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Readathon Wrap

Written by Kirsten on October 19th, 2014

Another readathon has come and gone, and I’m excited to tally up the totals. I know it’s going to be lower than April, mostly because I posted less frequently and so had fewer opportunities out there for folks to comment or respond. But, let’s see how we did:

Pages read:

The Blood of Olympus: 502

Maddy Kettle Book 1: The Adventures of the Thimblewitch: 90

Coraline: 162

The Paying Guests: 173 (partial)

Total pages: 927 x $0.05 = $46.35

Hours Listened: rounding up to 1; didn’t get to much of The Vacationers: $5.00

Hours not reading: 4 x$5 = $20

Comments received:

Twitter: 14

Facebook: 25

Instagram: 5

Blog: 2

Total comments: $46

GRAND TOTAL: $117.35

So, not too far shy of April’s total, which was about $123. Thanks to everyone who commented and cheered me on; it was a great readathon, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Off to — you guessed it — finish two of the books I didn’t complete yesterday/this morning. Thanks again, and the kids from The Jimmy Fund thank you, and my Mamau thanks you, for helping me do this.

Watching the Sox with my Mamau

Watching the Sox with my Mamau


Mid-readathon survey

Written by Kirsten on October 18th, 2014


We passed the halfway point a bit ago, and here’s the mid-readathon survey for hour 12!

1. What are you reading right now? Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and The Vacationers by Emma Straub on audio
2. How many books have you read so far? 2 – The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, and Maddy Kettle, book 1: The Adventures of the Thimblewitch by Eric Orchard
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Either finishing The Paying Guests, or the two Gail Carriger novels
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Nope!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I always forget how quickly the day goes by, and then how slowly the wee hours seem to go… Trying to keep a pace and not burn out

Hope you’re all enjoying reading, cheering, or both; back to it for me :)


Readathon Intro Meme

Written by Kirsten on October 18th, 2014


Good morning! Managed the 8am wakeup; let’s see how long before I crash. Here’s the Opening Meme we’ve all come to know and love (sneakily written last night). Happy reading!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, Maine
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Probably Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus, because those books are just such brain candy that it’ll be both a fun read, and an easy one to chalk up as completed during the event. I’m also both longing for, and dreading, the rest of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I love her prose and her plots, and coming to the end of her newest book means no more new Sarah Waters for several years. This is TRAGIC.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I wasn’t sure I was going to Readathon this time around, so I didn’t plan very well re: food. I’m excited that I prepped the coffee pot, though.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I work for LibraryThing for Libraries, so books aren’t just a hobby, they’re my life, and I could not be more thrilled about that. I live with my 16 year old brother and two (spoiled as shit) cats, all of whom are aware of their roles during readathon: supply, snuggle, and save anything non-urgent for Sunday.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’m reading to raise funds for charity for the second time – April’s fundraising Readathon was a real success, so I’m excited to add to my net Jimmy Fund contribution. I know my Mamau would be proud, and support my choice of recipient of the donation. I don’t plan to do anything differently, though given the time, I will probably buy more sleep hours than I did last time :)


Readathon Reading List

Written by Kirsten on October 18th, 2014


It’s stupid late and I should really be asleep but instead I’m wrangling a Book Display Widget full of readathon TBRs because I CAN, DANGIT.

My short list includes:
THE PAYING GUESTS, Sarah Waters (the second half of)
THE VACATIONERS, Emma Stroub (audiobook)
YOU, Caroline Kepnes
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, Zora Neale Hurston (the rest of)
MISSED HER, Ivan Coyote
CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES, Gail Carriger (of Parasol Protectorate fame)

I have a couple of ARCs in progress that I can’t seem to lay my hands on, not the least of which is Ian McEwan’s most recent, THE CHILDREN ACT. Meanwhile, I should go to bed. See you in a few hours…


Fall Readathon, 2014.

