'm finding that they don't catch my interest like they used to. So I look forward to the few that I'll do, but don't feel bad about skipping the rest. More reading time! 

Has anyone else noticed the shift in mini-challenges? Anyone else "too old" to stay awake for a full day? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see you all again soon!