Read-a-thon archive at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

Archive: Read-a-thon


18th October, 2008
Read-a-thon: I wish I didn’t know how to quit you
— Love @ 15:26 Comments (9)
Filed under: October 18th, 2008

I am really sorry, guys, but I am going to have to step out of the event. I’m feeling tired and queasy, so I’m going to focus on getting better. It’s not unlikely that I will do some reading in the process, but it’s no read-a-thon for me this time around. Hopefully I’ll feel better and be better prepared for the next one!

To all those of you who are participating: good luck and have fun!


18th October, 2008
Read-a-thon: The prep post
— Love @ 11:42 Comments (1)
Filed under: October 18th, 2008

For the June Read-a-thon, I signed up weeks in advance and spent a lot of time planning what to read, what to eat, how to get home in time for the start of it &c.

This time around, I signed up just a few days before the event, and I didn’t actually discover the date of it until extremely late. This is, of course, because I have been completely out of the book blog loop since the summer. The only reason I discovered it in time is because I found my friend Sam’s book blog and he’s signed up to take part as well. (It’s definitely worth checking out his blog—he reads a lot and he writes great reviews of what he reads.)

I have done some prep work, though. I’ve set up my internet so that I can surf from my bedroom (which is convenient as that’s where I tend to do most of my reading), I’ve bought snacks (and coffee!) to get me through the night and right now I’m about to go make a big batch of fruit salad, so I have something healthy as well, not just the usual crap. ;) I also need to clear some stuff out of my bedroom and go dig up my camera so that I can show you my books and anything else I might feel like.

I have assembled a huge pile of books to choose from. Most of it consists of the old murder mysteries from my grandfather’s house, but there is also some Douglas Coupland, a book by Alan Cumming (yes, the actor) and my Collected Poems of AE Housman, to get me through those patches when I don’t feel like reading much. I also have a couple of volumes of manga, in case I get really tired. They tend to be easier to get through.

I am missing my copy of A Strong and Sudden Thaw a little, though. I lent it to my friend Banquo when she was here this summer and I don’t at all regret that, it’s just that right now I have an incredibly powerful urge to re-read it. I miss David and Callan!

Kick-off in just over an hour. I better go get those last things sorted!


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Wrap-up
— Love @ 18:15 Comments (8)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Wrapping things up The Read-a-thon’s over and I’m sitting here with pasta with blue cheese, a cup of tea and my little black book of books.

I enjoyed the whole experience ever so much and next time I intend to participate again, only that time I hope to be able to do the full twenty-four hours (why must there be such a thing as work? Why, oh why?). And next time, I hope my blog doesn’t die on me right in the middle of it. Do you have any idea how excruciatingly annoying that was?

I wish I’d had more time for visiting all the other participants. I did try at the start of it, but then I hardly got any reading done, so I stopped after a while. There were a couple of people I did check in on regularly, but I was a poor commenter to be sure.

Let’s have some numbers then!
8 books finished
2 books dabbled in
1,550 pages read
12.4 hours spent reading
6.5 hours spent sleeping/watching Doctor Who
4 hours (approximately) spent blogging/visiting other people’s blogs
10 cups of tea consumed
1 cup of (shoddy) coffee consumed

Next time I want to spend less time sleeping, more time reading, and hopefully break the 2,000-page barrier. I wasn’t that far off this time, all things considered. (Eva kind of scares me, though. I think she must be superhuman…)

In the photo below you can see eight of the books I picked up and read at some point during the Read-a-thon. Only six of those I finished, though. The other two of my completed reads were e-books, which makes it a tad difficult to include them in the photo.

The books I read Post-event survey from Dewey:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hour 22 and 23, definitely. I wasn’t very tired, exactly, but my eyes were finding it a little hard to focus on the text.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
My last hour I spent on The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, and I wish I’d started it a little earlier, because it’s a very fast, very fun, read and I would’ve liked to have finished it during the Read-a-thon.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really, I think it was fab the way it was! What do you mean, next year, though? ;D

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I really loved the mini-challenges and the cheerleading. I know I didn’t participate in many of the mini-challenges (I meant to for a lot of the later ones, but then my blog stopped working so I couldn’t, and some of the earlier ones I missed because I’d gone to bed), but they are a very nice touch to keep people interacting with each other. And the cheerleaders were gold!
Another thing is I read a lot of kid’s fiction/YA, which helped move things along (even though I felt a bit like I was cheating at times, reading such “simple” stuff).

