It’s Sunday morning, I’ve got some tea, and I am going to spend the day binging on The West Wing and recovering from reading 1,420 pages over an 18-hour span during the April 2011 Read-a-Thon.
Yesterday’s Read-a-Thon was the first time I made a concerted effort to participate for the entire event. Last October I was a reader, but I was also in Iowa hanging out with my sister and spent a lot of time not reading. And I don’t think I ever tried to read before that.
I had a great reading day yesterday. Here are my end of the day stats:
Pages Read: 1,420
Total Time Reading: 8 hours, 52 minutes
Comments Left: 100-ish
Total Books Read: 6
- I’m Sorry You Feel that Way by Diana Joseph
- Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
- Nothing Left to Burn by Jay Varner
- Fables: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham
- Fables: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham
- Fables: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham.
Overall, I think my strategy for the Read-a-Thon went well. Over the course of the day, I switched off from reading for about an hour to cheering/commenting for about 30 minutes. I also took a break to watch TV during lunch, and to take a 45 minute walk later in the day. Those breaks were huge.
I also kept track of fewer stats than I tried last time which was good. I felt like last year I spent more time trying to add up minutes than I did actually reading anything.
As for books chosen, the comics were huge. I loved being able to take a break with Fables in the middle of the day and to end with that when I was tired. Next year I am going to be sure to have a lot of comics on my pile. Otherwise, I read exclusively memoirs, which was good and bad. Memoirs are great — they’re like the literature of nonfiction — but I did want something different midday. Next year I’ll try to have some more short fiction to my pile.
The other thing that was great was having a friend around to keep me company. My friend Erin came over in the morning and spent the day working on a paper (she’s a journalism student). We didn’t spend a lot of time talking, but the passive company was really nice. I hope I can have a friend join me for the next Read-a-Thon I participate in.
That’s about all I can think of this morning. My brain is still feeling tired from yesterday and I just want to watch television today. So I’ll just finish up with the End of Event meme and go back to The West Wing. Happy Read-a-Thon everyone, and back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.
Update #13: After Event, 10:00 a.m. CST
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Right around hours 9 and 10. I was feeling tired, my brain was fuzzy, and I wasn’t sure what to read next.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I loved the Fables comics this year. They kept me engaged after I finished a couple longer books and were a nice break.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I think the cheerleading roles could have been a little more clear. I was a bit unclear who I was assigned to be cheering for during my requisite cheer hours.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I thought Twitter was a lot of fun this year — I liked when people shared update posts and gave ideas during the day.
5. How many books did you read? Six total, which is awesome!
6. What were the names of the books you read? I’m Sorry You Feel that Way by Diana Joseph, Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart, Fables: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham, Fables: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham, Nothing Left to Burn by Jay Varner, and Fables: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I’m Sorry You Feel that Way by Diana Joseph was a great way to start, and Fables: War and Pieces by Bill Willingham was a great way to end.
8. Which did you enjoy least? I liked all of them, but if pressed I’d probably pick Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart if only because if I’d read it outside the Read-a-Thon I’m not sure I’d have liked it as much.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Just stay positive and do your best! Cheerleading is a lot of work without much reward.
On the other hand, I didn’t think it was productive for people to complain about not having any comments. Just like regular blogging, you have to reach out to build a community. In my experience, the more you reach out to others the more they’ll reach back to you. Just sitting around during the Read-a-Thon, writing update posts and reading books without reaching out yourself isn’t going to generate comments. The Cheerleaders can only do so much, and I don’t think it’s productive to feel bad about comments or lack-thereof.
The Read-a-Thon is only a community event if you participate. </time on the soapbox>
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 definitely going to do it again, probably as a reader and a part-time cheerleader. I loved the Read-a-Thon!