Ready, steady, read! (*)

(*) aka: the Read-a-thon master post. To avoid spamming rss readers during the weekend, all the 24-hour Read-a-thon activity will be added to this post. Please scroll down for updates (and mini-challenges, if I do them)

Are you ready? Are you ready? The 24-hour read-a-thon is finally here!

Me, I’m not really ready. I’ve had kind of too much on my plate lately and I wasn’t able to set aside any time — so, for instance, I don’t have dinner ready, and will have to take time off from reading because of that; and I may have to take time off for other things, like sleeping (I’m sleep-deprived right now). Oh well, I still hope it will be a blast!

For this Read-a-thon I have two stacks of books:

  1. The commitments stack:
    i.e. books that I need to read soon-ish, for various reasons:

    • Bleak House by Charles Dickens: not all of it of course, but I’m behind schedule for the read-along at and I want to use this weekend to catch up
    • Morphology of the Folktale by Vladmir Propp: this one is due to the library next week
    • O Testamento do Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida: which I am looking forward to discuss with Alex from The Sleepless Reader
  2. The other stack:
    i.e. other books I can’t wait to start — of course I won’t get to all of them, but I will probably choose one of these:

    • Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
    • A Feast for Crows by G.R.R. Martin
    • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
    • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    • … and many more!

Let me mention here that husband is also taking part in the Read-a-thon. I’m not sure what his pile holds, but I know he will start with The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Now, before heading off with my first book, here’s the answers to the “introductory questionnaire”:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portugal
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? All the ones I mentioned above…
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’m trying to avoid snacks, but there is a huge reserve of chocolate right there waiting for me…
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! After what I said above, about being not ready, I don’t think you want to hear more
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I’m not cheerleading, and I do want to concentrate more on reading. Also, I won’t stress myself over participation.

Happy Read-a-thon-ing everyone!


Update: Hour 2

So I wasn’t planning on updating so often, but I had to take a break from reading to have some hot milk and chocolate (it’s freezing round here!) so I checked the blog too. And I discovered that Carina at Reading Through Life is hosting a great mini-challenge about reading in translation! Go check it out!

As a translator myself, I appreciate the effort. Also, I do read a lot in translation, but most of the books I want to read, I can access in the original language too, which is good. Right now, I’m reading a book translated from Russian (into Italian), but no thanks, I would not be interested in reading the original Russian, not for this book. Mmmm, let me think. OK, I know: if I could choose one more language to read, that would be Japanese. And maybe that way I would understand Murakami’s novels a bit better. I only read Kafka on the Shore, but I was really puzzled.

The three covers: English, Japanese, and Italian

How about you?


Update: Hour 5

Total time spent reading: 2h41m

Total time spent blogging: 0h54m

It’s time for me to take a major break, but before that, the mini-challenge for hour 5 is something that has haunted me ever since the last Read-a-thon: Book sentences! Check it out at

I’m off to look at my bookshelves, I’ll be back if I can find something interesting!


OK, the game is fun, my findings a little bit less so, but here goes:

It reads: "The Merlot murders friends in high places: the bodies left behind a feast for crows." Must be an awful story...


Update: Hour 7

I didn’t think I would do so many challenges, but here’s another one I can’t resist: Book Appetit! at Book Journey.

So please come in, my welcome guests, and take a seat at my table:

The image is taken from this blog:

Don’t let the stately tablescape scare you away: we need to be stately as we are going to talk about kings and queens, and fairies too: Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale is our subject today. So here’s the menu (with recipes!):


(Me, I’m back to reading right now!)


Update: Hour 9

Time spent reading: 1h00m
Running total: 3h41m

Time spent blogging: 1h04m
Running total: 1h58m


Update: Hour 13 /Halfwway through!

