Sunday, April 10, 2011

Final tally for Read-a-Thon

Hours spent reading - I read at least 30 minutes out of every hour, but the aggregate time was probably closer to:

21-22 hours - pure reading
1-2 hours - blogging and doing mini-challenges (next time I'll make accurate notes of the time started and stopped)
1 hour - meal preparation, bathroom breaks, snack runs and one micro-nap with book in hand...

Number of pages read - 2062 (note to self - avoid trade paperbacks in non-fiction)

Number of Mini-Challenges completed:

Hour 1 - Intro Post
Hour 2 - Where in the World are You Reading
Hour 5 - Oldies but Goodies
Hour 8 - Book Club Recommendations
Hour 12 - Mid-Event Survey
Hour 13 - Book Habits
Hour 15 - Character Theme Song
Hour 17/18 - Classics Paranormal Mash-up (Three Wyrd Sisters)
Hour 19 - Character Crush
Hour 20 - Movie Madness
Hour 23 - Referral Challenge
Hour 24 - Final Survey

If anyone who made a pledge comes by, here's the link to the GVPTA's CanadaHelps Page

Read-a-thon Hours 19-24

And we're into the final stretch.

I read a couple of more chapters of Battle Cry of Freedom - I'm up to the lead up to the 1860 Presidential election. Political history is hard to handle on little to no sleep, so I'm going to be self-indulgent and read Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper.

With just over three hours to go, I've read just under 1750 pages, with 150 left to reach goal. If you include time spent blogging and doing mini-challenges, I've reached my target of 20 hours participation (a rough estimate, taking away time for eating, bathroom breaks and dozing off once).

And finished Silver on the Tree at 2:50am. I've got one more book in me, I hope, but only time to read about 200 pages, so I'll have to choose carefully.

Thanks to all the cheerleaders for the encouragement!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
The last hour was pretty tough - I stayed awake, but it was hard to keep my eyes focused. I think I was asleep a minute after I was in bed.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?I think it helps to mix a variety of types of books, so that your mind stays fresh. But I found re-reading an old favourite here and there spurred me on. I find mysteries keep me engaged and wanting to continue on.
 3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?I thnk it's great in every way!
 4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?I think it was all great - the mini-challenges were lots of fun and very clever and the hosts and cheerleaders really encouraging!

5. How many books did you read?I read five books in their entirety and finished or started three more.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly (it was already in progress so I finished it first)
Solar by Ian McEwan
Somewhere in Ireland an Village is Missing an Idiot by David Feherty
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
The first six chapters of Battle Cry of Freedom by
The first five short stories in Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

7. Which book did you enjoy most?High Fidelity - it's still my favourite Nick Hornby book.

8. Which did you enjoy least?A few of Feherty's columns made me roll my eyes (and not in the good way), but he ended with one that made me cry, so it was all good. I expect I'll enjoy the rest of the Alice Munro stories considerably more, given that I could barely see the page for some of them.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?N/A - but I very much appreciated the Cheerleaders who dropped by with encouragement.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I've already got it tentatively programmed into my calendar! As long as I don't have any conflicts, I'll be reading - and raising money.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Read-a-thon Hours 13-18

6:18 pm (PST) Finished High Fidelity (which made it easy to answer the House 15 Mini-Challenge question of a theme song for a character in one of the books you read!) and am unsure what to tackle next. I'll ponder it while making dinner, I think, so that I can duplicate tasks during a reading downtime :)

Shared my habits for the Hour 13 Mini-Challenge.

It's now 8:00 and I'm working my way through Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. I'll read it for another hour and then switch to something a little lighter to help with my page count!

Heading into the final quarter in a few minutes. Finished The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, which brings me up to just over 1500 pages in approximately 16 hours of reading (plus another hour of blogging and mini-challenges). I'll read a few more chapters of Battle Cry of Freedom and then move onto something a little lighter.

Hours 7-12

I'm about a third of the way through Somewhere in Ireland... which is amusing, but is taking a toll on my page count.

Hour 8 Mini-Challenge - Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow is my choice for a book club discussion because of the multi-media (and inter-disciplinary) opportunities for presentation...

Masters coverage starts in four minutes, so my page count is likely to droop a bit more (though I'm a master myself at reading and watching TV simultaneously).