5. How many books did you read?
I finished eight and read parts of two more.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Finished: Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune, Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson, Melka: The Story of an Arab Pony – Joan Penney
Dabbled in: A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin, The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
See my answer to question 2. I really liked Travels in the Scriptorium too, though, as well as Gaiman’s The Kindly Ones.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I liked them all, or I would’ve put them straight down. I can say that A Game of Thrones was perhaps not the best choice for the Read-a-thon. I was already more than half-way in by the time the ‘thon started, but I felt it was a little heavy and really slowed down my pace, so I didn’t read that much from it.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
n/a

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I should like to participate again very much! Same role as this time, except I hope I’d be able to stay awake the full twenty-four hours.


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 24
— Love @ 17:02 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett
Number of books read since you started: 8 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune, Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson, Melka: The Story of an Arab Pony – Joan Penney)
Pages read: 94
Running total of pages read since you started: 1550
Amount of time spent reading: 47 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 12 hrs 25 mins

I ended up not going with the Hitchcock short stories after all. I had it in my hand and everything, but then I glanced at my copy of The Uncommon Reader, tried a page and just had to go on. I didn’t quite finish it, but as I’ve only got about twenty-five pages to go, I dare say I will later tonight.

And that’s the end of that. I had heaps of fun and will be posting an entry summing things up in a tick.


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 23
— Love @ 16:06 Comments (3)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Melka: The Story of an Arab Pony – Joan Penney
Number of books read since you started: 8 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune, Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson, Melka: The Story of an Arab Pony – Joan Penney)
Pages read: 95
Running total of pages read since you started: 1456
Amount of time spent reading: 53 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 11 hrs 38 mins

One measly hour to go, but it does look as though I’ll manage my not-really-set goal of 1500 pages. My eyes don’t feel as tired now as they did an hour ago, which is certainly nice. I think I’ll round off with some Hitchcock short stories.

A big, huge thank you to Dewey for arranging the Read-a-thon. She’s brilliant!

Another big, huge thank you to all the cheerleaders! Your comments have really brightened the whole experience, and if I had gone for the full twenty-four hours, I’m sure I would have appreciated them all even more.


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 22
— Love @ 15:03 Comments (0)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson, Melka: the Story of an Arab Pony – Joan Penney
Number of books read since you started: 7 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune, Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson)
Pages read: 85
Running total of pages read since you started: 1361
Amount of time spent reading: 47 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 10 hrs 45 mins

My eyes are starting to get really tired, but it’s only two hours to go now and I’d really quite like to reach 1500 pages if I can, so I’ll keep on trucking!


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hours 16 to 21
— Love @ 14:17 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Well, finally! I don’t know why it happened, but it was certainly exceedingly ill-timed. At least the domain is back up now, after being down nearly six hours.

Hour 21:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson
Number of books read since you started: 6 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune)
Pages read: 93
Running total of pages read since you started: 1276
Amount of time spent reading: 45 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 9 hrs 58 mins

Hour 20:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune, Good Luck to the Rider – Joan Phipson
Number of books read since you started: 6 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman, Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune)
Pages read: 106
Running total of pages read since you started: 1183
Amount of time spent reading: 52 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 9 hrs 13 mins

Hour 19:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Lad, a Dog – Albert Payson Terhune
Number of books read since you started: 5 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman)
Pages read: 100
Running total of pages read since you started: 1077
Amount of time spent reading: 56 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 8 hrs 21 mins

Hour 18:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman
Number of books read since you started: 5 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft, Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman)
Pages read: 108
Running total of pages read since you started: 977
Amount of time spent reading: 42 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 7 hrs 25 mins

Hour 17:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman
Number of books read since you started: 4 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft)
Pages read: 127
Running total of pages read since you started: 869
Amount of time spent reading: 50 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 6 hrs 43 mins

Hour 16:
Title of book(s) read this hour: Sandman: The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman
Number of books read since you started: 4 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft)
Pages read: 71
Running total of pages read since you started: 742
Amount of time spent reading: 26 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 5 hrs 53 mins


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 15
— Love @ 08:16 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft
Number of books read since you started: 4 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, Teena går til filmen – Ria Tofft)
Pages read: 107
Running total of pages read since you started: 671
Amount of time spent reading: 48 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 5 hrs 27 mins
Other participants visited: Mrs. B, Chris, Word Lily and Eva.

