Another Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is in the books and wow, what a ride it was! I got through a lot of books, surpassing my early guess of six; my girls participated just like they said (and about as much as I predicted, happily); and I stuck with it longer than I though I could! Success all the way around!
It was my first readathon with a full house: Jeff and the Xman around, and so were the girls, so I was a little nervous how much I could stick to my plan. I gave Jeff lots of warning that he would have to be primary parent and outlined that yes, it was for twenty-four hours, even though I wasn’t planning to stay up much past midnight or 1 a.m., because, you know, parenting and also it takes me a few days to recover from an all-nighter. It wasn’t feasible for me, really. But the whole point is to have fun and do what you can! Any reading is good reading! (Yes, our bookish community was just this cheertastic all day! We drained the world of exclamation marks by 9 a.m.)
Sticking to my plan, or Unplugging from Mommying for a day:
It went well! I woke up at about 6:45 a.m. – on my own, stupid insomnia – and got up and made coffee. The Xman got up a little after that, and so did Jeff. He did a good job of keeping the Xman out of my hair and reminding our favorite resident 4-year-old that I couldn’t answer All The Questions! that he always has because I was reading. Jeff kept cheering for us – especially the girls, which was adorable and made my heart fill with feels – and kept the Xman entertained. My one detour of the morning was to take the family to the pumpkin patch because it was the only time we could fit it into our schedules. It ended up keeping the girls energized about getting back to reading because of the break, and I was able to listen to my audio of N0S4A2 while we were out, so win-win! Afterwards, Jeff went to get us take-out sushi, which is my traditional Readathon indulgence and doubled as one of Gracie’s rewards. That afternoon Jeff took the Xman to the park and then cooked dinner and generally did a fantastic job of keep the kids who weren’t reading entertained and cheering for those of us who were reading. There were just the right amount of What can I do to help?s. It definitely worked out well. Yay functioning family unit!
The girls’ participation:
Gracie and Bee both said they wanted to read with me. I took an “If they do, great; if they don’t, that’s okay, too” approach because IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! Gracie was so excited that she woke up at 7 a.m. – yes, SheWhoDoesn’tLikeMornings! – just to join in. She was keeping pace with me page-for-page until well after the pumpkin patch, collecting mini-rewards after each hour and finishing with four books, 800+ pages, and 6 full hours of reading. Bee-girl wasn’t quite as invested or as gung-ho as her sister, but my non-reader finished Persepolis, two Choose Your Own Adventure books and then started on The Last Unicorn. She managed four hours of reading, which completely surprised me! Taking them to the library and Barnes and Noble in the afternoon to get out of the house and recharge was a huge hit. I’ll definitely encourage them to browse and spend an afternoon reading elsewhere with me during future readathons.
Plugging in to social media:
I spent a lot of time in the morning on Twitter and posted hourly updates on my Facebook page. It was a lot of fun for me, although I’m sure I had friends who muted me for the day! It’s one of my favorite parts – all the excitement, all of the shared gushing, the cheering, the camaraderie that makes our book community so incredible! It helps me remember why I read: to connect and share. I didn’t post as much throughout the rest of the day, although there was a bunch of posting in the afternoon from our book retreats and then again in the early evening while I was reading in my own personal spa I had going on in my master bath. I felt a little guilty when I never checked in after that, but then I gave myself permission to just do what felt right. I got into my stories and at first I needed to just keep going – it felt like I was pulling out of myself to get back online. And so I didn’t. Just like reading: any posting is good posting. There are no rules!
What I accomplished:
I think I did pretty well! I “only” read until about 10 p.m. and then I was just done. I was wiped out. So what if I didn’t break any personal records or “complete” my entire 24 hours. I did a good job and certainly read more than my fair share! I finished 7 books (and listened to another half on audio) for a total of 1,699 pages (and four hours of audio at 2x speed) over 15 hours. Pretty impressive! For those who want to know (because don’t you all?), here’s what I read:
- The Tsar of Love and Techno – Anthony Marra (5 of 5 stars)
- Love May Fail – Matthew Quick (1 of 5 stars)
- The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo (4 of 5 stars)
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert (3 of 5 stars)
- The Good Girl – Mary Kubica (3 of 5 stars)
- Bridget’s Home – Katie M. Hill (3 of 5 stars)
- The Green Mile: The Two Dead Girls – Stephen King (5 of 5 stars)
- N0S4A2 (audio) – Joe Hill (4 of 5 stars)
So there you go. An amazing, AMAZING experience once again! Having the girls with me was a total dream and I hope they decide to do the next one, too! We hit just the right party atmosphere and didn’t overdo it. Raising a family of book nerds is so damn satisfying. Happy sighs all around!