The (last) Week In Reading: April 25, 2016

Hello,

I know, I know, I’m a whole day late, but I was too tired to type out what I knew was going to be a long blog post, and I ended up meeting with two different people yesterday that I hadn’t seen in a while, so yeah, life got in the way. 

I managed to get a few hours of sleep after Readathon officially ended (I literally hit “publish” on my wrap post and knocked out, couldn’t even tweet/snapchat about it). Then I realized thanks to the readathon, I’d read wayyyy more books in the past week than usual. So get yourself some popcorn or a beer, and settle in.

Continue reading “The (last) Week In Reading: April 25, 2016”

At The End Of Dewey’s Readathon: 4/23/2016

Guys. GUYS. We did it. WE FUCKING DID IT. 24 GODDAMN hours later, I AM STILL AWAKE. Woo! A quick data rundown:

Books completed:

  1. Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton
  2. The Sorrow Proper by Lindsey Drager
  3. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  4. Study Hall Of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) by Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen (illustrations)
  5. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  6. Ramona The Pest by Beverly Cleary
  7. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (on audio)

Currently reading:

  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman (on audio, about 75% done)
  2. The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami (literally only one chapter in though)
  3. The Bad-Ass Librarians Of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (on audio)

Reading time: 21:05:39

Page count: approx. 2035

Guys, this readathon has been a fabulous experience. Definitely had stamina issues, whined about being tired, and listened to audiobooks for the better part of the last 8 hours, but I don’t regret staying up for 24 hours at all (actually, I don’t know how I feel about that yet. I’ve been book delirious since midnight). The mini-challenges were great, even though I didn’t participate in all of them, I did win one (it was one of the earlier ones, I just didn’t notice until 4 a.m.). They were so creative!

Props to all of the hosts: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, the Readathon website, and all of the mini-challenges. Fantastic way to harness the bookish community.

Cheerleaders: You guys did good. GIFs on POINT. Ridiculously impressive. Team Penguin, you guys were trailblazers!

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That’s all I’ve got, mostly because I am ready to go the fuck to bed. Hope everyone enjoyed this edition of Readathon! See y’all in October, mark your calendars! As for now, goodnight!

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-J

Dewey’s Readathon (4/23/2016): Halfway Mark

Heyo,

As predicted, this readathon is FANTABULOUSSSSSSS!

Here are my responses to the mid-event survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

  1. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  2. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (on audio)
  3. The Bad-Ass Librarians Of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (on audio)

2. How many books have you read so far? Four.

  1. Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton
  2. The Sorrow Proper by Lindsey Drager
  3. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  4. Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) by Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen (Illustrations)

 

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

  1. The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
  2. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I had put my phone on silent when I started the readathon so I only took scheduled breaks and it was going fine. I’m noticing that as the day is progressing I’m checking my phone more frequently. It is stressing me out but I’m also telling myself that it’s okay to take a break, so I might actually end up watching an episode of a TV show or even taking a 20 minute nap or something at some point when my eyes start hurting.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

The sheer number of people that are dedicating the day to reading. It gives me joy to know that there are more folks like me out there. Most people I know in real life don’t understand how or why I would read so much or even participate in such an event, but looking at everyone else online wholly participating in it and sharing my excitement and enthusiasm makes me feel good.

Other data I’m taking (behavior analyst= data nerd. It comes in handy):

Reading time: 9:50:17

Page count (including audiobook guesstimate): approx. 1197

Meet-up: A few of us Chicago readathoners met up at Brü Chicago, and it was actually really nice to sit together and read in silence. Going to coordinate group silent reading time more often for sure. 

Cheerleading: I have spent about 35 minutes cheering on twitter so far. GO TEAM PENGUIN!

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Mini-challenges: I haven’t been stressing out about these, mostly because all the books I’ve been reading today are so good that I haven’t been able to put them down to do much else other than tweet and ‘gram. I think I’ve participated in 3 so far. 

Okay, getting more snacks and back to reading! Hope everyone else is having as much of a blast as I am! RahRahReadathon!

-J
 

Dewey’s Readathon Mini-Challenge: TOP 5 BOOKISH CHILDHOOD MOMENTS

1. I have no memory of this but my parents and family friends love telling this story. I was always a tall kid, so one year-old me looked like a 4 year-old. Apparently, everyone who ever visited our house before I could read by myself would have to read books to me. They couldn’t cheat, or skip ahead, because I had the books memorized by the page! I also spent a lot of the time looking at those books and reciting them out loud (still couldn’t read), so people who visited our house for the first time would assume I was just actually reading the books!

