Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Mini Challenge: Literary World Tour

—EDIT: This Mini Challenge is CLOSED – winner will be announced soon!—

Reading a book is undoubtedly one of my favorite methods of travel. One page, one sentence, and I am in the world of a story. No matter my mood, a book transports me. I have encountered mythical creatures, unbelievable worlds, and characters that I never want to say goodbye to.

Unsurprisingly, next to reading, another of my passions is travel. As a travel agent, I plan trips to Italy, Hawaii, Australia, even Iceland. But the places I’d most like to travel to don’t exactly exist…

This challenge seems simple: if money and time were no object (you’ve won the biggest lottery jackpot ever, and your boss is totally fine with you taking all of the time off work you need), where would you go to experience your favorite book(s) or series? Fictional places count too, of course.

But now you have to choose: do you explore Narnia before taking in a couple classes at Hogwarts? Do you travel to New Zealand, where they filmed parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Do you trace the route the pilgrims took in The Canterbury Tales, or visit London and the Charles Dickens Museum? Tell me where you’d like to go, why you’d like to go there, and how long you’d like to stay (even though sometimes the answer is “forever!”)

I would spend at least two months at Hogwarts alone, taking detours from learning magic to the enchanting towns of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. I would spend a few weeks learning from the helldivers of Lykos on Mars in the world of Red Rising. Finally I would return to the “real” world, making a world tour of literary cafés and bookstore restaurants everywhere.

A $10.00 Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com gift card (winner’s choice) awaits you…if you can decide on where you’re going! Leave a link to your response to this mini challenge, and/or and email I can reach you to coordinate your prize. Where do books take you?

 

24 Hour Readathon: Intro Survey

Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, depending on where in the world you’re reading from) Readathon-ers and blog followers!

I have not starters at exactly hour 1, as that was 5:00 AM Oregon time, and my poor little body couldn’t take it. So here we are in hour three, reading a lot to catch up! Here is my intro survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Portland, Oregon!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Besides Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which I have been excited for for a while, probably Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein. It’s a collection of science fiction short stories, and it looks really good!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
While I have candy coming out my ears for the Harry Potter party I am setting up later today, there’s only so much sugar a girl can eat! I have Harvest Cheddar Sunchips and bagel pizzas calling my name later 😉
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Well I read, obviously. A lot (again: obviously). I have been blogging for over a year (ALREADY?!), am reading mostly sci-fi/fantasy these days, and I have a big soft spot for Harry Potter anything!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first readathon! I am quite bummed that I will not get to participate as much as I’d like, but I am looking forward to just relaxing and reading most of the day and night. My to-read pile is quite crazy, and hopefully this readathon will help trim it back!

& Fridays: Ready for the Readathon?!

WHEW. I don’t know about all of you, but I have been BUSY lately. Normally work slows down this time of year. Not a whole lot of people are planning travel in the winter: they’re travelling, or spending time with family and friends for the rapid-fire holiday schedule that is Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Chrismahanukwanzakah (that’s Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, for those of you who never caught that episode of The O.C.). But for some reason people are still coming in full tilt, wanting to see if there are still places in Hawaii available for Christmas, or booking early for that river cruise or tour to Italy next year. Add to that the fact that I’ve moved to a new apartment recently, and you get a whole lot of STUFF.

I was very much looking forward to spending an entire weekend reading and snacking and curling up in my reading chair at my new place for the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon tomorrow. And I still am. But sometimes life schedules things in your way…

Snitch party favors!

Snitch party favors!

First a birthday popped up. A good friend of mine is having a dinner party. This will actually work out great, I thought. It will give me a nice break from reading all day long and I can get out and socialize! So that went on the calendar. THEN a coworker, having seen the pictures of the Harry Potter-themed Christmas party I threw last year (my post about it here), asked to hire me to do a Harry Potter-themed birthday party for his wife….the same Saturday.

And of course I’m not going to turn down a chance to express my nerdy love for Harry Potter! Plus, it justifies me keeping all of the decorations from my Christmas party!