Written by Kirsten on October 17th, 2014


So, I’ve been wishy-washy about this readathon. I haven’t done any of the usual prep, haven’t been excited about it, but have also had a sort of determination to use it to manage my grief around the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. When I first realized the date of the readathon, I thought, “This is great, what better way to spend what would otherwise be an absolute SHIT day than to have an excuse to do nothing but read?” Then someone who cares about me a lot and who means a lot to me offered to take some time that day to spend with me, maybe go to the ocean, be still with my feelings, and that sounded really good. Then I thought, I don’t know that I really want to see anyone that day, or rather, I don’t want anyone to see me, because as it is, I’m crying typing this stupid blog post. So, I haven’t ruled out taking some time to be with another human being who will let me ugly-cry on her shoulder and punch her instead of the rocks and generally take care of me during the meltdown that is almost guaranteed, but the time will be well spent, and will also contribute to this readathon’s fundraiser. I’m going to follow a similar model to the one I used in April:

$0.05 per page read: this works out to $20 for a 400 page book, but I have SEVERAL books in progress and want to build my donation even if I start a book and am not really feeling it after 20 pages.

$5.00 per hour listened: I have an audiobook in progress, and this will make it easier to continue to participate while cooking/preparing snacks, and getting to and from anywhere I may go.

$5.00 per hour missed: If I leave for a while, this will go into effect, but this covers hours slept, too. Any hour in which I do not read or listen to a book, that’s five bucks. (I may decide at 8am that oversleeping is worth the $$…) And finally…

$1.00 per comment left on my blog posts, Facebook comments, and @ tweets during the readathon. Official Readathon Cheerleaders will be assigned to stop by and root for me as a reader, but this is an easy way for family and friends to contribute to the grand total.

On Sunday, whenever I wake up from my epic post-readathon sleep, I will do a roundup and calculate the total, which will be donated to the Jimmy Fund in memory of the Reverend Lucille Richard, my favorite reader and fellow nerd.

Mamau the Nerd

Mamau the Nerd


Banned Books Week 2014

Written by Kirsten on September 21st, 2014

Today is the start of Banned Books Week, a celebration of those titles that have been challenged and banned from schools/libraries due to content considered “inappropriate” for any number of reasons, ranging from race relations to sexuality to magic. This year, the ALA is highlighting graphic novels, citing Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which was recently made into a Broadway musical, and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. I started a personal Banned Books challenge in 2010, choosing books I own but had not yet read from the top 100 most-often banned classics. This year, I’m choosing banned books by female authors. First up is Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.
How many of the top 100 classics have you read? Want to join me in challenging yourself to read one or more from the classics, or any of the annual top 10 lists, this week?



Readathon Wrap-Up

Written by Kirsten on April 27th, 2014


So, around 6am I decided that it was worth the $10 to buy the sleep I so desperately needed at the end of Readathon. Here are my end stats:

Books read:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (last 35 pages – I’d listened to nearly the entire audiobook before it expired, and thankfully had a paper copy)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (who is my new hero for not just this book but all of the YouTube videos my friends have been sharing since I proclaimed my allegiance to the School of Green)

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin (very cute ARC I received last year and hadn’t gotten to yet)

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (I look forward to finishing this one maybe today; I do love his characters)

Total pages read: 630, x $0.05 per page = $31.50

Hours listening to The Maze Runner by James Dashner, read by Mark Deakins: 4, x $5 per hour = $20

Hours not reading: 6 (3 for concert, 3 total sleeping), x $5 per hour = $30

Comments: 25 on FolioFiles, 17 on Facebook = $42 @ $1 each

I didn’t intend to include FB comments, and only counted the ones that could justifiably have been posted on the blog; I realize that some people are intimidated by clicking through and going through the comment posting process, and others are, frankly, too lazy. And as this is a charity event, I decided to be charitable in my count. So, drum roll, please…

In total, my Readathon of April 2014 raised $123.50 for The Jimmy Fund, which I will round to $125. I have NO idea how this stacks up against other readers’ totals, and I’m not going to go digging to find out, because this isn’t about competing, it’s about giving. And while I give to charities, non-profits, and individual ventures on a regular basis, it feels really great to have gone into this day with a purpose beyond my enjoyment of reading and connecting with other readers. It also gives me an idea of how my reading time earning compares to listening compares to time not doing either, as well as what I can use for a base goal. Think we can make it to $150 in October? I bet we can!

