What happens when I go to the library alone

As if you can’t tell from my goodreads widget over there (if you’re actually viewing this at my blog, anyway), I tend to read a fairly wide variety of things at once. Which of course, I take great pride in. Or else why would I do it? If I can make the cashier at the bookstore comment on the range of genres in my stack, I consider it a personal victory.

Of course, these quit-my-day-job-to-live-my-dreams days, I don’t have throw money in the air at the bookstore kind of cash anymore. Which means my weird stacks are now assembled at the library. After years of guilting and pressuring myself about how many books I should have out at once, I have finally given myself permission to check out ALL! THE! BOOKS!, and if some of them go back to the library unread, it’s going to be okay. This stack is definitely a result of this experiment, I have at least eight library books at home already, and actually every book I am reading at the moment is a book I own, not a library book at all. (shocking)

I really love this stack. A biography of Charles Darwin in poems? Check. A Kenyan crime novel, even though I hardly ever read crime/mystery, but it’s from my favorite publisher? Check. A collection of afrofuturist short stories from my latest small press obsession? Check. A feminist meditation, blurbed by bell hooks, from a university press? Check. A graphic novel of Miles Morales as Spider-Man? Check.

The other two I checked out for my kids. But I may read The Guardians of the Galaxy.

What about you? Do you use the library? Do you feel like you have to control the number of books you check out at once? If so, what’s your system? If not, how did you give yourself the permission to lead such an extravagant book life?


Readathon Wrap-up


Final counts for Jen:
Books finished: 8
Pages read: 1480

Final counts for Jefferson:
Books finished: 3
Pages read: 1448

Combined stats:
Books finished: 11
Pages read: 2928

Cash raised for the cause!
Total on website, as of this moment: $225
Donations in cash: $20
Per book pledge, $2/book: $22
Per page pledge, 3 cents/page: $89.84!
Total raised (as of this moment): $356.84!

Of course, you can still donate to the readathon! The fundraiser period for the website is automatically 60 days, so you’re not too late to the party!

And really, First Book is such a fantastic organization, the more I learned about them this week, the more I think we may have found our permanent beneficiary.

Now, finally, the closing survey for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Definitely the last hour! I did a magical job of managing my caffeine intake this time around. Never too much that I was jittery, and I was just really awake and alert. Until shortly after I finished my 22 hours in update. By the time clicked over to the final hour I was really fighting to finish my last book. Until then, I’d had half a plan to start a new book and read right up until the 8 a.m. finish time, but when I finished that last book I was 100% DONE.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year?

While I think that’s always going to vary from reader to reader, my son read The Martian as one of his final books for the readathon, and I think it was a great choice. Lots of humor, but also lots of crises, so you’re always motivated to keep pushing on and find out how Mark makes it off of Mars alive!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?

I do not.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I really enjoyed participating in the Facebook group in the week leading up to the readathon! I hadn’t done that before, and it was a great way to see everyone’s TBR piles, find out where everyone was planning to blog their progress, and feel like a part of the community. This year I didn’t participate in the mini-challenges and didn’t socialize much during the readathon itself, but I am looking forward to catching up on everyone’s posts today.

5. How many books did you read?

I read 8, and my son finished 3.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

I finished: The Sandman: Overture, The Familiar Vol 2: Into the Forest, Poems from The Book of Hours, The Night is Darkening Around Me, A Slip Under the Microscope, Three Cups of Deceit, The Duel, Eden Springs

My son finished: The House of Hades, The Martian, and an issue of National Geographic

2017-04-30 13.57.11

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Probably The Familiar, even though it was five million pages long and I thought it would never end.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

I have to say The Night is Darkening Around Me. A few of the poems from the collection I loved, but many of them were clearly telling a story that I could not figure out.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

We will definitely participate again! And probably as readers. Though sometime when I’m not able to dedicate the whole day to reading, I’d love to try being a cheerleader/moderator.

