Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm Done

Total books: 5 and some change
Total pages: 1365 (read 108 pages of Beast)
Total hours 12.25 (recalculated)
New Favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor: Everything But The...

I like Beast. I really do.


So I'm calling it a day. 5 books is pretty good, I think!

What I would do differently:

Space out my time. I started quickly and peaked. I also gave myself a headache, which ended my run prematurely.

What I've learned:

If I set aside a block of time for reading, with few distractions, I can read more for a greater length of time, and comprehend the story better. Lately, I've been reading about 15 minutes in the morning, approximately 15 minutes at lunchtime (if no one else is taking lunch at the same time), and maybe 20 minutes at night. This is almost an hour every day, but it's in sudden starts and stops. The story doesn't flow as well.

If I eliminate distractions, this will also help me with my reading. Too often, I have the radio on Washington Post radio in the morning or evening, logged into AIM, and have my cell phone on. I am often interrupted by the Nationals game, an AIM message, or a call. This challenge has reminded me that I retain much more of the book if I read for at least 30 minutes at a time.

However, I must have some kind of background noise. I cannot stand total quiet. So, I tuned into the NPR station that mostly plays classical music.

I also had very limited Internet access. This turned out to be a major blessing in disguise. I was more focused on doing the actual reading rather than checking email, responding to AIM messages, and reviewing the books. The point wasn't to blog, but to read.

My cell phone was usually turned off and in another room, eliminating another distraction.

Whenever I felt like reading became a major chore, I quit. When I felt like I was racing ahead just to finish the book, I slowed down or I quit. I had no aspirations of winning, but I wanted to put some effort into it. I've been looking forward to reading the books I had chosen, so I didn't want to have a memory of the book being a chore.

Around 3:30 yesterday, I had a desperate need for socialization and a change of scenery. Since I had read 3.5 books by then, I figured I was doing pretty well (my goal was 5 books, which I did meet. Yay me!). When I started again this morning at 7, I was ready to begin.

I've never, ever done marathon reading like this before. It usually takes me about 2-3 days to finish a book, if I don't fall into my habit of reading in spurts. I consider a 2-3 turnover from checkout to check-in fairly good.

I do have one suggestion for Mother Reader, and that is for her to consider having the 48 Hour Book Challenge in the winter. People like to read (inside) when it's cold (outside). You can make popcorn and hot chocolate, and snuggle under a quilt. When it's a nice summer day, you can certainly read outside and enjoy the day, but you're more likely to people-watch at Starbucks and eavesdrop. Plus, those chairs aren't very comfortable after a while.

Just one teeny thought. Other than that, thank you very much to Mother Reader for organizing this, and to her husband, who maintained her site during the event.

I'll have longer reviews of the book later in the week.

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