This Saturday, April 10, is the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, a very popular event in the book blogging community. I realize I’m not technically a book blogger, but I’ve learned some names, I read some of the blogs, I follow a handful of bloggers on Twitter, and if people want to set aside 24 hours to read books, read blogs about books, write blogs about reading books – okay, seriously, this sounds to me like a day in paradise, right?!?!? I’ll get a Heath Mocha Frappe (previously Frost), my pile of books, and my laptop, and it will be perfect.
I also took the plunge last night and signed up to be a cheerleader during the event. I only committed myself for one hour, since I’ve never done the Read-a-Thon as a reader or as a cheerleader, and I want to spend as much time reading as I possibly can. But as a cheerleader, I get to visit the blogs of other Read-a-Thon participants, and leave them encouraging comments, and support them in their efforts to read as much as they can. (I think very few people do the WHOLE 24 hour experience: naps are allowed, and everyone knows we all have other responsibilities, schedule conflicts, etc.) I found out this morning that I’ve been assigned to Team Shelley. At first I thought, I wonder who Shelley is? Then I found out there are four teams, all with poetic names: Keats, Shelley, Byron, and Wordsworth. Each team is assigned to visit a set of participating readers, and they determine the groups by bloggers’ names – so Team Keats cheers for readers whose names start with A through C, Team Byron is D through J, etc., and there’s an alphabetical list of readers so you know whom to visit. You can also cheer using Twitter, and the #readathon hashtag – I predict LOTS of cheerleaders will be tweeting! The head cheerleader for my team is a blogger I’d never heard of (and NOT named Shelley, har har), and I’m sure a lot of the other cheerleaders and readers will be new to me, too. I’m excited to see a lot of new blogs and feel like part of the community, so I think it will be really fun for me, as well as a way to support and encourage other Read-a-Thon participants. 🙂
And finally, what the heck am I going to read??? Well, I think I can do a fair amount of housework on Saturday while listening to my current audiobook, On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Since I just started it last weekend, there’s no fear that I’ll finish it, and since I’m enjoying it so far, I expect it will be a good companion for however long I end up cleaning. My current print book is a poetry anthology called The Art of Losing; I’m on page 114, and the last poem is on page 292, so I’m somewhere between a third of the way and halfway through. I anticipate reading some of that on Saturday, but I’m also thinking of things I’ve heard are “good” to read during the Read-a-Thon: lighter fiction, humor, mysteries, thrillers and other page-turners, basically the kind of books where you enjoy the story and get caught up in it and don’t realize that you’ve been reading for three hours and barely looked up from the page. My guilty pleasure book from last fall, Austenland by Shannon Hale, would have been an AWESOME choice for the Read-a-Thon. Also, one of my recent reads, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, would have been great as well.
Looking at my bookshelves a few days ago, King Dork by Frank Portman caught my attention. It’s technically YA, but got a great review in Entertainment Weekly when it was first published, and plus one of my fellow transportation librarians, Kendra, is a Frank Portman fan, and since Kendra is cool, then Frank Portman and his book are probably cool too, “Dork” notwithstanding. And if I do like that one and actually finish it, then I don’t know what I’d pick up next. It will be a great adventure just to get that far! Yes, I think it will be a wonderful day.