“All time spent reading is time well-spent.” ~ W H Auden. The joys of participating in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon

In my last post I wrote about becoming a first-time participant in the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, which ran across this past weekend. Although I had seen social media traffic about previous readathons, I was not quite sure what to expect. But I needn’t have worried – it was really great fun.

I knew before starting that I would not have to read for the whole 24 hours – the ethos is very much ‘do your own thing’. I also suspected that my reading plans would be too ambitious. Tick and tick. In the end, I read for a total of 7 hours in roughly three main concentrated periods. I completed two of my original goals: I finished Mary and O’Neil by Justin Cronin and The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch. I started my second planned Murdoch, The Red and the Green, but found that I was getting too boggle-eyed and headachy from spending too much time with the Kindle app on my iPad. So I swapped to a book from my current library pile – Carol by Patricia Highsmith.

In total I read about 400 pages, which is pretty good going for me. I usually try to get through about 100 pages on a ‘normal’ day.

I will aim to write more about the books themselves in a future post. In the meantime…

What were the best things about participating in the readathon?

  • engaging with fellow book lovers around the world about this marvellous shared passion;
  • experiencing good quality reading time – I found that reading The Italian Girl pretty much straight through enhanced the flow of the story;
  • giving myself permission to prioritise reading over other commitments felt very luxurious.

And the challenges?

  • I should have anticipated that reading for much longer periods on my iPad would be a strain. I don’t usually have a problem reading ebooks, but it was a welcome relief to pick up a print book after a while;
  • I would undoubtedly have read more if I had not been so glued to everyone else’s comments, updates etc. It was hard to tear myself away sometimes!

What will I do differently next time?

The next readathon takes place on 6 April 2019. It’s already in my diary and I am looking forward to having another go, when I expect to:

  • plan more of a mix of reading media, combining printed books, ebooks and audiobooks will allow for even more reading;
  • plan better when to engage with other participants;
  • make more of an effort to participate in the various hourly challenges etc. This time I really only scratched the surface with all the goings on. I definitely feel I missed out by not joining in on the readathon bingo lol!

Having said all of this, though, it seems to me that the best way to approach the readathon is actually to be very laid back about it, just taking things as they come, in accordance with how you feel at any given moment. I can see that an element of planning will help to enhance one’s participation, but the most important thing to remember is that it is meant to be a fun event, not a slog!

I don’t need any encouragement to read – it is definitely one of my priorities these days. One of the added joys of this hobby, though, is the sharing of recommendations, reviews, ideas etc with fellow book lovers. I always enjoy my online conversations with fellow bloggers about their reading habits and recommended titles. Participating in the readathon allowed me to extend this even further. So roll on next April! 😀📚

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” ~ Mortimer J. Adler. The perfect mantra for the Dewey 24 hour Readathon

This weekend I am participating for the first time in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – a worldwide event where participants read books and post thoughts, updates, snack information etc via their blogs and social media platforms. I have seen this taking place in previous years and thought it would be fun to have a go.

I should emphasise that it is not necessary literally to read for 24 hours! It’s just that this is the set time period in which everyone can take the opportunity to feel part of an international reading community, visiting each other across the ether to share this most essential of hobbies.

The 24 hour period starts for me at 1pm today and I am excited to get going. First off, I will be finishing Justin Cronin’s beautiful story about the lives of Mary, O’Neil and their families. I am currently half way through and very keen to finish it. I came to this book via Kate’s blog, BooksAreMyFavouriteAndBest – she describes it as ‘unexpectedly wonderful’ and indeed it is.

 

Next, I’ll be catching up on my participation with Liz Dexter’s Iris Murdoch Readalong. I was doing quite well with a title a month until all the busyness of the summer kicked in. So I’ll be aiming to get as far as possible through The Italian GirlThe Red and the GreenThe Time of Angels, The Nice and the Good, and Bruno’s Dream.  As you can see from this screenshot of my ‘Iris’ collection on my Kindle, I am building up quite a digital library. I had never read any of her work before embarking on Liz’s project and have been very much enjoying the journey so far. So it will be good to get back to it.

 

Nevertheless, I suspect it will be hard to take all that Murdoch in one go, so I am also planning to treat myself to two new titles that I have been looking forward to: Patrick Gale’s Take Nothing With You and Kate Atkinson’s Transcription.

I have no idea how far I get with all of this, but spending a weekend of reading sounds like heaven! And of course it will be fascinating to learn what everyone else is doing. See you on the other side. 🙂