September 2023
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Read-a-Thon Starting Line

It’s time for the Read-a-Thon! This is my fifth one, which is hard to believe, but no less exciting for that! I’m looking forward to getting started today and meeting all of the new Read-a-thon participants as well as the ones I know already. I have my netbook, have eaten lunch, have snacks ready and a husband on meal duty, and a huge pile of books to choose from, so I am all set to go.

Here is the stack at the start:

There are actually two stacks there, but never mind. I couldn’t stop putting more books on the pile. As it stands, though, I am starting out with Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. I have heard amazing things about this book since well before it was published, it’s a Nebula nominee, and it arrived in the mail yesterday so I’m very excited to read it. Best of all, it’s short and I’m told it reads quickly – so it is the perfect Read-a-Thon book! I aim to continue reading it until I’ve finished, and then come back for an update, so I’ll see you all in a couple of hours.

ETA to add the intro meme:

1)Where are you reading from today?

My flat in Beverley, England.

2)Three random facts about me… food-themed, as I’ve done this before, and part of the read-a-thon fun is the snacking:

  1. I like cheese and hamburgers but not cheeseburgers.
  2. I forced myself to like tea about 4 years ago and have become an addict, so will be drinking a lot over the next 24 hours!
  3. I would quite happily eat pizza every day.

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

16. I know. I got excited.

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

Not really, I’d like to read more than 12 hours (my current average) and at least 4 books.

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

Definitely pick short, fun books, don’t get sucked into the internet (particularly twitter) and take breaks when you need to!

Good luck to all the participants!


Hour 21

It’s not so early morning here, and I’ve been back and reading for a little over an hour now!  I stayed up until about 1, then woke up at 8:30 to keep on going with Neither Here Nor There.  I do expect to finish it before the end of the Read-a-thon, but I’ll be having a quick break for breakfast and possibly lunch, so I doubt I’ll get anything else finished.  I bet I will finish a fifth book before the end of Sunday, so though I haven’t quite achieved my objective, I’ll say that’s close enough.

Strangely, I have discovered that non-fiction is definitely slower than fiction.  I thought I was getting close to the same speed, but I’m really not!  I don’t mind, I just think it’s bit funny, as I don’t note these things in my normal reading life.  I suspect it’s because I have no real feeling of urgency to find out what happened, as I would with a book based more on plot, so I slow down a bit to enjoy.

Books Read From: 4

Pages Read: 794

Time Spent Reading: 10:15

Books Read:

  • The Passport, Herta Muller
  • The Lost City of Z, David Grann
  • A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby

How is everyone else doing?  Still awake or up again?


Hour 12 – nearly halfway through

I’m pretty impressed that I’ve managed to stay up this late!  I’ve finished three books now.  A Long Way Down took me a bit longer than it should have, but mainly because I took a break to stretch and eat some cheese and crackers and forgot to note it.  Silly me!  I’m also reading quite slowly as I think my husband is feeling the pinch and keeps talking to me, which definitely slows things down, but I think I’ll forgive him. ;)

I still haven’t participated in any of the mini-challenges and I’m not sure I’m going to!  I’m enjoying just reading and to be honest, I’m not really looking to win any books.  I’m trying to cut down on my TBR pile, not add to it, although I wouldn’t protest if I got lucky.

My next book will be Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson.  I’m switching between fiction and non-fiction and while it’s made me read a bit less, I think it’s a nice change from the usual overdose of lighter fiction books I choose for the Read-a-thon.  Anyway, here’s how I’m doing:

Number of Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 624
Time Spent Reading: 8:08
Time Spent Blogging: 1:58

Ooh, I nearly missed the mid-event survey!

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m just about to start Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

2. How many books have you read so far?

3 so far.

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

I think this one, actually; I really like Bill Bryson and I’ve saved this one for a month or so now.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

No, I just didn’t make any plans!

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

Yes, I have had a few interruptions, and mostly I’ve just rolled with them.  Luckily they haven’t lasted too long, so I’ve been able to get back to reading.

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

Not too much really, I’m just surprised I’m still awake.  I’ve been asleep at this time in the first three, I’m pretty sure.  I’m not good at staying up.

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

Not yet!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Nothing yet; I might make more concrete plans in terms of meals and snacks like others do, but I just wasn’t organized this time around.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

I am, but hopefully I can still read a bit before dropping off.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

I don’t right now, but if or when I do I will share. =)

How’s everyone else doing now? Still good I hope!


