The bookish underworld that exists on Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr and… well, let’s not name all the sites – that exists everywhere, basically, if you know where to look – this bookish world is awesome and it is filled with awesome people. For these bookish people invent things like Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, and honestly, how cool is that?!
Yeah, okay, if you’re not a bookish person, a Reader with a capital “R”, it probably sounds a little insane. Reading? For 24 hours straight? Probably not your thing. Especially when you hear that the only prize is bragging rights. But that is exactly my thing. An excuse to devour story after story, reveling in the festive atmosphere all of the participants create online, finding that Next Great Book that just gets you – sign me up!
After I finished jumping for joy and running in circles, I decided I needed a plan. And let me tell you – my plan might be a little nuts.
Books I already own. I gathered up books I already own (or that have been loaned to me) that I have been meaning to read. Wonder and Mister Max I lifted from my 10-year-old’s shelf. Lucky Us, Blueprints for Building Better Girls and Falling Man I picked up recently at the used bookstore. Things Unspoken my friend at work loaned to me, and Eats Shoots & Leaves arrived from my sister this past week. Bird Box is near the top of my To Read list – it’s scaring the socks off of everyone I’ve heard from, and I figured that might be just the ticket come the later hours of the night when all I want to do is sleep!
The Kindle. In case nothing I have on hand catches my fancy, I have my trusty Kindle charged and at the ready! I love the idea that millions of titles are available instantly, without me needing to ever leave my house. While I prefer reading physical books over ebooks, I found last year that my split was about 80-20 (physical/kindle), a lot higher percentage for e-reading than I would have thought. I like that the libraries I belong to all have generous e-content catalogs, and even if I decide to purchase rather than borrow, I have the ability to read the first chapter before committing my funds. Not a bad back-up plan.
More books! I stopped at the library on Saturday to load up on other books, just in cases. (I’m a little paranoid, no?) I like the idea that I can just keep tossing books aside if they’re not grabbing me. While I am a big believer in DNF (not finishing books just to finish), I usually try to push through and give a book 50-100 pages, depending on length, before I pitch a book for good. But during the Readathon, when I have to keep myself extra invested, I want to make sure I don’t turn myself off or make myself sleepy or anything else. I want commitment! I want page-turning excitement! I want to come out of this with at least one book I can not shut up about! And so I borrowed 27 books from the library.
This is what they looked like when I lugged all those books home. (Sorry, sore back.) That there is one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever: a genuine book bag like the ones the library used to use when moving books about the system. And it’s stamped Boston because OF COURSE. It fits about 30 books, or one eight-year-old, if you’re wondering. As for the titles I brought home: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet; Seating Arrangements; Flatscreen; Loteria; By Blood; A Prayers for the Dying; The Echo Maker; The Rook; The Lost Wife; Lessons in French; The Book of Jonah; The Fever Tree; The House at Tyneford; Death with Interruptions; In the Shadow of the Banyan; Panorama City; The Emperor’s Children; Before, During, After; The Barter; The Enchanted; Close My Eyes; Rage Is Back; What’s Left of Me; The Waking Dark; Two Boys Kissing; Summer and Bird; and Between the Lines.
If all of that fails – or even if it doesn’t – and I need a change of scenery, I can always hang out at Barnes and Noble and read there in a comfy overstuffed chair until they close up shop, or pull up a latte and a sofa chair at Starbucks. I have lots and lots of plans and back up plans and really only one goal: finish one book I really, really love. I’m sure I’ll real more than just one – I managed five during the 24-in-48 Readathon I participated in this spring – but I want to find at least one new book that makes me fall head over heels.
So there you have it! Plans, back-up plans, and entirely too many books. Now I just have to scope and prep some locations in the house to lounge while I’m devouring all of the books. I’m thinking lounge chair on the patio…bed…the couch…and maybe the overstuffed recliner? I’ll let you know.
What about you? Are you participating in the Read-a-thon? Any particular books you’re looking forward to reading?