Mid-event might be end for me

The following questions were posted at the 24hourreadathon.com site at the half way point.  I’m closing in on hour 14 and probably won’t make it much further.  Will answer these questions now and then tomorrow post some reflections on what I learned about my own reading habits.

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?
Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta
2. How many books have you read so far?
parts of six books; unfortunately, I didn’t actually “finish” any of them, so my “Currently Reading” list hasn’t changed at all 🙁
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
don’t think I’ll make it much further
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Not really.  Just made sure I didn’t commit to anything else today
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
A couple of emails that I just ignored and some people at the door who I tried to get rid of (see description in earlier post)
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How much more slowly I read than I used to.  Most likely due to my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the “brain fog” it produces.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I actually found all the mini-challenges and trying to check on other people’s blogs to be distracting.  I just wanted to read.  This was my first read-a-thon so I wasn’t really prepared for all the potential online distractions.  So maybe providing some explanation of how that will work (or some examples in the FAQ) would help the newbies.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
sign up sooner and get some friends to sign up to so we can all encourage each other
9. Are you getting tired yet?
I’m exhausted, but then I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so I’m amazed at how well I’m doing (even with all the naps).
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
I did appreciate the few comments I received.  Wish I had gotten more, but I signed up late.  For me reading for 90 minutes, then taking 15-30 minutes for break, snack, and blogging worked pretty well.  Of course I also included many naps.
That’s all for me folks.  I’m going to read a bit more of Scarpetta and then call it a night.  Sorry to be such a party pooper . . . that’s nothing new.


Made it through the first three chapters of Elaine Aron’s The Undervalued Self before I needed a nap.  I received a free copy of this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.  So far, the first chapter was full of lame pseudo-science and faux evolutionary theory.  The second (on six self-protections) and third (on childhood & adult traumas) chapters were better, but I’m not seeing much difference between “The Undervalued Self” and traditional analyses of “low self esteem”.

After nap I cheated and watched a bit of baseball.  C.C. Sabathia was on the verge of a no-hitter in the Yankees/Rays game.  But the Rays finally got a hit off of him in the eighth inning.

Time for some popcorn and Scarpetta.

BTW, my headache from this morning is still with me, despite Tylenol this morning and ibuprophen later.  Doesn’t seem to be a migraine (which would prevent me from reading anything), just an annoying headache.  My guess is it’s a “joys of Spring” headache . . .

Read-a-thon continues

The Victorian Era

After breakfast, spent the rest of the morning savoring the language of Victorian England: Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, and Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit.  I’m embarrassed to admit (though the info is easily viewable in my LibraryThing catalog) that I started Little Dorrit a year ago (during the PBS airing of a Masterpiece Classics version).  Slow going and nearly 800 pages long, but I’m over 2/3 through.  And I just love his descriptions of the Barnacles and their “Circumlocution Office” with its mind-boggling bureaucracy and miles of paperwork and red tape.  Then there’s Mrs. General varnishing and polishing people into “proper” behavior . . . it really is delightful, despite the length.  And the financial ups and downs of the characters are eerily familiar today.

Then I took a very long nap.  Interrupted by some helpful citizens ringing my doorbell to tell me about a new “Make your home energy efficient” program that I can’t afford to participate in.  When I arrived at the door in my bathrobe to tell them to stop ringing the bell and go away they tried to talk to me anyway!

Time for shower and lunch break . . . then I probably need to start on that review of The Undervalued Self.

Read-a-thon First Report

Woke at 6:45am with a nasty headache, but took some Tylenol and made my cup of Welsh Morning tea.

7 am arrived while the tea was brewing.  In order to get started on time, I read the introduction to The soul of a new cuisine : a discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson.  In talking about community and food rituals he describes the custom of leaving a little bit on your plate at the end of a meal, to indicate that you had enough to eat.  So opposite to the Western “eat every morsel on your plate or the cook will be offended” notion.

7:10 am – 8:40 am Sat in my “Field of Dreams”  reading lounge with my cat Marvel on my lap (see pics below).  Read Morning Prayer from the Daily Office and then worked my way through a large part of Uncommon Prayer: A Book of Psalms by Daniel Berrigan.  These poems are reflections on and interpretations of the Psalms, written in the 1970s and viewed through the eyes of a man in prison for protesting an unjust war.  They require slow and prayerful reading (and an occasional break to go read the original Psalm).  It took about an hour to read about 30 pages. I had been reading them one poem/psalm at a time, but this more concentrated reading really lets the message sink in.  It’s amazing how relevant they still are today, over 30 years later.

This reading break is also time for a brief breakfast.  Oatmeal is sitting on the stove waiting for me, so time to go.  After oatmeal I’ll be reading Part 20 of The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins.  Published by Charles Dickens 150 years ago, it is being re-released in the same weekly installments as the original.  You can learn more about the project at: www.womaninwhite.co.uk


Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams Reading Lounge



Read-a-thon Preparation

I’m printing out my list of “Currently Reading” books from my LibraryThing Catalog.  My goal tomorrow is to reduce the size of this list (currently at 15 books).  I’ll start my day at 7am with tea and the Morning Prayer service (which I read from a downloaded pdf file) and Daniel Berrigan’s Uncommon prayer: a book of Psalms.  Later in the day I’ll be working on reading/reviewing a new book by Elaine Aron called The Undervalued Self (received through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program).  Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta will spice things up when I need a change.  Also have the latest chapter from The Woman in White which I’m reading in weekly installments from womaninwhite.co.uk.

I may download an audio book just in case my eyes get tired, probably something by Willa Cather from gutenberg.org or librivox.org.

Another little twist: I have three books on Jazz Violin that actually include music as well as essays, so I may do a little playing (which will count as reading, because “sight reading” music is reading 🙂

Enough of a preview for now.  Keep checking back.