Time spent reading: 2h46m
Running total: 6h27m

Time spent blogging: 0h24m
Running total: 2h22m

MidEvent Survey:

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? Sleepy and cold, mostly. I think I am going to switch off the computer when I start writing this update, and go to read in bed — which will mean I’ll fall asleep quite soon! But I trust I’ll be back in the morning.
2) What have you finished reading? Nothing. I have read the main bulk of Propp’s book, and am now working my way through Bleak House
3) What is your favorite read so far? I have to admit that Bleak House is picking up, this week’s reading has been quite a discovery.
4) What about your favorite snacks? I’m eating too much 😦 I’d love some hot chocolate, but as winter was supposed to be ended, we’ve run out of it some time ago…
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? I haven’t blogged much, actually. I planned to to that later in the night, but as things are, I might never get to it. Too bad! I’m afraid this Read-a-thon is not turning out as well as I hoped 😦

(Psssst…. Hey Cheerleaders? You are needed here… I’m falling behind….)


Update: Hour 20

Back from a good night’s sleep. I’ll grab some breakfast and go back to reading — I’m almost done with Bleak House!

Time spent reading: 0h40m
Running total: 7h07m

Time spent blogging: 0h17m
Running total: 2h39m

I’m really beginning to wonder whether there is any problem for commenters today. Or some other kind of mistake. WP tells me this wasn’t even the most active post yesterday (but that can’t be right, can it?)


Update: Hour 24

Time spent reading: 2h55m
Grand total: 10h02m

Time spent blogging: 1h17m (because for this last hour I’m going to blog only, I am already counting it here, and the totals in this update are final)
Grand total: 3h56m

End of event meme

Which hour was most daunting for you? As I mentioned from the start, we were sleep-deprived, so we were not ashamed to go to sleep almost as on a regular night. I was able to read until 2a.m. (that would be hour 14, I think), but then slept in a bit more than expected.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? None of those I read. I still maintain that a good chunkster is the way to go.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I was a bit disappointed by the low number of comments. Is everything happening on twitter nowadays? What about us non-tweeters (non-FBers, non-GRers, non-other-social-network-of-choice)? In other words, I think something can be done to make the Read-a-thon more inclusive
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I loved the mini-challenges!
How many books did you read? What were the names of the books you read? Neither me nor husband did read a full book. We read from the following:

  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Morphology of the Folktale by Vladmir Propp
  • O Testamento do Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo by Germano Almeida
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Which book did you enjoy most? Which did you enjoy least? I’d rather not answer this question, as I finished none.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t this time, but for an advice, see question #3
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely, if there isn’t any major impediment. You may wonder: “if it was a poor experience, why repeat it?” And I’ll answer: because I know the “poor” part was not due to the Read-a-thon itself, it was due to my/our condition this week (as I stated at the beginning of the post). It was kind of a relaxed, laid-back Read-a-thon. Husband is currently finishing his one and only book, but let me mention that he has been doing other things which left him very little time to read this weekend, so one book is already a good goal.But it’s not our first Read-a-thon, and we know it can be better than this. We’ll be back next time!

(I’m off to do some end-of-event cheerleading now!)

Mark your calendars

You know how earlier this year I mentioned that I wanted to participate in some blogging events? Well, that time has come.

The BLOGGIESTA will be on March 30 and 31 and April 1st. While it’s a standing book blogger tradition (it was created nearly three years ago by Natasha of Maw Books), this one is a first for me, because in past years I only heard about it after it had taken place. This year it will be hosted by Suey of It’s all about books and Danielle of There’s a book and I’m so glad I will finally be able to participate! (This blog actually needs it!)

The idea of the Bloggiesta is to dedicate time to your blog and finally do those blogging things you have been putting off, like reorganizing pages and links and the like. It is also about learning new tips and tricks about blogging, it’s about networking and making new friends, and as with any event created by book bloggers it’s about having fun!

So here’s my plan, AKA What This Blog Needs Done:

  1. redo the blogroll
  2. deal with the great tag-to-category haul
  3. take time to write older Travel with books posts
  4. finish the review backlog (OK, almost done for now)
  5. organize my sources for ideas for the Italian section
  6. take part in mini challenges (I love mini challenges!)
  7. have fun!

(List may change before the Bloggiesta weekend is here.)

