Much like myself, my read-a-thon was a little abnormal, but still a lot of fun. My original plan was to read twelve or more hours on Saturday, beginning at 8:00 a.m. (I'm not an early morning person.) Our daughter, home from college for less than 24 hours, interrupted me for a shopping trip on Saturday morning. She has discovered that she can purchase more if she actually gets me into a store than if I just give her the money to shop on her own. I'm not good at keeping track of the dollar amount in the cart and I'm likely to agree to trying a new product if I actually see it, so when we're a little over the budget at check-out, I'll usually pony up the money rather than make her put things back. (She also knows that getting Daddy in a store is even more lucrative. She smiles, bat's those big brown eyes and says "But Daddy..." and he caves.) Anyway, that pretty much killed Saturday morning, but I did manage to finish Gunn's Golden Rules by Tim Gunn.
Once Amanda was on her way back to school, I began my read-a-thon anew and continued through Sunday, with a break for a full night's sleep, of course. With brief time-outs for household chores, cooking and a movie, I was still able to get in about eighteen hours of reading spread over the weekend. I rotated my reading between Stephen J. Cannell's Prostitute's Ball, Snow Day by Billy Coffey and Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, edited by Otto Penzler. When the Penzler and Cannell books were done, and only a few chapters left in Snow Day, I began A Piggly Wiggly Wedding by Robert Darcy.
I only participated in a few mini-challenges - usually the ones that only required a brief response - and I didn't win any prizes, but that's ok. I have way more books than I can get read as it is (plus access to the entire library at work). Thanks to all that sponsored a challenge. I know they required effort and a chunk of time out of your read-a-thon day.
I learned two lessons this year that I will carry over to the next read-a-thon:
1. The book rotation plan worked really well. Reading a chapter or two from each book. This plan kept me from getting bored and kept me from giving up on more difficult reads.
2. Pick and choose which mini-challenges to try. Entering every challenge and visiting all the blogs to see how everyone else is doing can easily fill the entire 24 hours. This time I entered only those challenges that required just a brief response. Not that the longer challenges aren't great, but the ones requiring pictures, writing a brief story or other creative works just take me too long (I'm not particularly speedy with the technology stuff). However, I enjoyed looking at everyone's entries on those challenges. Next time I may branch out and enter some that are more in-depth - or even sponsor one - but I will still limit the number I enter or I'll get no reading done.
Over-all my first "empty nest" read-a-thon was much easier than in the past, and I had a great time. Thanks to everyone who planned, organized, cheered, judged, created or shipped. You are all angels!