I did not make it until 5 a.m. Pacific. In fact, I didn’t make it ten minutes past my last update at 3 a.m. I picked up The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, found my eyes wouldn’t focus on the page, and decided sleep was more important. Besides, I’d already missed out on the first five hours, so it’s not like I made it 22 hours and then gave up.
So I read for at least a portion of 17 consecutive hours. I read 532 pages and completed two books: Carnegie Libraries Across America: A Public Legacy by Theodore Jones, and North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris. I’d started both previously, but finished them both during the read-a-thon. And honestly, I was only 20 pages into North by Northanger when I started reading it yesterday, so I read the majority of it during the event. I also read 176 pages of Carnegie Libraries by George Bobinski during the event. I tried to make it the full 201 pages, but I knew my retention levels would be non-existent if I read it any later than 1 a.m., so I gave it up to read North by Northanger, which required significantly less brain power.
So, would I do this again? You betcha! (Sorry, I did take a break from reading last night to watch Gov. Palin on SNL) But I would do things a touch differently. For starters, I won’t be using the time to multi-task as I work on reading material to write my big paper for my senior seminar (won’t be a problem since I’m finished with college after this semester). I’ll have a stack of books prepared in advance, and I’ll be more diligent about keeping track of the time spent reading during the read-a-thon. I also plan to actually start when it starts, even if I have to drag my butt out of bed at 5 in the morning (this will be the most difficult thing, as I am *not* a morning person). I will also know exactly where my iPod is, so I can stick in my headphones and ignore the world around me- at least until the battery dies. I will also spend more time taking part in the mini-challenges and cheerleading for other readers. I’d also like to read for charity as well- 5 cents for every minute read or page read, or something like that.
But this was my first read-a-thon, and I had such an awesome time participating. Congratulations to anyone who made it the full 24 hours, and really, congratulations to all who participated! And a huge, huge thank you to Dewey and her co-hosts for all their hard work.
Anyway. Looking forward to the rest of the day, there are plenty of books in my future, but none of them are the fun, fictional type. I’m going to finish Carnegie Libraries, and then move on to another book on the subject of early public library history in America. I’m still trying to wrestle a thesis out of all this reading, and I think I need to read something that isn’t specifically about Andrew Carnegie and his library grants for a little while. Granted, he’ll be mentioned. It’s impossible to talk about the development of the public library in the English-speaking world without mentioning Carnegie libraries. They were vital. But I need to read about someone else as well. It was funny. Last night, my dad was giving me a hard time about not knowing who won game six of the ALCS, or knowing that USC beat Washington State 69-0, and I told him, “Dad, I’ve been living in a Carnegie-shaped bubble today, and everyone talks with a Scottish accent.” Well, it was one of those had-to-be-there-and-know-the-involved-parties kind of funny, but it was amusing all the same.
And on that note, I’m off to finish that book. I’ve only got 30 more pages to go, and I know I’ll be happier once they’re no longer hanging over my head.