Hour 8

I’ve been distracted quite a bit this evening – my husband managed to upgrade my Android phone from 1.5 to 2.1 and it’s like having a whole new phone! As a result I haven’t really put in the reading time that I wanted, although I did manage to finish The Lost City of Z, putting my total books read up to 2 so far. Not that impressive, but at least I enjoyed that one! I’m now reading A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, which seems pretty good so far.  I’m about to go leave some comments, then I’ll be back to it.

Number of books read from: 3

Titles: The Lost City of Z by David Grann, The Passport by Herta Muller, A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Pages read: 412

Time spent reading: 5:23

Time spent blogging: 1:28


Hour 3: 1st meme and progress so far!

I’ve made some good progress so far I think – I’ve managed to read one, very small (92 page) book, which I really disliked, called The Passport by Herta Muller.  It just felt very scattered to me in terms of story and was completely fixated on imagery and allegory.  I would prefer a coherent narrative to surreal phrases full of meaning every time – but never mind, it’s out of the way!  I’ve moved on The Lost City of Z by David Grann and I’ve read 50 pages so far; it’s excellent and I think I’m finally about to feel pleased about the fact that I’ve signed myself up to read all day!  And I can’t forget that I have an excellent pile awaiting me when I’ve finished this one, too.

Without further ado, I’ll answer the questions for the first meme and then get back to reading.

Where are you reading from today?

I’m currently in Beverley, in East Yorkshire, England.

3 facts about me …

I can’t remember what I used last time.  I’ll think up some new ones.

  1. I am probably the world’s newest SEO (search engine optimizer).  I help Google find the sites people want to see.  But I’m a historian at heart and in my spare time.
  2. I’ve been married for almost a year now.
  3. I’m going to be in Paris in two weeks for my anniversary.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

I think it was 14.  No, I’m not going to read 14 books – I’d like to read at least five though.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

I’d like to read five books and do some blog commenting, probably after I’ve finished my next book.  I want to get out and cheer a bit, although I haven’t signed up for an hour.  Mainly because I’m unpredictable and can’t stay awake too late.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

Just enjoy yourself and be happy with what you read!  Don’t spend too much time on the challenges, because they *will* suck up your time, although they can be fun.  Go out and visit people, but remember to read as well.  And get on Twitter (I’m @mbookworm) – it’s a lot of fun when you’re looking to stop reading print for a bit.

Good luck everyone!


Ready for the Read-a-thon

It’s time for Dewey’s 24 hour Read-a-thon, and even though I’ve only just completed my preparation for it, I’m now ready to go and looking forward to it.  I’m trying to read short books because my TBR pile seriously needs cutting down, and I’ve requested too many books from the library so I need to return some before they’re due.  Here’s the pile of books I’ve put together, along with my Kindle which also has a few options for fast reads:

readathon book pileI’m not really going into this Read-a-thon with defined goals.  This is my fourth Read-a-thon, so I think I know what to expect.  What I would like to do differently this time is create a draft post after each book, so I have some basis for reviewing them later.  I’m still five reviews behind despite my attempts to catch up, so if I write some thoughts down when they’re fresh in my mind it may be better than just leaving each book and coming back to them a week from now when I’ve read tons more.

I also know I’m not going to stay up for 24 hours – in fact, I will probably be asleep by 10!  But I should have a few hours tomorrow to fit some more reading in before the official end.  I’m actually trying not to snack, but instead making a huge batch of baked ziti to see us through this afternoon and tomorrow.  It will be different, that’s for sure!

Are you participating in the Read-a-thon?  If you are, good luck!  If you’re not, do you have any advice for which book I should read first?


Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up Post

My Read-a-Thon went out with a whimper.  I got halfway through The Brontes Went to Woolworths before I started feeling nauseated from not eating in good time this morning – my husband was still sleeping or I’d have sent him.  I need to remember to keep food in the bedroom next time!  Needless to say, I couldn’t really focus on it or the computer, which is why this wrap-up is so late.  I stopped reading well before the last hour.

