Sunday, October 27, 2019

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wrap-up

I was coming off of a long week. Parent teacher conferences mean two 13+ hour days in a row, so I was both tired and behind on daily life. So I gave myself permission to just take the read-a-thon as it came.

It came with naps.

Still, the wonderful thing about it is that I give myself permission to not worry about getting anything else done on RAT days. I read as much as I want, whether that's 19 hours (my record) or 10, which is more what I did yesterday.

My completed books:

I started with The List, which is an OBOB book that most of my students wanted to read. I find that fantasy/sci fi is a hard sell for my reluctant readers, because they aren't up to the task of figuring out what the heck is going on, but it's the most popular genre for my enthusiastic readers because, well, spec fic is awesome. I really liked the premise too, which is that in some dystopian future, only 500 words are allowed to be used--except like the very Jonah like character who is apprenticed to a very Giver type character who tracks all the lost words. It obviously covers a lot of the same themes, but the world as we knew it ended not in war, but in environmental catastrophe.

I then read Lab Girl. It's my favorite kind of non-fiction: story mixed with information explained at my level of understanding. Jahren is exactly my age, and it was fascinating to read about her life, which is not at all like mine. It was equally fascinating to learn about plant biology and research scientists. She crams a lot in here, and I get the feeling there is just as much more that she chose not to add. She's definitely smarter than the average bear, what with her scientific discoveries plus her beautiful writing style. Like, pick a side of your brain and stop making the rest of us look bad.

It was after dinner by then, so I picked up a graphic novel I'd gotten at the library recently, Americana (And the Art of Getting Over It). It's a memoir of an Irishman's attempt to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. I was a PCT book junkie long before Wild was published, so this was right up my alley. It wasn't the most eventful look at life on the trail, and I was a bit disappointed that such a visual medium did not include more scenery, but I'm still glad I read it.

I debated going to bed, then decided to fit in one fast read. My daughter had insisted I take a stack of her books, which are all YA thrillers, for my read-a-thon consideration. I picked up Liar, which is an avowed unreliable narrator story. So unreliable that at the end, I had lots of questions about what was and wasn't true, and even what was and wasn't real. I feel like the author knows, but from the brief amount of digging I did after I finished, there's clearly disagreement among her readers. I'd love to chat about it with someone! I then headed to bed around 1 am, which is hour 20 in my time zone.

I didn't have time to really prep any snacks, but I did stop by Trader Joe's the night before for a few treats. So I ended up eating bread and cheese and desserts all day, which might possibly be part of why I have a headache today. I know the first two 24 hour read-a-thons I did, way back in 2016, my eyes were not yet noticeably aging, but for the past few years, eye strain has become an actual thing for me. Getting glasses helped, of course, and even though I don't NEED large print books to read, I do think that having a large print title was easier on my eyes. It's very frustrating to have a limitation in an area that doesn't exactly seem like it's the kind of high intensity activity one expects to struggle more with as one ages.

Still, I will continue to look forward to this semi-annual excuse to prioritize reading over all else for a solid day and then some.


  1. Congratulations! 10 hours of reading is a LOT. You got through so many books too. You're a reading machine

  2. Congrats on getting so much reading done! I had to skip the readathons this year because I work on weekends. I really missed them. They’re one of my favorite bookish events. I always end up with eyestrain from Dewey's, but it’s worth it!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed! I wasn't able to participate this time around, which bummed me out, but I love seeing all the recaps!

  4. I'm so happy you liked Lab Girl so much. She was a fascinating character.

  5. I really liked LAB GIRL. I've told every science-oriented person to read it. LIAR is very complex. I liked it, too.


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