Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon!

Yay, it's back! And for once I'm not actually working! Sure, I'm a little late to the party but the plan is to write this post and then get stuck in for the rest of the 24 hours.

Book stack pictures don't really work when you're mostly going to be e-reading, do they? Sigh. Okay, so the plan is:

1) Uni reading! That book on the far right is Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I'm about 100 pages from the end so I really want to get it finished! Then on the Kindle I've got Charlotte Brontë's Villette, which I'd like to get a good start on- maybe 100-200 pages. I also have random essays/academic reading I have to do which I'm totally counting in my page count, because why not?

2) I've got this week's section of The Monk to read for Alice's Monk-a-Long, so I'd like to get that done. Also on the kindle.

3) And on the purely recreational front, I've got The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson on the Kindle and The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson, both of which count as RIP reads. Yay!

See how I'm seamlessly able to combine uni work and other reading challenges with this readathon? That's the plan anyway...

Introductory survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'll be reading from my parents' house in Armagh, Northern Ireland. It's warmer than my own house and has lots of cats roaming around to help/distract me!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 
The Haunting of Hill House, because I've heard such good things and I feel like a good scare.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
These Hallowe'en Starbursts. I was obsessed with them last year but forgot all about them until I saw them in a shop yesterday. So, I'll be devouring these until they disappear for another year...

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm Gemma, I'm studying a post-grad in literature while working ridiculous hours at a fast food restaurant. I like cats, coffee and denim and Halloween is my favourite time of year.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what's one thing you'll do differently today? 
For the first time that I can remember, I'm not working at all during the readathon! So, hopefully more reading will be involved than usual.

Update: 5:26 pm (Hours 1-5 and a bit)

Reading: Orlando by Virginia Woolf, "Context Stinks!" by Rita Felski
Pages read: 80
Books finished: Orlando
Snacks consumed: two cups of coffee, crisps, more Starburst than I'd like to admit...

I finished my first book, yay! Okay, so I didn't have all that much left to read, but still. Starting on my academic essays now, which are much slower going as I'm taking notes and looking up things and all that jazz. My dad's bringing home Chinese in a bit so it might be time for a break and maybe some The Monk before I get back to reading about criticism about historicism...

Update: 8.58 pm (Hours 6-8)

Reading: The Monk by M G Lewis, also two articles: "Context Stinks!" by Rita Felski and "The Unfinished Historicist Project" by J Kuchich
Pages read: 47
Total pages read: 127
Books finished: both articles
Total books finished: 1, plus 2 articles
Snacks consumed: a Chinese takeaway, more coffee, a little chocolate, and more of those Starbursts

Had my Chinese, read a little of The Monk, and then plowed into the two essays. Got them both finished, which means it's strictly fiction reading from here on out, yay! Weirdly, a readathon context is actually a good time to do academic reading- I'm in the mood for sitting quietly and focused reading. The plan now is maybe a little The Monk before I get stuck into Villette. 

Update: 12.24 am (Hours 9-11 and a bit)

Reading: The Monk by M G Lewis, Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Pages read: 190
Total pages read: 317
Books finished: none
Total books finished: 1, plus 2 articles
Snacks consumed: a cup of tea to wake myself up, plus some pick & mix

Had a great three hours and a bit, mostly reading Villette- I've read it before, a few years back, but I don't remember it being anywhere near this good. It probably helps that my French is much better now (so, so much French in this book) and that since my first read, I have experienced teaching French teenagers like Lucy Snowe. There's so much snark in this book too. I love it.

I will be going to bed fairly soon- I don't function well without sleep, and I have work tomorrow night, so staying up all night is out of the question. I'll see how I go though. I want to finish reading this week's portion of The Monk (which is such a weird book, seriously) and hopefully get started on The Haunting of Hill House before I fall asleep.

Mid-event survey!

1. What are you reading right now?
I was reading Villette, but I'm going to go back to The Monk to finish this week's read-a-long chapters.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've read from three, finished one, and also read two academic articles. Yay for combining uni work and readathons!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-Thon?
The Haunting of Hill House, still!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
I haven't actually had many! By happy coincidence my family got takeaway Chinese so I didn't even need to cook dinner. Also, I'm 'doing uni work' so they haven't really been bothering me, lol. There's been a few times I've had to get up to tend to my cats, but even they're being surprisingly good, and are currently curled up sleeping under my bed :)

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-Thon so far?
How I've actually been able to sit down and read! I figured I'd get bored/distracted by hour 4 or so. But no, I'm actually pretty focused today for some reason.

Update: 1.15 pm (Hours 12-24)

Reading: The Monk by M G Lewis, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Pages read: 256
Total pages read: 573
Books finished: none
Total books finished: 1, plus 2 articles
Snacks consumed: cereal, orange juice, yet more coffee, yet more Starburts

It's the end! I finished my section of The Monk and then read The Haunting of Hill House until about 3 am or so. My cats woke me up early (I knew they were being suspiciously quiet last night...) and I got some more Villette in this morning before the end. It's been a blast.

Closing meme!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Probably at some point this morning, when I wanted to go back to bed but also wanted to read more Villette... so I made some coffee and ploughed on through. Worth it.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year?
See, I always end up reading difficult/long books for readathons- I don't necessarily agree with the wisdom that short books are best for readathons. But The Haunting of Hill House is a good one I guess- it's quite short and definitely high-interest. I really want to go back to reading more!

3. What do you think worked really well in this year's readathon?
The challenges- I didn't participate in any of them personally but I liked looking at other people's responses.

4. How many books did you read?/5. What were the names of the books you read?
- last 78 pages of Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- article: "Context Stinks!" by Rita Felski
- 79 pages of The Monk by M G Lewis
- article: "The Unfinished Historicist Project" by J Kuchich
- first 195 pages of Villette by Charlotte Brontë
- first 184 pages of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

So, I finished one, read two articles and read from three others.

6. Which book did you enjoy the most?
Probably The Haunting of Hill House- I'm dying to get back and finish it. Villette was also unexpectedly awesome.

7. Which did you enjoy the least?
If we're including articles, the Kuchich. If not, The Monk. I'm never sure whether I love or hate that book... it's just getting steadily more ridiculous.

8. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-Thon again?
Oh, I'm sure I'll be here again in April, no matter what! I had a great time. It was nice being able to do it properly and not having to work for once. I'm so happy with how much reading I got done!

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