So I’ve been running around like crazy this week, getting together things for the party and going to two different work events this week alone. I will still be participating in the Readathon, but I will not be reading as constantly as I would like L

I will be participating in as many mini challenges that I can, so keep your eyes on this space, because I will be posting more than usual! I am even hosting a mini challenge in Hour 8 (12:00 PM PST), so stay tuned for that as well!!

books016

Here are some books I have set aside for the readathon (and aren’t my bookends awesome?!):

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
I Wrote This For You by pleasefindthis
Children of the New World: Stories by Alexander Weinstein
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

I tried to get a good mix of shorter novels and short story collections. I Wrote This For You is actually photography and short poetry. Hopefully it’s a good enough mix that if I get tired of reading a novel, I can switch to a short story collection (Children of the New World) or poetry to liven things up. I highly doubt that I will get to all of these by the readathon’s end (especially because I’ll actually be around to read for only about 12 hours of the 24 hour event). But I’m excited to get started!

First up will probably be Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the super-highly-anticipated (at least by me) sequel to Illuminae (my review here). I have been gobbling up pages every chance I get, but I don’t see myself finishing the 620+ pages by tomorrow! I think it’s a great series for the readathon too, because despite each installment’s length, the pages go by quickly due its epistolary form and the non-stop action.

Now excuse me while I continue baking Mandrake cupcakes and hanging up floating candles for this weekend…

& Fridays: Read and Write Together

Sometimes it isn’t enough to curl up with a good book at home every night, or write the occasional short story that you never show anyone else, ever (guilty). Sometimes you want to find other people who like the same books you do, who are also fiction or fantasy writers and geek out over character name generators like you do.

Enter events. Book clubs. Gatherings of like-minded nerdy/geeky people who like what you like, and/or can introduce you to new authors or tools you had never heard of before. I’ve always been a bit on the fence about book clubs. If a book is not to my taste, I have a really hard time continuing it. It feels a bit like assigned reading for a class – read this within this time frame and have something to say about it the next time we meet. Perhaps if I had total control over the book club and got to dictate what everyone else read…

But I’d be willing to give it a try. My local independent bookstore hosts a fiction book group as well as a sci-fi/fantasy book group that I have considered joining. Social media apps and websites like Meetup are great as well. And hey, maybe someone out there reading this has a great book club in the Portland, Oregon area. Let me know 🙂

And if you’ve ever been around my blog near November, you know that I participate in this crazy thing called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. You write 50,000 words, the equivalent of a short novel, in 30 days for the month of November. It doesn’t matter if you are behind the entire month (been there!), or if you write twice as much every single day – you win NaNoWriMo if you submit a document of 50,000 words on November 30th. The writing community is very cool on the NaNo website. There are forums for finding the perfect character name, for titling your novel, even for submitting cover art for your finished product. You can be noveling friends with someone, motivate each other as you submit word counts each day, and more. If you’ve ever remotely been interested in writing in a longer form, or if you just have this idea that you can’t shake that you think would be great as a book, I encourage you to join this year (and be my noveling friend!)

I participated in a cool writing contest a couple years ago in Portland called the Sledgehammer Writing Contest. It started with a real scavenger hunt through the city, with clues leading to various restaurants and businesses. At each stop, you received a writing prompt that you were required to include in your final piece, which you had 24 hours to write and edit before submitting. The best piece (voted by readers of the website) received cash prizes and incentives. I didn’t win that year, but it was a ton of fun doing a scavenger hunt in Portland and then writing feverishly into the night. I remember one of the prompts was “doughnuts”…

And finally, my newest discovery…every year in the months of April and October, some marvelous people throw a 24-hour Readathon. Yup. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readation (http://www.24hourreadathon.com/) starts at the same time for everyone, and goes for a full 24 hours. The goal is to read the entire time, whether that’s listening to audiobooks while you cook or shower, curling up in your favorite reading chair all day long, or re-reading your favorite series of graphic novels. Along the way, people who signed up as cheerleaders cheer you on via social media, and Mini-Challenges get posted on the main website, with fun activities to do and blog post ideas for those with blogs. I am ALL ABOUT THIS, so get ready, because the 24-hour Readathon is NEXT WEEKEND, October 22nd! Keep a lookout for some posts on my reading list for the day, and all day posts about how its going (and the mini challenges bloggers post to keep things interesting) I already have some ideas on which books will be in the roster…

What about you? Have you come across a book club/writing competition/generally awesome book thing that you want people to know about? Let me know!