I’ve read Teena går til filmen before, but it was a long time ago. It’s quite a funny book. It’s written in the late 50’s/early 60’s sometime, so it’s quite dated, but very cute.

One thing that interests me, however, is that it takes place Stockholm, Sweden. I suspect that in the original (it was written in Danish orginially, and I read it in Swedish), it’s set in Copenhagen and everyone is Danish, but the translation has changed everyone to Swedes (including changing names, I don’t doubt) and all the place names mentioned are Swedish. Do they still do that in translations? If not, when did they stop and how common was it?


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 14
— Love @ 07:08 Comments (2)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar, A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
Number of books read since you started: 3 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar)
Pages read: 144
Running total of pages read since you started: 564
Amount of time spent reading: 47 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 4 hrs 39 mins

And I’m properly back in the game with that. Speaking of games, A Game of Thrones is quite good, though at first I was a little annoyed by the way it keeps swapping perspectives (there are six or so main characters, and so far there hasn’t been two chapters in a row with the same character’s perspective). Actually, I still am, but now that I’m 600+ pages in, I’ve got to know them all, so it doesn’t bother me quite as much.

Interestingly enough, the main family, the Starks, has the direwolf as their sign. I thought direwolves were completely made up, but then I went to the Natural History Museum in London, and they had a dire wolf on display. Apparently they actually existed, thousands of years ago, though much smaller than George R R Martin has made them in the book.


29th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 13
— Love @ 06:10 Comments (0)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Coffee and e-book Title of book(s) read this hour: Drömponnyn – Pia Hagmar
Number of books read since you started: 2 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray)
Pages read: 32
Running total of pages read since you started: 420
Amount of time spent reading: 8 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 3 hrs 52 mins
Cups of tea/coffee:1 cup of Gevalia Daim Cappuccino

I overslept a little, I’m sorry to say. I meant to get up by six am, but when my alarm rang, I stayed in bed for an extra half an hour. Still, considering I didn’t get to sleep until 2 am, it’s not too bad.

Once I was out of bed, I went to make myself a cup of coffee to wake me up further. I used my last sachet of instant Irish Cream cappucino and then noticed that it was clumping more than it usually does. No wonder — the kettle wasn’t plugged in and the water hadn’t actually been boiled. ::facepalm:: I had to resort to the Daim Cappucino instead, which I hate, but is slightly less vile if you remove the excessive foam on top.


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 6
— Love @ 23:18 Comments (4)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Reading and reading and reading... Title of book(s) read this hour: The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray, A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
Number of books read since you started: 2 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster, The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray)
Pages read: 49
Running total of pages read since you started: 388
Amount of time spent reading: 32 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 3 hrs 44 mins
Cups of tea/coffee: 1 cup of tea

I love Thackeray to tiny little pieces. He’s so clever and funny and his illustrations crack me up. The Rose and the Ring has nothing on Vanity Fair, of course, but it’s still an entertaining book. I must admit to a smallish crush on Giglio, to be honest. Again, he has nothing on Dobbin, but then there are degrees of awesome.

It’s getting late here (it’s past midnight now), so I’m going to take a break—to sleep and to watch the latest episode of Doctor Who (I am hopelessly addicted to new Who, and that’s a fact!). I’ll be back in six hours or so. I wish I could stay up all night reading, but I start work again on Monday and I need to be wellrested then, which is not going to happen unless I go to bed now. I’d risk it, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s the Euro 2008 final tomorrow night and I wouldn’t miss that for the world, so…


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 5
— Love @ 22:14 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: The Rose and the Ring – William Makepeace Thackeray
Number of books read since you started: 1 (Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster)
Pages read: 149
Running total of pages read since you started: 339
Amount of time spent reading: 51 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 3 hrs 12 mins
Other participants visited: none
Mini-challenges participated in: none
Cups of tea/coffee: two cups of tea

I’ve switched to Swedish now and consequently my reading speed has picked up considerably. I quite like that, but I wish I could read this quickly in English as well. It is a fact well known to those who know it well1 that you can’t have everything you want, however.

1. I keep using that, I know, but no one’s guessed where it’s from yet and I want to give out cookies, damn it! Even if they’d be virtual cookies and nothing more. I feel like I’m the only person on the whole planet who likes this author, but I know I’m not (I used to run the fanlisting for this person, before I got lazy and my domain died and all that).


