October 9, 2010
OK, so I must confess, I had no idea that I was supposed to be making regular updates on my reading progress throughout the read-a-thon yesterday. Quite frankly, however, I am glad I didn’t. I don’t really understand the point of posting a gazillion updates during a time when one is supposed to be dedicated to reading. It is a distraction for yourself and for others. I woke up this morning and opened Google Reader to find well over 300 unread posts, the vast majority of which were updates people were making yesterday. If I had read those 300 posts yesterday, I would have ended up posting about nothing but other people’s updates, because that is all I would have read.
As it was, I had a very bad start to my read-a-thon. For the life of me, I couldn’t fall asleep the night before until almost 5AM. As a result I didn’t wake up until almost 11AM, but that was ok, I sat down right away and started reading.
My goals when I started out had been to get through the following books:
The Wars by Timothy Findley (again, with the angels singing?)
London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp
Daisy Miller by Henry James
After about two hours of continuous reading and charting my reading pace, I quickly realized this was not going to be possible. My reading was only progressing at about 35 pages per hour. I somehow thought I read faster. On top of that, when I set out, I had intended to read for about 14 of the 24 hours. When I did the math, there was no way I was going to be able to get all the reading done I had hoped.
As it was, I finished Timothy Findley’s The Wars (218 pages) which was fantastic, of course, and then I sort of gave up for the day. Well, not entirely, I read about 10 pages of London Triptych before I decided I was too exhausted to go on. On top of that, my eyes were getting ridiculously sore.
This was my first read-a-thon and I am looking back on it now with mixed feelings. I was glad that I took part, but I think if I were to take part in another one I would have to start off with more reasonable expectations and schedule some lengthy breaks. Perhaps if I had been able to get up earlier and had arranged to stop for and hour or two every four hours, I might have had better luck.
How was your read-a-thon?