10.10.2009

Readathon Advice

I'm struggling to put together a reading list that doesn't make Amanda look at me like I'm crazy. So I'm enlisting my blogging friends who know better than i do. Here is my Readathon pile...


  • The Gardens of Emily Dickinson
  • Kristin Lavransdatter
  • The Eyre Affair
  • Ash
  • Orlando
  • Memoirs of a Beatnik
  • Affinity
  • In Cold Blood
  • some Shakespeare plays
  • How the Other Half Lives
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • Silence
  • Jamaica Inn
  • Mortal Love
So, Amanda says I have too many thick books and that my books are too heavy... Here's my problem though. If I put something in the pile that I don't want to read then I won't enjoy reading it - or more precisely, I will feel yucky because I'm reading something too far from what I'm feeling. So I picked books that feel the way I feel right now. On top of that, I tried to pick books that seem like there would be a special experience in reading them in one sitting and/or late at night when I imagine I'll beore emotionally vulnerable. So I don't want something that just keeps me awake - if I'm just reading in order to not sleep then I may as well go to sleep. I want to read BECAUSE i'm awake at 4 am, not in spite of it, you know? But I also know NOTHING about Readathon. Any suggestions?

14 comments:

WordLily said...

I don't think there's a problem with reading bigger and/or heavier books during the read-a-thon. The potential for a problem stems from the possibility that you'll feel like you're making no progress, or not getting enough read and getting frustrated (at least this is how it was for me, when I was a reader). Having at least a few small/light books helps the reader feel like they're making progress and spurs him/her on, I think. If you're OK reading just a couple books — or just pieces of your selections — then you're probably fine.

Maree said...

Don't think! Just read :)
Start with the shorter books, and don't feel like you have to read for ALL 24 hours. I'm reading/cheering, so I'm sure I'll be by to offer encouragment :D

Debi said...

Oh my gosh, your pile would have me crying before I even started. But we're obviously very different readers. You=sophisticated. Me=not sophisticated. (Okay, I'm too darn tired to be talking to other human beings...I can't even come up with a suitable word meaning "not sophisticated.") Amanda's advice is the kind of advice that would work for a reader like me. I can't read big, dense kind of reads when I'm tired. But honestly, I think the key is to just pile on whatever will keep you happy...and if that's what makes you happy, go with it. Hey, there's nothing stopping you from stealing something from Amanda's pile if yours isn't working for you, right? ;)

Rebecca :) said...

I agree with everyone else here- read what makes you happy and what will make you want to keep reading. I certainly think Amanda's advice is worth thinking about. I say this because in April my pile looked similar to yours and I never felt like I made any progress (especially since I kept going back and forth between books and never actually finished one.) I think if you start with one of the shorter ones then you will feel like you've made progress and the thicker ones will not be a problem in any way.

I was just asking Amanda if you were participating. I look forward to reading your updates!

Chris said...

I like Debi's advice...and I'm basically going to point up and say "what she said". Read what makes you happy!! If big, chunky, sophisticated books make you happy, then go for it man!! I'd make sure you have a couple of lighter, thinner books there too though just in case you need something quick and easy on the brain. Light reading. You'll have fun...I can promise you that :)

Jeanne said...

I have no useful advice about readathons, but think it's a great idea to get to read The Eyre Affair in one sitting!

Eva said...

I second WordLily. :) Sometimes readers get caught up in 'Oh! I haven't finished a book yet! I am sad!', and that's never good.

Also, remember you're going to be sleep-deprived eventually, and your tired brain is NOT going to want to read Orlando, or if it does you won't enjoy it as much! ;) (I think we established on twitter one day how much I love Woolf, so don't think I'm insulting her!) I think Jamaica Inn is a PERFECT read-a-thon choice, as is The Eyre Affair!

If I were you, I wouldn't get rid of any of those books. But, I'd add a few lighter ones, thinking about your sleep-deprived self (perhaps some graphic novels too). That way, if you don't feel like reading a heavy book, you'll have an option. :)

Also, if you don't want to read short books, you could always start the read-a-thon w/ a book you're in the middle of, which would give you that sense of accomplishment!

Rebecca Reid said...

Catcher is a quick read. I read it in two sittings two nights. I think Eyre Affair is a great middle of the night option.

I have How the Other Half Lives awaiting my read. It's short, but it looks a bit dense...

Enjoy!

Jason Gignac said...

Ms WordLily - Thanks for the advice! I feel like such an ignoramus :P.

Maree - Thanks - I usually have so few visitors, it'll feel strange to have cheerleaders! :D

Ms Debi - I don't think it's a question of sophistication. There's plenty of books that I would cry about if I had in front of me. I think it's more a matter of having messed up taste ;P. Amanda reads ALL KIND of books that I probably couldn't make it through, I know...

Ms Rebecca - Yes, it sounds like the consensus is that I should probably throw a few skinny books on the pile. Now I just have to try to find some skinny books that match my mood :/

Mr. Chris - I think that's my problem - I'm not as experienced as you guys all are, so I don't have a lot of, say, graphic novels that I know I'll like, or children's books, or whatever. I just odn't have sufficient breadth of taste... :/. So, when I hear 'pick some light books' I just kind of draw a blank.

Ms Jeanne - CURSES! I just finished that one yesterday!

Ms Eva - I LOVE long rambly comments, first of all, they're my very most favorite, so don't feel sorry :P. I think that's part of my issue - even Jamaica Inn I just added at Amanda's behest - I kind of go into these moods where I feel a certain way, and I FEEL really slow right now - which is muy disadvnatageous, on the week of Readathon, I'm sure!!!! So, I guess that's my issue, I need to find some short novels, graphic novels, etc, that are very quiet and contemplative, rather than fast-paced and exciting. Which is kind of hard for me... :/. And on top of that, they have to be ones that tickle my fancy, or I know I won't read them.

Ms Reid - You've heard of Other Half? Yay! I don't feel so alone in the world anymore! I like Muckracker lit, so I'm kind of looking forward to it, and I piciked it 'cause it has lots of pictures :P.

Rebecca Reid said...

I heard about Other Half when I was reading Jane Addams Twenty Years at Hull House. I admit, it hasn't called my name since it arrived from bookmooch...

If you want graphic novels that are contemplative, I love the nonfiction ones I've read but I dont' know if you like political books, and most of the ones I'd recommend are political -- Jerusalem by Joe Sacco for example.

Jason Gignac said...

Oh, I like politics (just read Marx, after all), as long as they aren't vitriolic, arrogant, or excessively bitter. I haven't read any nonfiction graphic novels, the only one I've really liked that I've read was Pax Romana. I'd like to read Sandman at some point too, though heaven knows I probably won't get that from the library...

Rebecca Reid said...

Have you read Maus yet? Excellent nonfiction graphic novel. It's a memoir -- I usually hate memoirs, but he accepts the fact throughout that he's writing a memoir so it's interesting. And he's writing it about his dad's life in a concentration camp. Very good.

Jason Gignac said...

No, but have heard some very intriguing reviews, including yours. MAybe I'll see if it's around :).

Amanda said...

Jase, if you want nonfiction graphic novels, you can always get Persepolis & Persepolis 2. Those are both at Semmes. I have Chicken With Plums, too, if you want to borrow it during the readathon. Marjane Satrapi's style isn't like any graphic novel I've ever seen before.