#Readathon Recap

Before I get into my recap, please mark your calendars for the next Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, which is scheduled for October 22, 2016.

Okay, now on to my recap of Saturday’s Readathon.

I signed up to be a cheerleader and was placed on #TeamOwl. As I was falling asleep Friday night it hit me that I had an owl who could be my mascot. The owl has lived on my bookshelf since Halloween. For some reason I didn’t want to pack “him” away with the other Halloween decorations and now I know why. I used to refer to “him” as “her,” but since the artist Prince died earlier in the week and my owl is purple with big expressive eyes, I named him Prince as a tribute.

Prince and I started the day off shortly after 8 am EST with Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, which I purchased back in March at The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC and saved to read during Readathon.
Shortly after breakfast I spilled a cup of coffee all over myself, but luckily no books were harmed. (Sorry, no pictures available.) After that I did some more reading and some cheering before taking my first walk on the treadmill.

Me on the treadmill. Photo credit: Laura Thoma 😘
Last year I felt like such crap the day after Readathon. Sure, I was short on sleep and had a snack-hangover, but my body hadn’t moved much for those 24 hours. This time I vowed to take walks on the treadmill throughout the day. I like to walk outside, but there are no sidewalks where I live and walking on the road while paying attention is dicey enough, let alone trying to walk and read on these roads.Β  Anyway, I planned on walking for half hour increments. I ended up walking a total of two hours. I felt much better the day after and the walking probably gave my brain more oxygen during the reading.

In addition to snacks I also bought a pre-made lunch the day before so I’d have some real food in my belly. Prince had me tweet a reminder to our fellow readers:

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The afternoon and early evening were filled with more reading, more cheering, and a quick run out for dinner.

The second book I started was Hover by Anne A. Wilson. It’s about a woman pilot in the Navy. Wilson is a Naval Academy grad who served nine years in the Navy, so the details ring true. And the attitudes towards women are right on (sad to say not much has changed since I served in the Marines in the 80s). Hover is suspense with some romance. I’d seen it before at the bookstore and when I was at R.J. Julia’s last week fore book group I read the first couple pages and got hooked. It seemed like it would be a good Readathon book and I was right. Can’t wait to finish it tonight.

I knew I wouldn’t pull an all-nighter. For one, I’m just not able to do that anymore and two, I had a commitment on Sunday that I wanted to be alive for.

By 1:30 am EST this is how I was looking behind the scenes:

#YawnSelfie

But this is the public picture that I posted on Instagram:

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My End of Event Survey:

Which hour was most daunting for you? The hour after I finished my first book. I tend to not start a new novel on the same day I finish one, because I like to give a book some time to percolate in my brain (and soul, if it was THAT good, if you know what I mean). So I had to take some time and walk and flip through books before deciding what to read next.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Maltese Falcon or The Thin Man both by Dashiell Hammett — they are short, have great pacing and fantastic characters, not to mention they really seem to capture the time period. I also recommend The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. OMG, so good. Just read it if you haven’t already. Also try a shorter novel from Willa Cather or Edith Wharton.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? I think its pretty darn near perfect. People have to make it their own experience, though, and not sit back and expect the party to come to them. It’s like life–you get out of it what you put into it. Being a cheerleader is a great way to up your involvement.

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Taking the focus off blogs and putting it more on social media seemed to make it easier to “visit with” more people. I didn’t even write a kick-off post this year, which may just be indicative of something in the air.

Β How many books did you read? 1.5 I’m a proud slow reader and for me Readathon day is more about clearing my schedule and relishing having a whole date dedicated to reading and connecting with other readers (and guilt free snacking). Β 

What were the names of the books you read? The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett and part of Hover by Anne A. Wilson (which I’ll finish tonight). Β 

Which book did you enjoy most? They’re both so different. The Thin Man is classic noir and very butch whereas Hover is about a woman helicopter pilot in the Navy trying to deal with her grief over losing her brother, so it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Or apples and fiddleheads.

Which did you enjoy least? N/A this time around. Β 

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? I definitely will in October, if my travel schedule allows.

What role would you be likely to take next time? Cheerleader for sure. Will have to see how my schedule shapes up before I take on any responsibilities.

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A HUGE thank you to Andi and Heather and all the other organizers and volunteers for making this event happen! It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

If you haven’t participated in this Readathon yet I strongly encourage you to! If you did participate this time around, what was your favorite part?

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