Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon – April 2020

I haven’t been posting much lately about my reading progress. To be honest, my reading time has taken a hit since the stay-at-home order went into effect. Since the schools were closed, my children are distance learning and I am home from work to help them.

After three weeks of homeschooling, two of those official distance learning with the school, I’m ready for a break. It’s perfect timing then, for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon this weekend!

I have a pile of books I haven’t been able to get to since playing Teacher Mom. I’ll be working of this list:

The Clinic, by Jonathan Kellerman (currently reading)
Rage, by Jonathan Kellerman
Empire of Grass, Tad Williams (currently reading)
Obsidio, by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by Leigh Bardugo (reading with eldest)
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, by Kwame Mbalia (reading with middle)
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden (ebook)
Watership Down, by Richard Adams (audio)

Clearly, I will not be able to read all of these books. I do hope to finish at least one, and make progress on several.

On a side note, my eldest son might be joining me for the Read-a-Thon. At least to some degree. His line up includes:

Dogman: Lord of the Fleas, by Dav Pilkey
Minecraft: The Lost Journals, by Mur Lafferty

This weekend, I’m doing as little as possible, other than read, read read! In my time zone, the read-a-thon starts at 5 a.m. I’ll be starting in the dark and early. Assuming I can open my eyes that early.

Happy reading!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Officially Unofficially Participating

I didn’t actually sign up officially to participate in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. Though I had a blast with it when I’ve participated before, I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge this time. However, as the opening hour approached, I found myself still awake. I decided what was the harm in trying? All it really means is reading as much as possible. Which is something I’d like to do anyway.

So, here I am, reading along again with countless other Dewey’s participants. I don’t have an official TBR. I’ll only read what I was already reading before making the decision to participate. That would be:

  • Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb (physical book) – currently on page 241
  • The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt (ebook) – currently at 11%
  • The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (audio) – 9 hr 24 min remaining

There are always other random books and things I’ll read throughout the 24 hours. My day always starts with Bible reading and a short devotional. I have a separate book I’m currently reading with each of my three children. I will read emails, tweets and blogs about Dewey’s and other things.

As usual, life will intervene and I will be unable to read for an entire 24 hours. Soccer season opens today with the first games. With two playing this season, I’ll spend a good chunk of time on the field. In the rain. Without reading material.

I’ll get tired. And I’ll get hungry. My family will need things from me. I’m supposed to write 500 words today for my Camp NaNoWriMo project. I will do these other things, but I will also read. A lot. But unofficially, because I’m not really signed up for this.

Are you participating in Dewey’s Readathon? What are you planning to read?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, October 2018: The End Results

I participated in my second Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon this weekend. I did my best to read for as much of those 24 hours as I could, read as many pages as possible and have fun along the way! I followed along with the hourly blogs and tried to keep up on Goodreads. It was a lot of fun.

One thing I didn’t do was try to post my progress along the way. So, I’ll share my responses to the three surveys here. I also have my final stats for the event ready to share.

The highlight of the event for me was all the time I got to spend reading with my boys. My youngest read aloud to me a collection of Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books – 300 pages of delightfully funny dialogue between unlikely friends. My eldest read Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo, to both myself and his youngest brother. Later, I allowed him to stay up late and read with me until he fell asleep.

Aren’t they adorable?

Boys reading

Opening Survey:
1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I did my reading from the beautiful state of Oregon on the West Coast of the United States. The morning dawned cold and foggy, but it warmed up nicely by mid-morning football/soccer games. My primary reading spot was the couch in my living room with my snugly blanket and surrounded by all my books.

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I’m probably most excited about Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb. I’ve been reading this series along with another group on Goodreads, but I’ve fallen behind because of other reading commitments (I’m looking at you, Popsugar!). I’m hoping to spend a little time with this book during the read-a-thon.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
I might have a book problem. Despite shelves overflowing with unread books, I can’t stay away from the library book sales, the half-off book sales, or any other place where books are sold.

5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
This is my second read-a-thon, and the only thing I’m really doing different is that I have fewer books on my TBR. I didn’t choose books exclusively for the read-a-thon, but rather I’m just continuing with the books I’m already reading.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
After brief forays into Dune (audio) and Zenith (ebook) and reading with two of my sons, I am about to return to my primary reading goal of the day, Gone With the Wind.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I have read parts of three books so far (Gone With the Wind, Dune and Zenith) and my children read aloud to me six books: Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive, I Really Like Slop! (by Mo Willems, read to me by my 6yr old) and Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat (by Bryan Langdo, read to me by my 8yr old.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I’m still looking forward to Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb. Maybe I will hold that in reserve for a few more hours and see if I can get further on Gone With the Wind before I switch it up.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
There are always interruptions in the life of a mom. Two of my sons had games today – one is playing flag football (his team lost) and the other is playing soccer (his team also lost). This outing took up four hours of read-a-thon time, and I just had to let it go. The kiddos will always be more important than the books. (Sorry, books!)

