22 April 2012 2 Comments
So, my fourth 24-Hour Readathon is complete, and I’m feeling a little defeated, to be honest. I had already come to terms with the fact that my reading will never yield huge page counts or a lengthy list of completed titles, but in all of my past readathon events I’ve always come away feeling like I accomplished a huge endeavor. And I’ve never felt the time was wasted. This time, however, it doesn’t feel successful. Despite the fact that I read for the longest amount of time in any readathon so far, and read the most pages of any event so far, I just didn’t have as much fun with it as I have each time before. I blame this entirely on the book I chose to read and my decision to not abandon it in favor of something more enjoyable. I have this trouble with books, on occasion, where I often feel like I should keep reading in hopes that the story might turn around, thus trudging through a lot of sludge just to seek out the tiniest nuggets of gold. With The Art of Fielding I found just enough great writing and just enough enjoyable characterization to feel like the book was worth the effort. Even though the reading often felt tedious, I found enough merit to want to reach its conclusion, but I really wished that conclusion could have come hundreds of pages before the 512th.
So now I know what not to do in subsequent readathons. If I find myself in this same predicament again, I’ll need to remind myself to set that book aside for another day and pick up a novel that is truly enjoyable and doesn’t make me work so hard to find its value. Loyalty and determination can only go so far, and I see now that a readathon is not the time to prove something to myself. If only there was a Hunger Games series for each and every readathon! I’d never struggle again.
In keeping with tradition, I’ve included my final readathon numbers here, as well as the “official” End-of-Event Meme from the Readathon blog. The next event is scheduled for October 2012. I hope you’ll make plans to join the fun! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and posted to Twitter throughout the ‘thon; your encouragement really does make a huge difference, especially in the wee hours of the night.
385 pages read (including 20 or so that I skimmed through)
14.5 total hours spent reading
75% of 1 book completed
1 book attempted during readathon
Which hour was most daunting for you? The toughest time for me is always around Hour 20. I had to give in this time, actually. Had my book been better, or had I not developed a headache, I might have been able to hold out till the end. I’ll strive for that in the fall.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Of the four readathons I’ve done, the easiest was while reading The Hunger Games series. It is so engaging and so well-written that I truly could not put it down. Even when I tried to force myself to step away from it and read something in a different tone I couldn’t stop wondering what would be coming next in the series. No other book has kept me so engrossed that I didn’t have any desire for sleep. It’s an excellent choice for a readathon!
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Everyone really does a great job with keeping participants engaged that I can’t think of much to make it better. I have sometimes wondered about the other participants in my cheer team, though. Perhaps each team could be posted on the website, with both cheer leaders and readers of each team? While I’ve never taken charge as a cheerleader, I often like to encourage other readers when they post to Twitter or when I see a blog post referenced somewhere. So it might be cool to see a list of participants who are grouped together for the cheer teams so that those of us within that team could encourage each other, even as our cheer leader is touching base with each of us. Just a thought!
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The hourly posts on the official website were right on target each and every time. And the mini-challenges were clearly denoted so that I could always see what was new and where to find them. Having a central hub for the readathon is much appreciated!
How many books did you read? Sadly, there was just the one, and it is not yet completed.
What were the names of the books you read? The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Which book did you enjoy most? n/a
Which did you enjoy least? n/a
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I always plan to participate! Every Spring and every Fall. It’s just such fun!