Read-a-Thon Updates (April 2012)

For the last Read-a-Thon, I borrowed a couple of people’s strategy and went with one post. It was much more efficient as there was less formatting work for me and less posts clustering up your feed reader/inbox. Scroll down for updates!


Hour 1 (8:00 am EST): Good morning Read-a-Thon-ers! I’m up and I’m ready to rock ‘n roll! Well, not quite. It’s hard waking up early on a weekend when you’re a college student. I laid out my plans for this read-a-thon on Thursday and explained my reading selections. I had planned to be a little bit more ambitious, but I think I stay in my warm bed for just a little bit longer and read more of Naked Heat by Richard Castle.

Hour 3 (10:00 am EST): Starting with Naked Heat was a great choice! I finished the book and now feel pumped for the rest of the day. I answered the Introductory Questionnaire as well so scroll down for my answers. I’ll be spending part of this hour eating brunch; I plan to hit the dining hall as soon as it opens. We’ll see what I pick up from there.

Hour 5 (12:00 pm EST): The past two hours were spent reading, eating brunch, and working out so my reading slowed down a bit. I read 48 pages of Ramona Ausubel’s No One is Here Except All of Us before brunch, but switched to Comeback America by David M. Walker for my hour at the gym. It’s much easier to read a book on my iPad than wrestling with a paperback on the elliptical.

Hour 7 (2:00 pm EST): I finished my second book! Ausubel’s No One is Here Except All of Us is a doozy but the confusion I felt certainty propelled me to keep turning the pages. I picked up the book and didn’t come back up for air until I turned to the last page. I’m going to be taking the next few hours off to work on my final papers. Happy reading!

Hour 11 (6:00 pm EST): Thanks to all the cheerleaders who stopped by in the last few hours. I took a three hour break from the read-a-thon to tackle some homework and spent the last hour reading 92 pages Joel Brenner’s America the Vulnerable, a book on internet espionage assigned for my trafficking class. I’ll be taking another break to have dinner and see a dance recital with a friend so I’m not expecting to be back to reading for another three hours or so. Catch you later!

Hour 14 (9:00 pm EST): No reading updates to report as I took the last three hours off. I did just sign in for my duty shift tonight so I’m a captive audience to my books for the next five hours! I’d like to read some more of Brenner’s America the Vulnerable before I move on to the next book. I have also answered the Mid-Event Survey so scroll down for my answers.

Hour 17 (12:00 am EST): I finished my third book! I ended up getting sucked into Brenner’s America the Vulnerable after finishing a long Skype session with my parents and just had to finish the book.  I think I’m finally going to try my hand at Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for my last two hours of work.

Hour 19 (2:00 am EST): I’m calling it a night. I tried reading Wolf Hall and realized after 8 pages how poorly suited the book is for the wee hours of a read-a-thon. I probably should have started the book earlier. I tried to move on to Miéville’s The City and the City but gave up on that one for the third book by Richard Castle I have on my iPad, Heat Rises. All in all, a great read-a-thon! Thanks to all who worked behind the scenes to pull this together!

Where I stand overall:

  • America the Vulnerable (Joel Brenner) — Finished!
  • The City and the City (China Miéville) – 58/336 pages
  • Comeback America (David M. Walker) — 45/218 pages
  • Heat Rises (Richard Castle) — 75/302 pages
  • Naked Heat (Richard Castle) – Finished!
  • No One is Here Except All of Us (Ramona Ausubel) — Finished!
  • Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel) – 8/604 pages


Introductory Questionnaire:

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Central Massachusetts!
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? China Miéville’s The City and the City. Several people have commented on or posted about the book in recent days that I can’t wait to crack it open.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Right now, I am dying for the dining hall to open so I can get some brunch. The apple and tea I’ve had so far this morning is not holding off the hunger pains.
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I  am in my third year of university. I managed to give up soda for a whole year before I fell off the bandwagon again. I bought a pair of Downton Abbey-esque shoes yesterday.
  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 already made one big change from the last read-a-thon by not working until 2 am the night before! I’m also planning on taking more structured breaks — seeing a dance show with a friend, meeting a classmate to review for an exam — rather than trying to spend the whole day reading.

Mid-Event Survey:

  1. How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? I’m feeling pretty good. Taking structured breaks away from books and computers really helped.
  2. What have you finished reading? I’ve finished Naked Heat by Richard Castle and No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel.
  3. What is your favorite read so far? Hmm, that’s a tough one! The two books I’ve finished are so vastly different that it’s hard for me to compare them. And, even if I did rate them, I’d give them both three stars.
  4. What about your favorite snacks? I try really hard not to snack during the read-a-thon so all I’ve had to eat have been brunch and dinner. I think dinner was my favorite — steak, broccoli, spaghetti squash, red potatoes. Delicious!
  5. Have you found any new blogs through the read-a-thon? If so, give them some love! I’ve been failing at commenting, but I went into this with the expectation that today would be all about my reading. When I’m not reading, I need to be working on homework not blog hopping. I will return all the comments and cheers I’ve received from new-to-me bloggers later this week so maybe I’ll find some then.


  1. The structured breaks seem like a sound idea. I was hoping that you might decide to tackle Wolf Hall, but it seems a bit daunting for a Readathon. Have a great time!


    1. You’re right, Bybee. Wolf Hall did end up being too daunting for a read-a-thon. I might have had better luck with the book had I decided to start it earlier. Oh, well. Live and learn.


  2. I’m impressed that you’re able to do the Read-a-Thon as a college student …I don’t think I would have been able to pull that off. 🙂 Sounds like you’re doing great (and two books finished is awesome!) Enjoy!


    1. Thanks, Melissa. It takes some finagling and advanced planning but I find that participating in the read-a-thon is very cathartic for me. I spend most of the semester reading books that I did not pick so it’s fun to read something just for fun. I do have to lay some ground rules for myself — I told myself that Hours 7 to 11 would be spent doing homework and I stuck with it.


    1. I tried listening to audiobooks, Nise, but I soon realized that I spent more time looking around and seeing what others are up to (our gym is built with a giant glass window looking out onto the quad) that I need something in front of me to keep me focused. Last semester, I read A Tale of Two Cities and Anna Karenina while working out by reading the book and listening to audiobook at the same time.


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