Sunday 24 April 2016

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon: Hours 21-24

Are we ready to read the crap out of the last four hours of this readathon?  YES WE ARE.  If you fancy a reading break, you can catch up with my previous update posts for  Hours 0-4, Hours 5-8, Hours 9-16 and Hours 17-20, all of which are full of photographs (of books, food AND cats), challenge entries, videos and reading updates.  Hope you're all raring to go for this last push towards the end of the day!  :)

~ Hour 21 (10am) ~
I've been reading:  A Play on Words by Deric Longden

Pages read since my last update: 25

Pages read altogether:  366
Mini challenges completed:  7
The menu:  Nothing - I need another cuppa though.
In six words:  500 page goal out of reach?

Thoughts:  Well, I don't think I'm hitting 500 pages, especially given that I'm updating twenty minutes late because Mum was having another one of her "Come and look at this!  I'll stand here near you for a minute!  Shall we look out of the window?  Do you have any snacks open?  Look, the cat's being cute!" moments.  *sighs*  It may have been lonely the other 363 days of the year, but having a granny flat to retreat to at our old house sure was handy for readathons...  Onwards.  Maybe I'll try to read through to the end of another hour and THEN make more coffee.  I feel like I'm wasting time now if I so much as step out of the room!  MUST!  KEEP!  GOING!


~ Hour 22 (11am) ~
I've been reading:  A Play on Words by Deric Longden

Pages read since my last update:  16
Pages read altogether:  382
Mini challenges completed:  7
The menu:  Nothing again - I need food AND a cuppa now!
In six words:  Plodding on to the bitter end...

Thoughts:  My thoughts at this point are mostly "SHIT I'm hungry", "Why do I have no coffee?" and "Hey, remember television?  Wasn't that fun?"  Classic end-of-readathon incoherent immediate-needs-related thoughts, in other words.  Maybe if I go fetch the coffee and the food and carry on I'll feel better about the whole thing.  Yeah, let's go with that.

Lorelai is every readathonner at this point, I think...

~ Hour 23 (12 noon) ~
I've been reading:  A Play on Words by Deric Longden

Pages read since my last update:  27
Pages read altogether:  409
Mini challenges completed:  7
The menu:  Leftover pizza from last night, coffee, rocky road mini bites
In six words:  One more hour then... break time!

Thoughts:  NO TIME FOR THOUGHTS!  With just one hour left, I'm going to crack on with my book, finish my last slice of pizza, guzzle some more coffee, and save the end-of-event survey until it's all over.  Go forth and read my darlings, we're almost there!

WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?! Go read while you've still got time!
~ Hour 24 (1pm) ~
I've been reading:  A Play on Words by Deric Longden

Pages read since my last update:  42
Pages read altogether:  451
Mini challenges completed:  8
The menu:  One last slice of pizza and the rest of my coffee
In six words:  Over for another six months... *sighs*
Thoughts:  Well.  We're done until October.  I'm sleepy and sluggish and generally feel like I'd like to lie upside down on the couch and watch telly for the rest of the day - but on the other hand, it's been a great boost to my April reading, which because I had so many books on the go at once, was looking decidedly sluggish.  Sometimes you just want to feel like you're finishing things, y'know?  I think I'll carry on reading Deric Longden today then make some headway on finishing those other books this coming week using my newly-recovered reading determination...

1.  Which hour was most daunting for you?
 Weirdly, it was the sort of 6-8pm block of the readathon, only a few hours in for me.  I suddenly got really frickin' tired and my eyes were burning and I felt so ridiculous, it wasn't even my regular bedtime yet and I was already struggling!  Maybe because I don't normally focus on my book for that long at a time each hour without stopping to do other things in between chapters?
2.  Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I think everyone has their own strategy when it comes to what they get through most happily during a readathon.  I would just say, go through your TBR shelves and pick out stuff you're really, genuinely excited to read.  Amass some shorter books and books with decent sized print and snappy chapters to keep your momentum up.  And when you finish a book, make your next choice whatever grabs you in that moment, not what you THOUGHT you'd read or what you think you SHOULD read.  It's only 24 hours, go with the flow and pick what appeals most!
3.  Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the read-a-thon next year?
Not really.  I found the challenges a bit more confusing and less fast 'n' fun this year - sometimes an 'ongoing' challenge appeared that I hadn't spotted in the 'this hour's challenge' section on previous posts, so I wasn't sure where it had come from, and some of the challenges on Facebook and Goodreads weren't even accessible to a non-user, let alone available for participation.  A couple of them seemed to overlap a bit too - two road trip challenges, two quote challenges, etc.  I probably ended up doing half the number I usually take part in.  On the other hand, less challenges probably meant more reading, so it didn't really matter!

4.  What do you think worked really well in this year's read-a-thon?
I liked the list of non-Twitter participants so we could cheer each other on.  I barely got any visitors to my blog this time around (and no cheerleaders, obviously) but at least by wandering off to a few other people's updates I felt less like I was reading in a vacuum!  The Instagram community was nice too, very active and lots of liking and pithy commenting going on throughout the day.
5.  How many books did you read?
I read two novellas in their entirety, and about two thirds of a humorous memoir at the end.
6.  What were the names of the books you read?
The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé, Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell and A Play on Words by Deric Longden.

7.  Which book did you enjoy most?
Probably Kindred Spirits.  It was fast, fun, pithy and very quick to read, which made it perfect readathon fodder - especially given how tired I got yesterday evening!

8.  Which did you enjoy least?
The Suicide Shop.  I did enjoy it, it was strangely charming and blackly humorous, but there were a couple of bits that got in a tangle in my brain (like they didn't QUITE make sense), and it didn't have as much impact as I hoped.
9.  How likely are you to participate in the read-a-thon again?  What role would you be likely to take next time?
Ummmm.  I probably will?!  I feel like I properly struggled with enjoyment and motivation this time around, for the first time ever, and I'm not sure why.  The fact that hardly anyone dropped by all day so it didn't feel as social and uplifting as it normally does?  My overall tiredness and the fact that my two doses of medication nearly floored me last night and again this morning?  The way I struggled to think of things to say during hourly blog updates when previously I've really had fun with them?  My family's thinly veiled impatience at my reading all day when in the past they've been broadly tolerant of my readathonning habits?  The fact that I have a fairly rigid sleep schedule these days and it was weirdly hard to disrupt it, even voluntarily?  I don't know!  If I do take part again it'll probably be more casually - more sleep, more flexibility, maybe no blogging but more social/general participation through IG instead...  I think that'll be the way to get my read-a-thon mojo back!

~ Charity donation ~

Since I read one of Deric Longden's cat books for the readathon, and given that both of our cats came from a Cats Protection adoption shelter when they were tiny kittens, I decided that's where my donation would go.  I don't have enough to sponsor a cat pen for a year, which was my original plan, but I've organised a one-off donation of £25 instead.  Every little helps, right?

I hope you all had a wonderful time, and that if you've been around over the last 24 hours you've enjoyed the various challenge entries, photos, ramblings and GIFs I've thrown your way as the day's gone on.  Now... go relax somewhere, you deserve it!