My “now I can get back to reading and hopefully posting” time is finally here! And what better way to kick my tail back into gear than with the latest iteration of the wonderful Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon coming up on Saturday, October 18? Each time we do this, I am amazed by both how much more reading I get in than on a usual day and by the awesome and supportive Dewey’s community. (And by how utterly loopy and zombie-like I am by the end of the event…but like a happy zombie…shambling through the stacks, groaning a demand for “booo~ooo~ooks”…)
The official site has posted a lot of helpful advice and tips about how to succeed, how to stay awake, remembering to keep oneself fed and hydrated, book ideas, etc. Their Warm Up: Advice for Newbies has a tidbit especially important for me, as it is something I often forget: “Don’t measure your readathon success by how others participate.” I have a big problem remembering this – not just at read-a-thon time, but regarding everything book-and-blog-related. I am always feeling guilty that I don’t read more and review more/post more on this blog, and when read-a-thons roll around, that feeling extends to guilting out over not finishing enough books, not participating in enough minigames, not chatting enough, and not reviewing enough afterward. I have to get my head out of this mindset. I didn’t start this blog with the intention of being a heavy reviewer or a pro blogger. I started it for fun, for me, and as a place from which to participate in challenges and reading events. I’m not in competition with other readers, bloggers or event participants, and that includes read-a-thons. Thanks, Dewey’s crew, for posting much-needed reminders of such basic and important things. I really appreciate the readerly wisdom and support!
I think I have my read-a-thon book stack finalized. Here’s what I have on deck:
- A season-appropriate classic Gothic novella: The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
- A compact Japanese classic: The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe
- A page-turning recent young adult: Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
- A graphic novel on a very serious theme: The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks
- I am currently in the middle of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, so I have that to dip into, as well.
- All these books except the Machen are in physical form, but I have a ton of short stories and novellas and public domain classics on my Kindle if I need a change or find none of my plans suit my mood enough to keep me awake and reading. Prime candidates include Margaret Oliphant’s 1896 chiller The Library Window, The Machine Stops (a very ahead-of-its-time and prescient 1909 science fiction piece by E. M. Forster!) and the recent Unlocked by John Scalzi, a prequel to his Locked In, which I recently read and loved.
- If my eyes give out and I simply can’t focus on the page any longer, I may grab an audio book via my library’s download service. I don’t generally enjoy audio books, but I have had good luck with funny books, especially memoirs read by the author himself or herself.