All of the thing


Good night and good morning.

Twenty-two hours in

About an hour ago Jefferson sat bolt upright, then got up off the couch. When I gently suggested that he head up to bed, he looked at the clock (5 a.m.) and said, “It’s too late.”

I asked him if he was up for the day, and when he said yes, gently teased him that the readathon was still on a for a few more hours, and if he wasn’t careful, I was going to pass him in pages read. “No! Not gonna happen!” he replied, and marched himself back to the couch and grabbed a book.

So, yeah. He’s way ahead again.

Jefferson finished The Martian and made more progress in Scribblenauts, but then fell back asleep, for all his protesting.

I finished Three Cups of Deceit, started and finished The Duel, and then started Eden Springs.

The Duel Eden Springs

Guys, I’m so tired. But with only two hours left to go, how do I not attempt a heroic push to the end? And then sleep forever.

Our completely ludicrous totals so far:

Jen’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 6
Pages read: 1371

Jefferson’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 3
Pages read: 1448

I am way too tired to think of a clever way to tell you about our fundraising page for First Book, which is here. 

Twenty hours in

I don’t know how I’m going to get back to a normal sleep schedule ever again.

I finished The Familiar, vol. 2! Can you believe it? I decided I needed to follow up with some non-fiction, so I launched into Three Cups of Deceit, which I have been meaning to read for years. I have many, many thoughts on this book, but I need to do some more research before I share them. Not to mention actually finish the book.

Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way

Jefferson is still sleeping on the couch. Will he wake at his usual 6 a.m., bright-eyed and ready to play computer games? Will I still be awake and reading when he does? Will I convince him to finish one of his so close to finished books before the twenty-four hours of the readathon draws to a close?

Jen’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 5
Pages read: 1263

It is actually now kinda sorta possible that I will catch up with Jefferson’s pages read (1333). You know, unless he wakes up and reads again in the morning.

The reason I am still awake at 4 a.m.: to raise money for First Book.

You know. Mostly. Though perhaps I was doomed the moment I made my journal log go all the way to 24 hours. You have no idea how motivated I am by spreadsheets.

Eighteen hours again

I don’t think that I’ve read this far into a readathon before? But I’m still very awake and still enjoying my five million page book.

Jefferson, on the other hand, is most definitely out for the night. I haven’t managed to talk him into moving from the couch, though. Every time it seems like he’s awake, he’s really not, and there hasn’t been much reason to wake him all the way to move him.

We’ll just go with my totals for this update, as Jefferson’s haven’t moved. Will I catch up to him before I give in to sleep? Stay tuned!

Jen’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 4
Pages read: 1128

2/3rd of the way to our fundraiser goal! On the website at least. Every hour I stay up is also clicking up the per page and per book donations. But I promise if someone donates the rest of our goal right now, it won’t take the wind out of my sails. 😉

Obligatory link to the fundraising page.

Sixteen hours in

Unbelievable. Jefferson has been asleep for nearly half this period, and still read more pages than me.

I did mess around with the fire a fair bit, now that Andrew is in bed.

Nobody finished any books! Jefferson got almost to the end of The Martian, then dodged back over to Scribblenauts. I decided I was going to finish The Familiar this readathon if it killed me. Then Jefferson fell asleep, and as I keep mentioning, The Familiar actually has five million pages.

The fire is sure pretty, though.

I had some weird V8 energy drink I bought on impulse when preparing for the readathon/apocalypse. I feel absolutely un-tired. Of course, I haven’t been going to bed so much earlier than this lately anyway.

Jen’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 4
Pages read: 962

Jefferson’s cumulative totals:
Books finished: 2
Pages read: 1333

We’re over half-way on our fundraising goal! Whee! (Exactly at halfway according to the webpage, but add in page and book total pledges and that’s more math than I have time for with my five million pages still to read and all.) Check out our fundraiser and support First Book, a great cause!