It’s October, which means that in addition to spooky Halloween vibes and pumpkin spice vibes, it’s also time for another round of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, my favorite readathon of the year.
My mood is a little bit different going into this round of Dewey’s. The U. S. presidential election is less than 2 weeks away, and Covid-19 numbers just hit their highest peak in our country. Reading can often be a great distraction in dark times, but right now I’m finding it impossible to fully separate myself from everything going on. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. As readers, we can simultaneously immerse ourselves in the world of books while not ignoring the social and political context our reading is taking place in, and we can use that context to drive our motivation, both reading and otherwise, to do what we can to help. I think that reading is an amazing form of escape during stressful times, and I hope that a lot of us readathon participants are able to use it that way, but it’s okay also to struggle to read or enjoy other hobbies in times of crisis. It’s okay to acknowledge that nothing is normal right now, and it’s okay to have a hard time with that.
I understand that many of us want to use this readathon as a chance to relax and recalibrate at a time when we’ve all been struggling, and I don’t want to take away from that. I hope that all of the readers out there are taking care of themselves, and I hope that this readathon is a way for us to connect and reset during a horrific year. I also hope that you all vote, whether it’s early or in person or by mail, because the current administration stands against everything that we as readers stand for–science, education, equality, and caring for one another.
I don’t expect myself to be nearly as productive with my reading this round as I normally am during Dewey’s; I’m planning on taking breaks throughout the day to continue textbanking for Joe Biden, which is a really easy way to volunteer if you’re looking for a way to get involved before the election. (If you’re interested in donating or volunteering, head over to Joe’s Biden’s website and you’ll find links to everything.)
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I’m hoping to steer my reading towards happier stories at the moment, so I’m looking to pick up The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune, which I’ve been assured from multiple reviews is a feel-good fantasy, and Fangs by Sarah Andersen, a graphic novel about a vampire and a werewolf who fall in love.
I’m also likely to make some progress on my current audiobook, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, which is a mystery/thriller focusing on a true-crime podcast host, and current ebook The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker, a contemporary romance set in the theater world of London’s West End.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I’ve been on a bit of a healthy eating kick lately, so I may attempt to make a smoothie bowl during the readathon.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’ve recently started painting as a form of stress relief. I’m terrible at it, but I find it really relaxing to just play with colors while listening to Folklore or Billie Eilish.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Balancing reading with textbanking for the Biden campaign! Textbanking doesn’t start until this afternoon, so I’ll try to read as much as I can in the morning before the sessions begin later in the day.