Remember when I said I was going to participate in two readathons and then promptly forgot to post about that any more? Yep. This post is about those readathons. It’s very late, but I’ve also been very busy – and very knackered after a weekend which I almost exclusively spent reading, eating, and sleeping.
Turns out it was a very successful weekend!
I started off Friday & #8inboo with some PhD work and Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man, then continued in the evening with Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer & a hot bath. I got about four hours of reading in on the first day (and without pushing myself too much, which I liked!), and even went to bed at a reasonable hour.
Saturday morning started off with a nice, relaxed breakfast and a little more Melmoth, but since Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon didn’t start until 2 pm for me, I decided to spend the rest of the morning doing other things. I wasn’t too worried about the other four hours of reading for #8inboo since I planned to do a lot more reading that afternoon/evening, and there were household chores and more PhD-related work to be done.
Saturday afternoon had me feeling pretty frazzled because the PhD work I had to finish in the morning required a lot more brain capacity than I anticipated, which promptly translated into low-level anxiousness and mental exhaustion once the readathon started. I decided a walk and some fresh air was just what I needed, and it turned out I was right. I considered picking up an audiobook, but I don’t actually like the background noise of those very much and too much auditory input usually makes my mental exaustion/anxiousness worse. However, I’m usually also not one for reading while walking, which means I was faced with a “difficult” choice, at least where optimizing my reading time for the readathons was concerned. I decided to go the route of the physical book, and – lo and behold – Claudia Rankine’s Citizen turned out to be a good choice. I read a little while walking (only in places where there is no traffic around, which luckily are plenty around where I live), took a quick break to read outside (on a bench at the local graveyard, which is actually pretty nice this time of year), and then later on grabbed a coffee at my favourite coffee place and read some more.
I got back home around 5 pm, where I listened to the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone audiobook while cooking dinner and doing more household chores. I usually have a pretty hard time focusing on audiobooks (I tend to zone out a lot), but I seem to be doing somewhat better with books I already know. To be honest, though – I think I would have skipped the audiobook altogether if that hadn’t been a square on the Dewey’s Bingo, for which I was aiming for a full bingo/blackout.
I spent the rest of the evening alternating between books and trying to fill in the bingo squares – which I very nearly managed! When the readathon ended on Sunday, I was only missing one – the one that said “Read 500 pages”. I knew that one would be a stretch for me – I know my average reading speed, which is anywhere between 50 and 10 pages per hour, depending on the reading material. I was willing to make some concessions regarding my book pics for this readathon – choosing shorter and slightly easier picks, for example, instead of spending the entire readathon reading Melmoth – but I knew I wasn’t going to pick anything I wasn’t really interested in just for the sake of getting those pages in. Plus, I wasn’t going to cut down on sleep, which is why I spent a full nine hours of the readathon not reading but getting some shuteye – a choice that I do not regret in the least and will repeat during any upcoming readathon.
Even without the full blackout on the readathon bingo, I really like how my final stats turned out:
#8inboo: 7.30h of reading + 2.55h of audiobooks = 10.25h, with a total of 326 pages of phyiscal books & 88 pages of audiobook
Dewey’s: 9.50h of reading and 5.20h of audiobooks = 15.10h, with a total of 319 pages of physical books & 126 pages of audiobook
Books finished: Reaper Man, Citizen – both started before the readathon