The bloggiesta also has a mascot. Meet PEDRO:

PEDRO: Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize.

Isn’t he just the cutest thing? Don’t you want to sign up just for his sake? 🙂

(Oh, by the way, sign-ups are here.)

While we are on the subject of book blogging events, and although there has been no official announcement yet, let me remind you of another classic event:

Dewey’s read-a-thon is scheduled for April 21st. I guess sign-ups will appear at the beginning of April. And I’m glad to say we’ll be able to participate again this year! Yay!


You’ll see that my posting is very slow this week, due to a) recovering from the Read-a-thon (still sleepy… and still reading the night through) and b) trying to finish off work and things before Friday, when we take off for a long weekend. Sooo, just a few unrelated thoughts to share now…


The 24 Hour Read-a-thon

As usual, it was a blast. And I want to thank all of you who passed by during the weekend and left a comment (or more), I really really appreciated that and it was a huge boost. Also, I think that with my one-book-but-a-big-one technique I found what works for me. Next time, I’d like to try just the One Big Fat Book, checking the Internet every hour for mini-challenges. (I didn’t give them much attention this time, but when I did, I found them not to my liking. Maybe I’ll volunteer a mini-challenge next time.)


Want more? There’s another… re-readathon

I visited a lot of blogs over the weekend too, and I happened to see this. A read-a-thon for re-reads. Being as I used to re-read a lot (less so lately), it’s interesting. Not sure whether I will be able to join in, due to most of my re-read wishes not being in my home here 😦 but I’ll see. The Re-Readathon is hosted by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. Check it out!

And there’s extraordinary people out there… free books anyone?

I always marvel at the great people who are in the book blogging world. They are a) extremely generous and b) extremely creative. So if you want to celebrate Halloween with some free books check out this giveaway hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Rhianna at The Diary of a Bookworm. There’s over 400 giveaways listed at the moment! Check out the details here.

Read-a-thon: the end

So here we are, at the end of the ride. And like on a roller coaster, it’s been fun, I’ve wished myself out of it while I was on board, and now that I am approaching the end station I wish it could go on some more 🙂

Here’s the final meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Around hour 15 we both gave in to a power nap…
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    No titles, no, but with longer book(s) I found it worked better — I know I go against the tide here
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Better mini-challenges — that’s the only side of the ‘thon that left me wanting: many were US-only, other were US-centered and/or not interesting, and several were not posted on time.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Organisators did a great job!
  5. How many books did you read?
    Me: 1 full, 1 finished and 1 started (grand total of 532 pages)
    Husband: 3 full, 1 almost (grand total of 554 pages plus a graphic novel with no page numbers)
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Me: The Earth: An Intimate History, Novecento, A Storm of Swords
    Husband: Starship Troopers, Fables 7 – Arabian Nights (And Days), The Master of Go, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    Me: Not sure really. One has still so many pages to go…
    Husband: Starship Troopers. Also the graphic novels, but he had higher expectations on them
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    Me: Earth, an Intimate History
    Husband: The master of Go
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    Just one: don’t wait too long before you start cheerleading. I kept it for the last read-a-thon hours, thinking that there may be less cheerleaders around at that time, but by that time there were very few readers as well!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    We’ll be back for sure, reading. I don’t know about cheerleading, though, well see.

Sorry I don’t have the wits about me to share other stats and thoughts… I hope you all had a great time, and see you at the next ‘thon!

(Now I’m off to shower, lunch, sleep, church, in that order. And maybe some more reading…)

Read-a-ton: nap time!

Yes, we’re back from a nap. Since last update I spent 1 hour and 40 minutes cheerleading, 1 hour reading, and the rest asleep (yawn). Husband says he’s read only 2 hours and 20 minutes, and while it sounds too little, I’m still too sleepy to challenge his maths (yawn).

It’s that time of the night when cold hits, so I’m off to drown my yawns in a cup of tea, and to read some more while I gather all my wits. Then it will be time for some more cheerleading and for a final reading rush…