I realize that I am late to most things Internet. What can I say, I like to discover new things only to find out that they’ve been around forever. It’s my thing.
Anyhoo, I recently stumbled on this thing called a readathon. It’s a 24 hour reading marathon challenge. http://www.24hourreadathon.com And I thought, that sounds interesting! SIGN ME UP! I didn’t really sign up for anything, but I shared and texted and tweeted and followed and updated appropriately. Ironically, it turns out there is an ACTUAL sign up, but more on that later.
Now, one would think that for any good #bookworm or #booknerd, this would be a breeze. I mean, an excuse to the world around me, to Shhhhh I’m Reading? Brilliant!
Turns out, reading for 24 hours is harder than you initially imagine.
Let’s start with the logistics of it. First, this requires planning. I underestimated the amount of planning required. I underwent this challenge with a friend, http://www.thepagesinbetween.com , so our first task was what to read.
We decided to try and read together, so the daunting task of pulling a stack of books out of the TBR pile, became slightly more complicated. But, like any good book nerds, we dove into the task with wild abandon. Once we had our stack, Tracy commented that we should probably remove any firsts in series. Duh. Good idea! The stack shrank.
Since this is a reading challenge, we wanted to show off our literary prowess, in sheer number if not content, so we wanted books we suspected would be fast reads. And the stack shrank, finally, to three shiny beautiful books for us to begin reading bright and early Saturday morn.
We were so optimistic. We had such high hopes. We were clearly delusional.
The challenge was set to start at 8am New York time. I’m in Las Vegas. That meant 5am. Already I was not off to a good start. I can barely get up at 5am to catch required flights or do things for, you know, actual life. Getting up to read was not going to happen. Bad book nerd. I woke up and started at 8am my time. 3 hours behind.
Not only that, but I had not finished the book I was currently reading the day before. I can’t pick up and switch books like some people. I cannot manage multiple reads at a time. I just can’t. I finished the 150 pages or so, which set me back another 2 hours.
I should also comment, that said book, was Me Before You. I don’t know if anyone has read this book. (Probably everyone, but as I stated at the start: LATE TO THE PARTY) Needless to say I spent the next hour curled in a ball sobbing my eyes out.
Oh yeah, this day was progressing excellently.
After food and reassuring hugs from the hubs, I picked up our first book selection: Hunted.
I was very excited to jump into this book. I sat down to read, and remembered I hadn’t updated Twitter. Since I was there, I might as well search #readathon and see what everyone else is up to. Oh, right, reading.
Then the dogs were being so damn cute. So we played. Oh wait, reading. Yes, back to the reading.
Somehow, I ended up on Facebook. What is going on here? READ DAMN YOU!!!
Oh! The mail! With #bookmail! EEK!!!!! Obviously, I also needed to update this major event on Instagram.
WHERE I FOUND OUT I WON A MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!!!!!
I may or may not have run around the house screaming. Once the adrenaline wore off, I decided I needed coffee. It was 5 pm and I was only 100 pages into my second book. Well, secondish book. This was not going well. #booknerdshame
Surprisingly, coffee helped. Also the sun set, which also helped. Weird.
That’s not to say I buckled down and focused. Oh no.
Since we had coffee at 6pm, we had energy, so why not take the dogs on a midnight walk? And then shut the house down. And then clean up the kitchen.
Ok, time for a bath. I can always get some serious reading done in the bath. And I did! HOORAY!
I finished Hunted around 2am and feeling like I had sandpaper lodged behind my eyelids, threw in the towel and conceded defeat.
I technically logged 18 hours of *attempted* reading. The key word there is attempted. I read around 520 pages. One and a halfish books.
Here’s what I learned.
Sitting and reading for 24 straight hours is A LOT harder than you think! Even if you love reading. Even if you are surrounded by books you love. Even with a friend, messaging and encouraging each other. Life does not stop. It’s rude like that.
I also learned, after the fact, that there are actual sign ups and challenges and activities on the readathon website to help focus and encourage readers. Who knew? Oh right, probably everyone.
Other fun facts:
- reading and walking is difficult. I may have gotten into it with a doorway that moved.
- reading and cooking is also difficult. We didn’t require a fire extinguisher, but there was a close call.
- Snack planning is a vastly underestimated skill and I failed miserably.
- Meal planning is vital.
- If you’re going to convince your husband to stay up super late with you, make sure you turn off the alarm. Sleep deprived husbands are grumpy.
- Coffee is life.
The biggest thing I learned? Doing crazy challenges and weird book related activities is FUN! Did I make it the full 24 hours? NO! Did I read even half of what I thought I could? NO! But I still had a freaking blast!
Trying to focus on anything for 24 hours IS challenging! It makes you aware of the little things you find yourself doing throughout your day that you don’t notice. Time spent on social media. Phone calls and texts from people you love. Eating. Needing to move. Bathroom needs. How dust accumulates in weird places.
It’s amazing really. I thought sitting and doing something I absolutely love would be a breeze. A walk in the park. Easy. I suppose it makes more sense that as part of the human condition, or perhaps just my rebellious nature towards authority, we are creatures of resistance. Tell me I have to do something, even something I love, and I will find a million other things to do instead.
The Dewey Readathon happens twice a year, every year. October 21 is the next challenge day.
Am I participating? YES! And I will have better snacks! Hope to see you there.