2:45PST - now finished Somewhere in Ireland for an updated page count of 868 and a rough time estimate of 9 hours reading.

Nagilum has been cheering me on as you can see from her usual expression of enthusiasm:

1. What are you reading right now? High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
2. How many books have you read so far? This is my fourth book
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope, which is kind of sad.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? No interruptions - most people I know are aware that I'm hibernating with books today and I rarely answer my home phone at the best of times.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing yet.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? It's all grand!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I would make sure I got more sleep in the week leading up to the Readathon.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Oh yeah, but March was a crazy month and the 5am start didn't help!
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Sheer stubbornness is my chosen path to success...

Hours 1-6

And we're off!

I'm starting at page 181 of Trunk Music by Michael Connelly, as it's my current book in progress.

7:12 - Finished Trunk Music - 246 pages

Hour 1 - Questions:

1)Where are you reading from today? My home in Vancouver, BC. Mostly, the couch...
2)Three random facts about me… I'm left-handed, I play field hockey, and I love to read :)
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? I have six in a pile, but will probably delve into the bookshelves for additions or substitutes.
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? My goal is to read and blog for at least 20 hours and to read at least 1900 pages.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? This is only my second time, so I wouldn't call myself a veteran, but my suggestion is to stay comfortable and keep it fun!

Hour 2 - Mini-Challenge:

Pinned on the map

Hour 5 - Oldies but Goodies Mini-Challenge
The classic book that has always meant the most to me is The Great Gatsby, as one might tell from the title of my blog :)

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Solar by Ian McEwan, which brings my page count to just under 470.

It's been just under six hours and I've now finished Solar.

Page count - 576
Hours read - approximately 5.5

Next up, I think I'll celebrate the Masters weekend with Somewhere in Ireland a Village is Missing an Idiot by David Feherty.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Countdown to the Marathon

It's just over 6 hours before start time, aka time to go to bed, and I think I'm ready. I have a pile of books to read (several bookshelves worth of substitutions if my interest flags):

I've got snacks and easily prepared foods to eat (and a credit card and phone if I want someone else to make some food) and a couple of energy drinks in the fridge for the wee hours.

Now I just need some sleep and a cold shower in the morning!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Read-a-thon Fundraiser

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon kicks off at noon GMT on April 9, which means my clock and my cell phone will be set to wake me up at 4:45am on Saturday morning and I will make the great migration from bed to comfy sofa, where I'm less likely to immediately fall asleep again.

If I had my choice I would read all day, every day, so to ease my guilty conscience about doing something so self-indulgent, I'll also be raising money for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA – in my role as a board member.

First and foremost, I pledge to donate $20 for each hour and/or each 100 pages I fall short of the goals below (or $20 if I make both goals):

*20 hours direct participation (including up to two hours blogging and participating in online mini-challenges)
*1900 pages read

I challenge you to make your own donation to the GVPTA by:

A - Cheering me on with a pledge of $1, $2, or $5 (or whatever is within your means) for every full hour I participate, or one cent for every page;
B - Challenging me further by making a lump sum donation (suggested $20 minimum) conditional on the above goals being met or exceeded;
C - Mix and mingle - make an hourly pledge with a bonus for reaching targets

You can make your pledge at this entry. I'll post a link to the GVPTA's Canada Helps page for donations in the final round-up post on Sunday morning, along with a full breakdown of time and page counts. You'll have to trust me on those, but if you've read this far, you probably know me well enough to at least have faith in my inability to lie convincingly under cross-examination.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

The semi-annual 24-Hour Read-a-Thon is taking place this Saturday and I'm hoping to particpate again. I did it in October and absolutely loved the opportunity to read (with purpose!) for nearly 24 hours straight. This time around I have a couple of challenges: 1) I'm still incredibly sleep-deprived from the work month from hell and 2) it's Masters weekend, so while I'm perfectly capable of reading and watching/listening to golf at the same time, it will could have an impact on my page count. On the other hand, the shop poker game isn't on this Friday, so I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour this time.

I wanted to do it as a fundraiser for the GVPTA this time, but the work month from hell meant I wasn't able to set something up in a timely fashion. But I still may be able to figure out a way to raise a little bit of money and every little bit helps.