Once I returned home from the sports activities, I got to single parent two of the children while their father squired the third off to a classmate’s birthday party. I used this time to read with my boys (see the above answers!). Literacy is important to me, and I’m so proud of the progress my kids are making into their own reading success!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I can’t say that anything has surprised me thus far. Well, maybe this delightful quote I found on page 116 of Gone With the Wind:

The dim room with towering walls completely filled with dark books depressed her. Large numbers of books always depressed her, as did people who liked to read large numbers of books.

I couldn’t help laughing at this in light of large number of people reading a large number of books today! The only thing I find depressing about a large number of books is the lack of adequate time to read them all.

Closing Survey:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I guess that would be hour 22 (2 a.m. my time). The words were swimming across the pages and my eyes no longer wanted to stay open.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!
I made progress on Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb, Dune, by Frank Herbert and Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. My 6yr old son read to me Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive!, I Really Like Slop!, from an Elephant and Piggie Biggie combined book by Mo Willems. And my 8yr old son read aloud to me Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo. When I put my kiddos to bed, I also got to read aloud bits from Eragon, by Christopher Paolini and The Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo.

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?
Whether it’s the books I’ve listed here or something else, what I’d recommend to any read-a-thoner with children is to just dedicate an hour or two, more if there’s interest, in reading with or listening to your children read to you. It was my favorite part of the read-a-thon!

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?
I don’t know that I have any suggestions. There is a great mix of activities and conversations so everyone can participate the way they want to. I love how flexible the event is.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?
There’s a very good chance I’ll participate again. I would still like to see more progress on my reading. But I need to just face it, I’m probably the slowest reader ever. As for volunteering, I love the energy that the hosts provide for this event, and to be honest, I don’t think I could offer that same level of enthusiasm. At least not at this time. But let me take this opportunity to give a HUGE thank you to all of those responsible for making this event so great!

Final Event Stats:

  • total time reading: 12 hrs
  • time spent on blog, Goodreads and Twitter: 2 hrs
  • real life interruptions: 5 hrs
  • sleeping: 5 hrs (started late, and quit early)
  • total pages: 184 (+ ebook and audio) + 6 pictures books
  • books read/listened to during readathon: 12

(Gone With the Wind, Assassin’s Quest, Dune, Zenith, Eragon, The Tiger Rising, Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive!, I Really Like Slop!, by Mo Willems and Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo)

If you participated in the Read-a-Thon, how did you do? Did you meet your goals/expectations? What was your favorite book?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, October 2018: The TBR

Back in April I participated in my first Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. While I read a lot, I didn’t manage to read as much as I’d hoped. I made big plans for myself and created quite an ambitious reading list. Too ambitious, as it turned out. I’d expected as much, but it was my first readathon, and I wanted to be prepared.

I signed up to participate in the next Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon which takes place on October 20 (today!). In my time zone, it begins at 5:00 a.m. (Yikes!)

As I said, my reading list last time was far too ambitious. I knew it would be, but I had no idea what to expect of myself, or what it would be like focusing on reading for twenty-four hours straight. I learned a few things from the experience, and this time I intend to do it a little different.

This time, I’m just going to plan to read whatever I’m already reading. I’ll have a book in each format – a print book for my main focus, an ebook for while I’m out and about and an audio book queued up for when my eyes get tired. Then, just in case I finish whatever it is I’m currently reading in any given format, I’ll have a back up ready to go. Finally, because on a day devoted to reading, I should be able to track all the reading I do, I’ll also have the books I’m currently reading aloud with my sons.

My list therefore, looks like this:

Current print books:
one With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell (102 of 1024)
Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (180 of 757)
back up: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb or Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Current ebook:
Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (31% complete)
back up: On Two Feet and Wings, by Abbas Kazerooni

Current audiobook:
Dune, by Frank Herbert (12 hrs 12 min remaining)

Currently reading with my sons:
The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis (71 of 211)
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (142 of 368)
The Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo (14 of 128)
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini (111 of 497)

It still looks like an overly ambitious list, but I’m not holding to any illusions that I’ll accomplish nearly so much. I’ll be reading around football and soccer games, necessary household chores and hanging out with my sons. Maybe we’ll see how many of their picture books we can read in an hour!