2. Harry Potter.

3. Reading during class with the book under the desk, which my teachers used to point out at parent-teacher meetings. I would also read under the covers wayyyyy past my bedtime using a tiny flashlight I had taken from my dad. I was caught a bunch of times, but my parents never punished me for it. They were, and still are, my biggest enablers.

4. Whenever we visited people, I’d make a beeline for their bookshelf, pick up a book and read.

5. Our school library policy was to issue one book per week to students and only during the library period. Since the 5th grade, I was on first name basis with the school librarians and the library staff, was the only student allowed to sit at the “teacher’s table” in the library, and was allowed to issue books outside of library period because I read them too fast.

Hope everyone is having an excellent Readathon so far!

Dewey’s Hour Zero (4/23/2016)

GOOD MOOOOOORNNIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG FOLKS!

Hope everyone is having an excellent start to the day!

I didn’t sleep very well last night, and woke up this morning from a very realistic dream of getting fired. Isn’t that fun? Anyway, THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE! Since I’m up, I figured I’d start off with the Hour Zero post:

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1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Chicago, Illinois.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Cheese and crackers, and the chocolate chip cookies. ALWAYS the cookies.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! To make this quick, I’m cheating and just throwing my blog bio in here: Born in India, raised in the Middle East, currently in Chicago. Booknerd, Behavior Analyst, intersectional feminist, Whovian, recluse, and Scotch pundit. Pronouns she/her. Cantankerous. Fledgeling member of the bookternet. Always reading.
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, and I’m so excited that I’m worried I might not read from the excitement. I’m going to have to pace myself with the social media stuff for sure. The feeling of community and sense of belonging with the bookish internet, and being given the chance to interact with so many bookish people I admire via this readathon, is definitely a giant plus for me.

Okay friends, off to shower. Be back for bookish shenanigans in approximately 40 minutes, aaaaaaaaannnnd BREAK!

-J

On the eve of my Dewey Debut

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So, unless you don’t read books, or have been living under a rock, or do not know me in real life, everyone knows that Dewey’s readathon happens tomorrow. Over 1600 participants, isn’t that amazing? The idea of just bunch of people from all around the world dedicated the same chunk of time towards reading books and gushing about them on social media, is giving me all the feels:

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This is my first time participating in the readathon (although if you follow me on social media I’ve only been gushing about it for a month now). I found the readathon when participating in 24in48 readathon back in January, went wayyyy down the rabbit-hole of the origin story and the posts from the October event, predictably fell in love with the premise, and have had my calendar marked with this event. Since then, I have been interacting with Andi and Heather (our champion organizers) on and off on social media over the last couple of months, so I’ve been EVEN more excited about this (Here’s a well-known secret- if it’s about books, it doesn’t take me that long to get excited about it). 

Andi was kind enough to allow me to host twitter parties at the beginning of this week, and it was a blast! We chatted about themes, TBRs, beverages, snacks, and ALL OF THE BOOKS! Got some great advice from readathon veterans, a few of which I’m putting in place.

Shaina, who is the coolest, and the wittiest, and the nerdism in Readathon is insidious… (hehe, see where I’m going with this. I’m not even a little sorry.)

Anyway, Shaina started the #thon4ham tag a few nights ago, and she’s come up with so many brilliant ones that I just had to Storify them (I had a few, but nowhere as good as the ones she came up with).

I curated my readathon stack- started out feeling completely overwhelmed by the GIANT pile of unread books in my room. So I decided to throw in some criteria for selection: books I owned that were written by women, so that anything I read tomorrow will count towards Read My Own Damn Books and the Read The Books You Buy challenges.

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Look at how pretty they are 😍

I put this off for the last possible minute for two reasons: in order to stick to a written grocery list, and not to eat all of the snacks before Readathon even started. The checkout person at Mariano’s was definitely judging me (she was barely 18 and probably wondering why I’m not just buying booze on a Friday night).

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Knowing me, this is what is going to keep me going after midnight anyway.

The Facebook Readathon page has been ON FIRE, and someone on there suggested that a group of us could meet up at some point in the day for silent-reading-time-in-the-proximity-of-local-redathoners. So there’s a few of us meeting up at Bru Chicago in Wicker park, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. (in case more people want to hang).

Got me some Readathon swag, because, I had to. 

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That design on the mug is EVERYTHING. 