My final tally:

Number of Books 6 Books Read
Pages Read 1173 How I Live Now Archangel’s Kiss
Time Spent Reading 11:32 On the Edge
Time Spent Blogging 1:39 Wishful Drinking

I finished four and read from two other books which aren’t listed – Germinal by Emile Zola and the aforementioned The Brontes Went to Woolworths.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Probably Hour 11, when I went to sleep, and Hour 22 when I started to feel sick.

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

How I Live Now and On the Edge were both great choices.  Wishful Drinking was a fast read but I didn’t like it all that much.

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

Not for the co-hosts, they did a wonderful job!

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

Everything!  I wished I could participate more in the mini-challenges and next time I am determined to be more active on twitter during my breaks.  I felt a little isolated even though I had cheerleaders coming to my blog.  I didn’t feel that way either of the last times, so I think I need to focus a little more on community and a little less on solely reading.  I still don’t really like where my timezone is – things get most exciting after I’ve fallen asleep!

5. How many books did you read?

I finished 4 and read some from two others.

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

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh, On the Edge by Ilona Andrews, Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, and read from Germinal by Emile Zola and The Brontes Went to Woolworth by Rachel Ferguson.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Either How I Live Now or On the Edge.  Both great books.  I think I may have preferred the first one there on second thought.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Wishful Drinking.  It would work better as the stand up act it originally was.

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

I wasn’t a cheerleader.

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

I’m 100% likely.  Next time I want to sign up for an hour’s cheering for sure.  I want to feel more involved and not isolated in my book the entire time, but I still want to get a few books read.


Hour 21

So, I pretty much had a full night’s sleep there.  But I woke up again and finished my fourth book.  Archangel’s Kiss was okay but I’m beginning to wonder if Nalini Singh’s books are just too racy for me.  The last one did not have this much in it. I’ve got another one coming sometime soon so I’ll decide after I read that.

I missed a ton of the Read-a-Thon I’m sure but at least I can enjoy the last few hours!  I’ve given up on reading some of Germinal. I might do it later after the Read-a-Thon.  I don’t ever seem to burn out on reading as long as I mix up my genres.

Number of Books 5 Books Read
Pages Read 1063 How I Live Now Archangel’s Kiss
Time Spent Reading 10:13 On the Edge
Time Spent Blogging ######### Wishful Drinking

I don’t know what’s next – anyone still awake? Or anyone close to my timezone who has woken up again?


Hour 9

I can never remember to stop at the actual hours and post, I tend to just stop whenever I feel like it.  I’ve just read Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher for a change from fiction.  It was okay and relatively interesting, but I can tell just reading it that it would work much better as stand-up comedy.  Still, it only took me an hour.

Number of Books 4 Books Read
Pages Read 740 How I Live Now
Time Spent Reading 6:43 On the Edge
Time Spent Blogging ######### Wishful Drinking

Right now there’s a panty-worthy mini-challenge going on, hosted by Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog, who is definitely doing her part to make reading sexy! This one’s easy for me as I’ve had the same panty-worthy author since age 14 or so.  Stephen King.  He’s a bit, um, old for me, but I have loved his books for most of my life and I’m regularly impressed by the stuff he continues to put out.  When he’s good, he’s really, really good.  I just ignore the ones that aren’t good!

In the interest of equal opportunities, I would also quite happily choose Juliet Marillier, Jacqueline Carey, or Robin Hobb.

I can’t believe I’ve been reading so long already!  I think I’ve given up on my goal to continue reading Germinal in between.  Maybe later.  Right now, though, I’m heading for Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh, which oh-so-conveniently arrived in the mail yesterday (or maybe the day before – I’m getting bad at entering books into LibraryThing when they show up!).

Oh, and I also wanted to liven up this post with a picture.  So here’s the new fish we got this morning before all the reading fun started.  We wanted a big fish for the tank and since I can’t have a cat in this apartment, I got to choose:

Yellow Fish


Hour Six

At least, I think that’s the right hour!  I’m at the moment nearly finished with On the Edge but I decided I needed a break.

Number of Books 3 Books Read
Pages Read 456 How I Live Now
Time Spent Reading 4:30
Time Spent Blogging #########

And here’s the only food passage I could find for Nicole’s mini-challenge.  On the Edge isn’t the most foodie of books but I must say I want pancakes now:

“He slid the pancake onto a three-inch-tall stack, dipped a spoon into the sugar bowl, sprinkled sugar onto the pancake, and looked at her brothers.” – p. 52