To make the readathon more comfortable, I’ve staked out my reading corner with a cozy blanket, a candle for atmosphere and a reading companion. Along with my books and a cup of coffee, I’m all set!


Are you taking part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon? What are you planning to read?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon – The Wrap Up

I did it! I made it through my first 24 hour read-a-thon. Though I couldn’t read all of those 24 hours, I feel pretty good about what I did accomplish even if I didn’t read as much as I would have liked.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t participate more with other readers online through the blog, Goodreads, Twitter or other platforms. That was one thing I was looking forward to, but I never felt like I had enough time to actually do it. I feel like the slowest reader ever.

Here are some interesting statistics from my April 2018 read-a-thon:

Total pages read – 544
Hours actively reading – 16
Books involved – 6
Books finished – 2
Print books – 4
Ebooks – 1
Audio books – 1
Women authors – 3
Men authors – 3

Closing survey:

1. Which hour was the most daunting for you?
The hardest was probably hour 19, 11:00pm-midnight, my time. With the entire household asleep besides me, I really struggled to stay awake. I allowed myself a two-hour rest after that, and resumed reading again at hour 22.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!
I read only one book in its entirety, finished another that I’d already started prior to read-a-thon, read/listened to bits of two other books that I was also in the middle of already, and started one just for read-a-thon that I didn’t quite finish. The books:

Bible (NIV), Numbers, chapter 3
Down Cut Shin Creek, by Kathi Appelt & Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
The Silver Chair, by C. S. Lewis
This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein
City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

3. Which books would you recommend to other readathoners?
I would recommend any of the books I read during read-a-thon. All are great for very different reasons.

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you smile?
Just keep doing more of what you do! I didn’t participate on social media as much as I thought I might, but I at least tried to check in periodically.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to to help organize and prep?
There’s a good chance I’ll do something like this again. At this point, I probably wouldn’t be able to participate as a volunteer, but I do appreciate all that everyone did and sacrificed in order to do so. Thank you!

The next Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon is in October. It won’t be soccer season. And I won’t be in the middle of a writing challenge. So as long as it doesn’t fall on an important family birthday weekend, maybe I’ll be able to read more than I did this time. 

What did you read this weekend?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon – Midway & Beyond

I have survived more than half of the read-a-thon so far. I was nearing the halfway mark on City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare when I had to pack up and go out again for my semi-monthly writer’s group meeting. Since I am supposed to be working on a writing goal this month, I figured I shouldn’t skip out on this.

While I was out and about earlier today taking my boys to their soccer games, I got to read a few pages of the ebook I started prior to this challenge – Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. I read a bit more of this while I ate dinner, and I am close to finishing this book.

I also had to take a little mini-break this afternoon, and laid down with my eyes closed for about twenty minutes or so while I listened to This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein. I was a little concerned I would fall asleep, however, so I didn’t let myself get too comfortable.

I have been able to keep to a pretty normal meal schedule so far, though not particularly healthy. Things could get interesting later as I head into the wee hours. I’m still feeling pretty good so far, and I feel pretty confident I can make it through this event. Though, I do wish I was a faster reader, and could get through more books than I’ve been able to so far today.

Recap of what I’ve read so far today:
Numbers Chapter 3, by Moses – 1 page
Down Cut Shin Creek, by Kathi Appelt & Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer – 55 pages
City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare – pages 1-178, 178 pages
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman – pages 224-270, 34 pages
This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein – 35 minutes/20 pages (approx.)
The Silver Chair, by C. S. Lewis – pages 110-121, 11 pages
Total pages: 299

I missed the mid-point survey, so I’ll put it in here:

1. What are you reading right now?
City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare and Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I finished one and read/listened to parts of four others.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I’d just like to finish the one(s) I’m already working on!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Just soccer games and writing group meetings. Nothing major! No, the real interruptions (the unplanned variety) have been all of my own making – checking the blog, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon so far?
I don’t think I’ve really been surprised by anything. Disappointed in my page count, perhaps, but not surprised.

Six more hours to go. What are you reading?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon – It Begins!

I’ve been at this read-a-thon thing for three hours now, and I thought perhaps I should check in. I’ve finished one book and started another. Granted, the book I finished was a 55-page children’s book about the pack horse librarians of Kentucky – a fascinating bit of American history I’ve only recently learned about!

The book is Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer. It is full of period photos and great information on one of the most successful, if short-lived programs of the New Deal’s WPA. I am really excited to read about this program and now I want to know even more!