My social media strategy for tomorrow is going to be…err, I don’t know yet. I’m drafting two major blog posts tonight, for the 12-hour and 24-hour marks. Blogging is time-consuming, so I’m not going to kill myself trying to be super active here. I will tweet and instagram every 3-4 hours, participate in the mini-challenges on the readathon website at the same times, and occasionally Snapchat (you can find me at jananivaidya). This is sounding terribly complicated as I sit here typing this.  As for cheering, I will be cheering on twitter only, because even though I really want to go on people’s blogs, my focus for this readathon is still going to be reading. I know there’s people like my friend RDB who will exclusively be cheering this time, so I don’t feel terribly guilty for not making the effort. 

Okay, gotta run, got a bunch of chores to finish up tonight and get a good night’s sleep. If you’re not really doing anything tomorrow, go sign up for the readathon! You don’t have to read/stay awake/social media for 24 hours, you can have fun with it however you want. 

Fellow ‘thoners, hope you have a BLAST tomorrow! Woo!

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Until tomorrow,

-J

 

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: April 20, 2016

Happy hump day!

It’s Wednesday, which means it is time for Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts, hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous.

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Let’s start with the bookish ones, because those are way easier:

I got to host the Dewey Readathon’s twitter two nights in a row, which was a pretty great time. Chatted with fellow participants, answered/redirected people’s questions, talked about readathon stacks, game plans, beverages, cheerleading, and all of the other fun stuff. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time! TWO MORE DAYS WHAAAAAAAAAT!

I have been reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson as part of Social Justice Book Club and it has been going slowly, only because I have to put it down after reading each chapter to process my feelings. I even put it down for a couple of days because it got very intense. I am hoping that they keep #SJBC going so that I have an opportunity to read other books like this one. Intense, but necessary reads.

I have been doing well with my self-imposed book ban so far; however, Open Books tweeted that they will be doing a Sidewalk Sale this Friday through Sunday. Purchases would support their literacy programs, so yeah, I’ll probably end up there either on Sunday afternoon. I’m hoping this motivates me to get through a chunk of books on Saturday, so at least I’ll be taking books of my TBR stack. Oh well. I’m not even sorry

Book Riot Read Harder book club tomorrow night. We meet at Roscoe Books at 7.30 p.m. If you’re in the Chicago area, you should definitely join us! I’m bringing snacks, and there’s always wine.

I finally signed up for NetGalley and Blogging For Books!

Other life things:

I had been feeling very unmotivated at work since that one work success a little while ago. Severe avoidance behavior along with negative verbal behavior, and feelings of frustration. Talked to my friend and co-worker E about it and she offered some great suggestions. Implemented a couple of those today- made detailed to-do tasks, set timers for each task, prioritized the ones I had been avoiding, and it worked well today! At the end of my work day I was feeling really productive- wrote E an email expressing my gratitude, with a game plan to tackle other work stuff in the same way in the next week. 

My general future course is ridiculously uncertain at this point; I’m having severe anxiety about where I will be in the next few months, which are contingent on being accepted into grad school. I have received a couple of rejection letters already, went through the entire grieving process with each of them, but my general level of anxiety varies from day to day. The funny thing is I have a semi-decent plan B, but the anxiety is so crippling at this point that it is preventing me from taking action steps toward my plan B. This has definitely been a factor in the lack of work motivation. All the anxiety about said uncertainty is also alienating me from family and friends, because they have the best intentions, but most of the time I’m not even in a place to talk to them about it or hear the things they have to say. One of my closest friends has expressed his concern and how he is feeling the effects of my behavior. On the good days like today, I’m motivated to take action about it- I consciously made the effort today to reach out and check-in with him. On other days…I spend an hour talking myself into getting out of bed first thing in the morning and going through the motions. 

The thing is, I had experienced a similar transition about 3 years ago (undergrad to grad school). I will say I didn’t handle it too well- lot’s of lonely nights spent in my apartment( and a lot of booze). I’m grateful that I have a job to go to this time around, because at the very least I am accountable somewhere. I’m also a little older, and wiser, and my 24-year old body cannot handle alcohol like by just-out-of-college-21-year-old one did. I am also more comfortable with and highly value my alone-time now (reading time, plus a human services job can be emotionally and intellectually draining when I’m being productive). At this point, I am just taking it day to day. I can’t really complain, I know I have well-meaning people in my life, I just do not know how to adequately communicate all of these things to them. My goal right now is to use the strategies from days like today, and arrange my environment by putting these self-management strategies in place in advance, so that they take their course on the next day. This blip of positivity I am feeling today, I hope to carry with me tomorrow. 

Sorry if that got a little too deep. A medium to write is allowing me to articulate my private events, which is cathartic. 

Current mood: I want to skip the next two days to #readathon! Hope you guys had a great Wednesday 🙂

-J