Thank you to each person who commented, cheered, engaged in conversation, shared videos and recommendations and hugs and overall Readathon love. This is one of my favorite days of the year, and every time I participate, I’m reminded why.


First Editions

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014


I didn’t really think about it when I read the challenge, but it makes sense that my Advance Reader’s Copy of Anton and Cecil would be a first edition :) My entry for the challenge over at The Bluestockings (a name I’d also found years ago and tried to use for a book club in SF!). Thanks for hosting!

(ETA the picture. That helps.)

Anton & Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin

Anton & Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin


Mid-Readathon Survey

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014


So I’m home, having gotten back to The Maze Runner in the car on the way back from the Ryan Montbleau concert at One Longfellow. The show was fantastic; I swear I fall more in love with that man and his music every time I see him perform live. His opening duet, Tall Heights, was also wonderful. All in all, a very satisfying three hours of musical enchantment. A sneak peek:

Tall Heights

Tall Heights

Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau and Tall Heights performing Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car"

Ryan Montbleau and Tall Heights performing Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”

And now, back to the readathon! Here’s the mid-event survey I missed at 8p:

1. What are you reading right now? I’m listening to The Maze Runner and reading Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea
2. How many books have you read so far? I finished the last 35 pages of Inkheart and read The Fault in Our Stars in its entirety
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? So hard to say! Maybe Stargirl, but I’ve been hearing so much praise for Patchett that I may suck it up and let Bel Canto carry me through the wee hours
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope!
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I went to a concert, obviously, but I listened to my audiobook on the way to and from, and used the “missed hours” fee for the fundraising side of the day
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much reading I can actually get done if I’m really super into the book and not looking at Hootsuite
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, just keep doin’ what you’re doin’!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Check the dates before buying concert tickets :-P No, really, I’d have gone tonight anyhow. I think I’ve found a good comfy place for Readathon and don’t feel like I need to make any big changes
9. Are you getting tired yet? I did crash at 4p (start of hour 9) and took about a 40 minute nap. Woke up feeling good, though, and am wide awake now!
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? Just being easy on yourself about “goals” with regard to pages read or books finished. That part is fun, sure, but the books will be there tomorrow, and next week, and next month – next week, all of the awesome people participating in #readathon on Twitter and across blogs and social networks won’t all be in this one place on the internet, so take advantage! Meet awesome readers! Seeing familiar faces in October will be worth it :)

Okay, time to order our ritual weekend Chinese food, and get back to bookin’!



Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014


Here we are, a quarter of the way through Readathon. It was time for me to stand for a while, so I’m listening to The Maze Runner while updating here, then I’ll do some stretching and barre exercises to get the blood flowing.

So, I read The Fault in Our Stars. As expected, it was devastating and beautiful, and John Green has a new fan in me. Next up, I think I’ll go with Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea – it looks fun, light, and like a simple, swift read, which are all perfect for Readathon (and necessary after the heaviness of TFiOS). I’m pretty certain I can finish that in short order, and then I’ll switch to audio to shower and get ready for my evening out. I really, REALLY wish the concert was any other night, but it’ll be a lot of fun, give my eyes a break, and boost my fundraising total. AND, it’s not like the books are going anywhere! Hope you’re all having a great Saturday, whether you’re reading, cheering, or going about other fun weekend business :)

Oh, and here are my in-home cheerleaders. Their energy is contagious. Which means I’m sleepy just looking at their lazy bones :)