Saturday, 13 October 2012

October Mini-Readathon

It's 1pm which means it's time for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! This time I'm doing a mini-readathon and will be taking part 1-5pm this afternoon, instead of the full 24 hours. The kettle is boiling and I'm looking forward to my first cup of coffee of the day. The house is empty as Him Indoors is travelling back from an overnight stay in London and the animals are asleep. I'm ready to kick back and begin a good reading sprint.

Based upon my experience with the readathon in April, I have chosen some shorter reads to indulge in this afternoon. Here's a (badly photographed) glimpse of my reading pile:

Louise Welsh was my first read for the April readathon and it was sheer luck I managed to add her to this one. I have been waiting for her latest book, The Girl on the Stairs, to come into my local library. It arrived on Thursday which I was rather excited about. The other reads on my pile include:

Monkeys with Typewriters - Scarlett Thomas
Negotiating with the Dead - Margaret Atwood
On Writing - Stephen King

I'm using this afternoon as an opportunity to catch up on my 'self-study' into the craft of writing. It's a change from my last readathon books which included memoirs, feminist theory and novels influenced by the Women's Liberation Movement.

Ah, I hear you cry, what's the orange envelope? All in good time, it wouldn't be a readathon if there were no surprises along the way. Good luck everyone and happy reading!

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Almost 4.5 hours into the readathon 

It has been delightful losing myself in a book this afternoon. Once again I have been reading in my shared office with Him Indoors on our lovely new futon. The view from my new house overlooks dense woodland and I can see the forest turning a golden shade of autumn. It's a perfect backdrop to the sinister tale Louise Welsh has crafted in The Girl on the Stairs.  Jane Logan has relocated to Berlin with her partner, Petra. At first you sense Jane's bewilderment of being in a different country (as most people would do) and unable to communicate in German. On her first night in a strange new apartment she hears a violent argument from the occupants next door. Before long Jane becomes mildly obsessed with Dr Mann and his teenage daughter, Anna. To add to the danger Jane is pregnant and, as the plot speeds on, I keep finding myself appalled at the situations she keeps putting herself and her unborn child in. I flinch each time she lights up a cigarette (she's determined to give up) or when she goes wandering the streets at night. I'm starting to wonder how much I should judge Jane's interpretation of events.

I decided to take a little break at 4pm to explore the contents of my orange envelope. I have recently joined a zine subscription service and my first packet arrived this week. The zines have a real mix of visual styles and they have been a good distraction from the density of text from a book.

Him Indoors will be returning home soon so I will put my reading aside. All the best for those still reading and I'll see you in April. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

October Already

As the year rumbled into October, I felt rather cheated when frost started appearing on the ground. At the train station, I watched the smoky breath from my fellow commuters that comes with the drop in temperature. Everyone has been hoping for a late summer, especially as most of this year was a washout. No such luck. On Tuesday I stepped into the cold air, wrapped in my new winter coat.

It's hard to believe that almost six months ago I was preparing for the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. For those that don't know, the Readathon is a glorious opportunity to spend an indulgent 24 hours reading for pure and utter pleasure. April was the first readathon I participated in, after cheering on from the sidelines, and I had a wonderful time. You can read all about my experiences by clicking on this summary blog post

Like the unexpected frost, October's readathon has crept up on me. It was Alex in Leed's post last week that reminded me that a readathon was coming up. Unfortunately I have made plans for part of this weekend but there is a gap on Saturday afternoon. It's a nice little reading slot that I shall spent lying on the futon in the home office (the room that catches most of the afternoon sun), mug of tea beside me and a good book to keep me company. 

Good luck to all those embarking on the full 24 hour marathon. I will be cheering you on in spirit.