During Summer 2016 24in28 Readathon, I finished reading “The Dilemma of a Ghost” and “Anowa” by Ama Ata Aidoo, “the blood runs like a river through my dreams” by Nasdijj, and “Mathemagics” by Margaret Ball. I’ve got another one lined up, sitting uncomfortably next to me with its spine cracking to keep my page until I pick it up again (after this post!). I read a lot, but get this, nowhere near 24 hours.IMG_20160724_202934.jpgIf my calculations are correct, which is not terribly likely as my timekeeping was far from perfect, I’ve still done a very poor job completing this challenge. Saturday: 2 hrs 32 min + 53 mins = 3 hrs and 25 mins. Sunday: 44 mins + 2 hrs and 29 mins + 19 mins = 3 hours and 32 mins. That makes a total of 6 hours and 57 minutes. There’s a little less than three full hours left in this day, so there is not a chance of me “completing” the challenge.

There are some things for me to keep in mind. Not excuses, mind you, but yes, excuses. I started late on Saturday, thinking the challenge was next weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are also some of my best “work” days because while I work from home, I do take classes on weekdays. So I catch up with work and get my week set up on Saturday and Sunday as well as do the cleaning chores that have slipped past me through the days. I would be completely lost this coming week if I had actually spent twelve hours each day reading. And lastly, because I have chronic illnesses, it is literally painful to do anything for twelve hours out of any day for me. I hadn’t thought of that before signing up for this, but the pain made itself aware to me quickly.

I’m still glad that I signed up though. It was wonderful to dedicate the time that I did spend on reading! The whole purpose of the challenge, in my non-expert opinion, was to remind us to spend time reading books. Why? Because reading expands horizons and vocabularies, breeds empathy, calms the body, stimulates the mind, encourages learning, etc. I could write a whole post on why reading is great. The nearly seven hours I did spend reading were lots of fun, and the motivation of the challenge kept me at it.

The readathon challenge taught me a few things. First of all, I can clearly spend an hour or two each day reading from an actual book and still keep up with my work, cleaning, classes, and my admittedly scanty social life. What was I spending the time doing before? Probably Twitter. Or aimless lying about. Those things are great and important too, but I could probably do less of them and be just as happy. Possibly more happy, since more time would be spent in books. Secondly, moderation. It amazes me how life reinforces this lesson every time I forget about it. Moderation is great in all things, and especially because illnesses limit my energy, it becomes very important. Lastly, although I love reading, I would much rather sit with a book for a while after I finish it instead of rushing into the next one. With some books, I don’t need a lot of sitting time. Either it wasn’t emotionally complex, or it was meant to be light or funny, or the ideas weren’t so new to me that I needed a lot of processing. But many books leave my insides all jumbled so that I can think about things a new way. I felt like I didn’t have nearly enough time to linger over “the blood runs like a river through my dreams” by Nasdijj before I jumped into “Mathemagics”.

I’d love to hear other folks’ experience with the 24in48 Readathon! Did you hit 24 hours? Did anything stop or distract you? What did you read?

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