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hours 3 to 4
— Love @ 20:57 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

I confused myself with the titles of the posts, so I’m going back in a sec and changing the ones on the other entries, and titling this after the hours that just were, not the hour that’s coming up.

Title of book(s) read this hour: Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster
Number of books read since you started: 1
Pages read: 108
Running total of pages read since you started: 190
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hr 10 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 2 hrs 21 mins
Other participants visited: none
Mini-challenges participated in: none
Cups of tea/coffee: 3 cups of tea (strawberry-flavoured black tea. Not as nice as the other one, but tolerable enough. Let’s not mention the bathroom breaks. Tea is lovely, but it does pass through you quick as all that. ;D And that was TMI. My apologies.)

So, I finished my first book and I quite liked it. I’m not sure what I was expecting from it, but it was a little creepy towards the end. I’ll have to read more by Auster, though, as this gave me a taste for more. Maybe the New York trilogy next?


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 2
— Love @ 19:09 Comments (0)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Travels in the Scriptorium – Paul Auster
Number of books read since you started: none finished yet
Pages read: 22
Running total of pages read since you started: 82
Amount of time spent reading: 15 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hr 11 mins
Other participants visited: Chris, Care & Nymeth.
Mini-challenges participated in: Nymeth’s webcomics challenge
Cups of tea/coffee: 1 cup of the same tea as the last one

I didn’t get much reading done this hour at all, so now I plan to pick up that book again (it’s good. I’ve heard so many positive things about Auster, but I’ve never read anything written by him before) and read until I feel like a break, whenever that might be. It’s quite possible, then, that I won’t post again until hour 4 or 5. We shall see.

Happy reading, all fellow participants!


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 2 Mini-Challenge
— Love @ 18:35 Comments (1)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

Nymeth’s mini-challenge for hour two is one where you take a break from reading books, to spend ten minutes on a webcomic (the link explains all, so click it!).

Since I’ve been away for a while, I have some catching up to do on the blogs and webcomics I read daily, and decided to use this challenge as motivation to catch up on Cyanide and Happiness, which is my favourite webcomic ever. It’s completely insane and hilarious, and pokes fun at things you’re normally told you shouldn’t joke about. Sometimes bad taste is the thing to make you laugh.

I’m posting two of the comics from this most recent week, so you’ll get a sample of what it’s like. There are many more strips to be found in the archives (some 1,300—I spent a fair few days earlier this year reading all the older ones). Apologies if this messes up the layout (which is already messed up in IE, from what I hear).

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic


28th June, 2008
Read-a-thon: Hour 1
— Love @ 18:18 Comments (2)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

I’m a little uncertain if I should title the posts after the hour that has just gone by, or the hour that has just begun. I’m going with the second option for now, though. ETA: I’ve changed my mind, because I got confused. All stats posts are now titled after the hour that was, rather than the hour that is.

Snacks So, the first hour, I spent most of the time reading. I didn’t get stuck in the moment the clock hands turned to read-a-thon time, though, as I was a little late in prepping my snacks. Better late than never, though, and my snacks are awesome. ;D

Stats: Hour 1
Title of book(s) read this hour: A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
Number of books read since you started: none finished yet
Pages read: 60
Running total of pages read since you started: 60
Amount of time spent reading: 56 mins
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 56 mins
Other participants visited: Dewey, Word Lily and Eva
Mini-challenges participated in: Darcie’s introductory meme
Cups of tea/coffee: 1 cup of tea (black saffron & chili, very nice!)


28th June, 2008
Pre-read-a-thon post: Getting ready
— Love @ 16:38 Comments (5)
Filed under: June 28th, 2008

The Read-a-thon starts in about half an hour and I am excited and rearing to go. To start things off, here is an introductory meme from Darcie.

Where are you reading from today?
At home, which is a small town in southern Sweden.

3 facts about me …
* I just came back from trip to London and am not quite caught up on sleep yet, so we’ll see how it goes.
* I have always loved reading. It used to get me teased, but that’s a long time ago now.
* I’m wearing cow-patterned pajamas with “Grumpy Cow” written on it, as I suspect that will be me by this time tomorrow. ;D

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
My stacks I just counted, and it’s twenty-four. I know there’s no way I will have time to finish all of them, but ten or so would be nice.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
My goal is to read as much as I possibly can, but I won’t put numbers on it (though it would be nice to get past 1,500 pages…). I’m also going to try to blog at least once every couple of hours and keep track of everyone else.

Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I am doing this for the first time, so no. ;D