Now, at the beginning of hour 3, I’ve consumed my first cup of coffee and started reading the first book on my original TBR pile: City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare. I’m only about twenty pages in so far, but I’m off to a good start.

Soon, however, I will have my first required interruption. My kids have soccer games today, so reading will not be possible for at least a couple of hours. It will be a good chance to get outdoors and breathe some nice cool (and probably damp!) Oregon springtime air.

Here are my responses to the opening survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I’ll be reading today mostly from my home in Salem, Oregon. I’ll be reading around the kids’ soccer games, and my own writing challenge I’m already participating in (Camp NaNoWriMo).
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
There are way too many books on my TBR for today, mostly because I wanted to have lots of choices. I think I’m most excited to continue with Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, starting with City of Glass.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
COFFEE!! That’s a snack, right?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m a mom to three boys, two cats and a dog. I love reading (obviously!) and I’m also working on writing a novel of my own.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first read-a-thon, and mostly, I’m looking forward to the interaction with other readers, and just seeing how much I really can read in 24 hours.

Are you participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon? How is it going for you?

Readathon Prep: The TBR List

I don’t know if it’s really an official reading list for the April 2018 Dewey’s 24 Hour Reathathon. Since this is my first time participating, I’m not really sure what to expect. In order to maximize my reading time, however, it makes sense to have some sort of list available from which to pull a book if and when I need it, rather than agonize over what to read next. So, here goes.

From my 2018 Reading Challenge list:
My first priority will be the books next up on my current reading list for this year. In this case, the final four books in Cassandra Claire’s Mortal Instruments series:

City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
City of Lost Souls
City of Heavenly Fire

Also, I won’t be finished with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, by Susanna Clarke or Shadowplay, by Tad Williams, so I may spend some time on one or both of these.

For a change of pace:
If I need to change things up during the day, I think I’ll pull a few other books aside just in case I need them. Like continuing with some old and new favorite series:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling
Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan
Firefight, Brandon Sanderson

or, some recently acquired ebooks and/or audio books:

The Gender Game, Bella Forrest
Because You Love to Hate Me, Ameriie
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor
When the Moon is Low, Nadia Hashimi

I will also make time for my daily scripture reading as well as reading with my kiddos. They have a variety of books from their school library, plus we are reading through the Chronicles of Narnia series, currently, The Silver Chair.

This feels like a huge list, and obviously, I won’t read them all. I’m not that good. Not by half. Still, I can see where choices will be a good thing in order to press through 24 hours straight of (mostly) only reading.

April Challenges – Writing & Reading

April seems to be a good month for challenges. Maybe it’s a good time to revisit those resolutions made at the beginning of the year. Time to renew efforts toward reaching goals. This April I have decided to challenge myself in my writing and my reading.

I’m currently participating in my eleventh Camp NaNoWriMo event. Could it really be that many? I had to count twice to be sure. But with two per year since 2013, it really is that many!

My goal this year is a nice, moderate 25,000 words. I’m working on two of my middle grade adventure stories from the series Silver Compass Adventures that I introduced back in 2016. I hope to finish at least one of them by the end of the month.

So far, I’ve made good strides on both stories. My word count has hovered around the “on target” mark, but mostly just below. I’ve designed a spaceship and written a ghost story. Both of these things were huge obstacles in completing my novels, so this is great progress.

I’ve also gone and done this thing. This maybe a little bit crazy sort of thing. I signed up to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon taking place on April 28. I learned about it by reading something much like this blog post, though I can’t remember exactly where. If you don’t know what it is, check out the web site. If you do know what it is, and maybe you’ve done it before, I’d love to hear about your experience!

It seems unlikely I can really read for twenty-four hours at the end of a month-long writing challenge, and on a day when I have soccer with the kiddos and a writers’ group meeting! Nevertheless, it sounds like fun. Crazy fun, to be sure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

I think I will use this as an excuse to binge read the rest of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I read the first two books last year, but I haven’t managed to get back to it yet. The remaining four are on my 2018 Reading Challenge list. I’d like to see how far I could get on a day dedicated (almost!) entirely to reading.

Still, being new to this 24-hour reading thing, I think I will have some other books ready at hand in case I need something different in order to keep going. Maybe something shorter and lighthearted. Perhaps a nice comfort re-read, such as Harry Potter, or something from that growing pile of middle grade novels I’ve been collecting on my Kindle!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon? Another writing or reading related challenge? I’d love to hear what your goals are for April!