All in all – this was a GREAT event!! If you did not participate this time, please consider participating next time (I believe these happen twice a year: once in April and once in October). The organizers did an absolutely OUTSTANDING job – and deserve a huge round of applause: Nymth, Hannah, and Trish!!
This was my first time participating and I learned SO much: both tips to help me next time and insights into my own reading pleasure. The tips that I learned for me (these may not apply to anyone else out there) are:
- Decide on a goal and select reading material to coincide with that goal. Do I want to read a lot of pages? Then pick books that are plot driven and easy to comprehend (for me – that would mysteries). Do I want to complete a lot of books? Then pick books that are short (YA novels would work great). Do I want to tackle my own TBR list? Then ignore the stats of others who are racing through reading material – and just focus on personal joy and fulfillment.
- If possible, set aside the entire 24 hours for this event. I am NOT a multi-tasker. If I want to avoid feelings of “failure” next time – then I either need to totally clear my calendar for that time period — or choose the cheerleader option and not focus so much on reading goals (and…by the way….the Cheerleaders were STUPENDOUS!!!! Both the “official” cheerleaders for the event most notably Beth, Dawn, Natasha and Melissa – and bloggers who cared enough to write an encouraging comment)
- Create a comfortable reading environment. I LOVE my book nook — it is my favorite escape place BUT…..I need to work on a temperature control device (probably an oscillating fan) as it is the dormer room of the house and can become VERY stuffy and warm (I think last night it was probably close to 80 degrees). Also….I need to diversify my instrumental music collection. I like “bookish” atmosphere of background music while reading, but I quickly realized that the 3-4 CDs I have downloaded on my iPod are not nearly enough variety. I will spending quite a bit of time on iTunes trying to remedy that situation before October.
- And finally…..a lesson that I need to apply to my entire life, not just reading….DON’T COMPARE!! As I have mentioned before, I am very much a type-A perfectionist, which has its good points and its downfalls. On the positive side, I am always striving to do my best and to improve. On the flipside, however, I can easily be derailed when I compare my “best” with the best of others. And…when I am not “best” I have “failed” I know — totally illogical and untrue, but such is the insight into my brain. What am I talking about? Well, there are two readers in this marathon event who I think deserve recognition: Deborah at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food, who read a staggering 5170 pages and completed 19 books!!!! AND….. S. Krishna who read 3875 pages (in 17 hours) and completed 14 books!!! At one point during the day she was reading 5.5 pages a minute!!!!
It is so incredibly easy for me to look at those stats and say “why did I even bother” (again – I know it is faulty thinking, but it is the way I am wired). But here is the insight that I learned about me: I am sure that I can take speed reading classes, and while I will never read 5.5 pages a minute, I am certain that I could increase my speed. The thing is ….. I like savoring words!! I like reading the story for the plot but also…I like reading the story to analyze how the author wrote it. I like underlining beautiful passages and making notes. I like re-reading a particularly poetic passage that begs to be savored. AND….this is a big one….I feel very guilty if I do not read every word that the author has written (well, maybe not the articles, but all the other words). I know how long it takes me to write – and revise – this little blog. I simply cannot imagine the time and effort – sweat and tears – it takes an author to write a book. I know it takes weeks, months and sometimes years to complete a manuscript, and I feel guilty if I read the entire work in only a couple of hours.
Now please – do not hear what I am NOT saying. I do not think all readers should subscribe to this way of thinking. But I have learned this about myself – and I think I need to learn to accept this in order to find peace and joy in the next read-a-thon event.
So, with that insight in mind — I am going to extend my own personal read-a-thon into today. It is a dreary, rainy, Sunday and all my lesson plans are complete. I am thoroughly enjoying Rebecca (in fact, I already know that I will want to re-read this book and take copious notes) and perhaps I can come close to finishing the book today.
My final stats for the official 24 hour read-a-thon are as follows:
- books read: 1.5
- number of pages read: 505
- number of hours read: 9.5
I will post reviews for Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and Rebecca later this week. For now, I am going to visit fellow bloggers and give them a note of congratulations — and then enjoy another afternoon of blissful reading!