Readathon Wrap Up #readathon

Another readathon has come and gone. According to the event organizer’s 1,723 readers signed up to participate this time. The event brought together readers from all over the world through the use of social media and a shared love of reading. As I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn’t going to be able to do the full 24 hours, but I managed to read 381 pages. I was able to wake up in time for the 5 a.m. start here in California, and that’s quite an accomplishment for a night owl like me.

I started off the readathon by opening my “Blind Date with a Book” that I had picked up at The Open Book in Thousand Oaks, California. I unwrapped the book and found By the Light of My Father’s Smile by Alice Walker. I was surprised to find an Alice Walker book hiding beneath the paper. I have read a number of her books, but I was not familiar with this one. And, true to Walker’s work, the writing was beautiful. My only regret is that I sped through the book for the readathon, so there are passages I would like to go back to and savor a bit more.

After that I picked up volume 1 of the graphic novel version of The Golden Compass. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is one of my favorite series, so it was like reconnecting with old friends when I stepped back into Lyra and Pan’s world. While the graphic novel version does not have the same magic as Pullman’s novel, it was an enjoyable effort, and the format was a nice break during the readathon. I look forward to picking up volume 2 in the near future.

Following The Golden Compass, I bravely ventured into the world of Kindles and ebooks by reading Different Seasons by Stephen King. The first novella in this collection is Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. I have seen the movie version of this story a number of times, but, despite having the familiarity with the story, the written version really stands out as some of King’s best work. Unfortunately the need to sleep took over, and I did not finish this novella before the end of the readathon, but I did manage to finish it just before writing this post.

As for the Kindle experience, I sill much prefer my paper books. The one advantage to the Kindle is that it was a little easier to manage in bed than a regular book, but I missed the feel of how many pages I had read and how many were left. The little indication of percentage read at the bottom of the screen did not really replace that experience. I’ll read a book on the Kindle from time to time, but you will mostly see me with paper books–although several other readathoners did tell me to give the Kindle time to grow on me.

Once again, the online community really made this a fun experience. If you have not already, head over to your favorite social media platform, and read the #readathon posts. As I have said before, the readathon community is a supportive and kind group of people. I have never experienced any of the hateful, angry comments that seem to exist in many other corners of the internet. I could easily turn any free day into a readathon of one, but it is the online community that keeps me coming back to Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon.

The next readathon will take place on April 29, 2017, so start getting your stacks of books ready now.


Reading in the New Year

Typewriter new

It has been awhile since I last wrote a post for this blog. Participating in (and winning!) my first NaNoWriMo in November used up most of my words, and, aside from a few HR articles and employee handbooks, I have been slow to get back to my writing. I suppose it is a time of year that I should be thinking about resolutions and getting to work on revising my NaNoWriMo novel, but really I am just thinking about books.

I am starting off the year with a reread of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Many people think J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is my favorite. While I do love Rowling’s books, Pullman’s trilogy has always resonated more with me. I have read and listened to the audio versions of his story of Lyra, Will and parallel universes a number of times, and it just gets better each time. With so many unread books, it is a bit weird to think about rereads, but going back to a favorite book is like a visit with an old friend.

A friend recently got Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It is a book that I have been curious about for a while, and I look forward to diving into it later this year. I would also like to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams—it is one of those series I really feel like I should have already read.

I always enjoy setting a goal for myself in the Goodreads reading challenge and set my goal at 30 books for this year. Book Riot has a “Read Harder Challenge” that pushes readers to read books in 24 different categories. What I like about this list is that it pushes readers to move beyond their normal fare and sets them up for a diverse reading list for 2016. I am not sure if I will complete all the categories, but it seems like a nice way to find inspiration for my next read.

May 2016 be filled with lots of books. Happy New Year!