#BOTNBingo: Because I needed one more reading challenge

Well, yeah, I have a problem. Since discovering the bookternet, I’m all about the reading challenges. I’m pretty sure serious Readathon withdrawal (Andi, Rachel, ya hear me?) is the reason I jumped on this bandwagon as soon as I saw Shaina talk about it on twitter:

Yes, reaction GIFs are my favorite method of communication. 

So I’ve jumped on the bandwagon, and just in time. The #BOTNSBookBingo, organized by the lovely folks at Books On The Nightstand. It goes from Memorial Day Weekend (May 28th, 2016) all the way up to Labor Day (September 1st, 2016). Basically, a summer of reading glory, all mapped out for you! If you haven’t yet, go build yourself a card: http://tinyurl.com/BOTNSBingo2016

Note: The website is set up to generate a new card each time you refresh the page, so make sure you save/print yours as soon as it has been generated!

Here’s mine:

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This is a pretty good mix of things I usually enjoy reading, and things I’d never considered, like nature writing or a fiction set during a plague. Couple of categories, like a book about art or an artist, or a ghost story, are not types of books I gravitate towards (I read everything, so this statement is probably more anecdotal than empirical), so it’s a good mix. My goal is to truck along with #readmyowndamnbooks with this one, but I suspect with the unusual categories I might have to reach out to the library for support.

I’ve talked before about how I thought my rate of success is pretty low with longer reading challenges, but I have a feeling that having specific tasks will help me focus better. All I need to do now is organize what I want to read and that should prevent the slump from setting in. 24 specific books in the span of 3 months seems totally doable. 

If anyone out there is participating, let me know in the comments and we can compare cards!

-J

 

#SmashYourStack: Read Your Own Books In May 2016

Hey booknerds!

So I was doing semi-decently with my book-buying ban in April, until I went to sidewalk sale the day after readathon and it all kinda went to hell (I bought 6 books). Proceeds were going towards literacy programs, so how could I not?

As always, Andi is here to the rescue, and has a solution for people like me with all the well-meaning intentions and none of the self-management success. She and Melissa (another one of my internet faves) are hosting this next month:

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Once again, they have fairly easy and self-made options to work with:

  • Set a percentage of your own books to read for the month
  • Pick a number!
  • Go hard and read ALL your own books!

I am going to be realistic, and say, between digital and print, I will commit to reading 15 of my own books in May. Seems fairly realistic. Dewey’s Readathon helped me get a few out of the way, and I just rearranged my bookshelf, so we have some momentum going.

If anyone else out there needs a challenge like this to make progress with books you own, let’s be stack-smashing buddies! I love cheering people with whatever reading goals they want to achieve, and I know I could use some of that encouragement. Join me, won’t you?

-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 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

 

Read The Books You Buy Challenge 2016

To pair with my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge (that I’m starting only in April, oops), here’s another challenge that I’m participating in, primarily to increase the likelihood of me following the ‘rules’ of my self-imposed book-buying ban. 

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As seen above, this one is hosted by The Book Date. I was a little annoyed at myself for completely forgetting that I had signed up for the Clean Your Reader Challenge hosted by new internet friend Kerry, which was my own fault. I got a little over-enthusiastic about reading challenges this year since I was reading a lot more than I did last year and I didn’t really track the reading challenges I was participating in (rookie mistake). This is also a little unusual for me, because I’m a DATA NERD. I love taking data, especially data on my own behaviors ( I can go into detail if anybody is interested in how I go about this). 

Anywho, this is my official “commitment post.” I think a decent goal for the year would be to read at least 80% of the books that I buy/will buy in 2016. I’ll post monthly stats of all of my challenges because a visual representation works as motivation for my reading behavior (read: data nerd. Yeah. Wasn’t kidding about that). 

Good luck to everyone who is attempting this, or any version of book-buying bans/self-imposed rules for reading. 🙂

Which leads me to ask, do you guys have any self-imposed reading/book-buying rules?

-J

“My name is Janani and I’m a book-buying addict”

I buy books. A LOT of books. So many, many, MANY books. Along with library books, audiobooks, and borrowed books, it is impossible for me to catch up with my TBR stack at the moment. I live in an apartment with a roommate, my room is relatively small, we don’t really have a lot of shelf space in and around the house. As a result, there is a corner of my very small room that looks like this: 

 

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Yeah, it’s starting to become a problem. The growing pile of unread books is stressing me out (especially in the last few days because I haven’t had any time to read). These aren’t just backlist bumps, these are books that are out now that everyone is reading and talking about, and the longer it takes me to get to them, the more it stresses me out because “I want to read all the books and talk about all the things!”. Also, I have a significant move coming up in the near future (either in or out of the country), and the last time I had to move I spent an indecent amount of money moving my books, so I would like not to have to do that this time. 

The solution? I am going to actively participate in #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, courtesy the fabulous Andi. The rules are pretty straightforward:

  • Read my own books. 
  • Try to knock off 100 in 2016 by either reading them or ditching the ones that are DNF. 
  • I can’t buyyyy myself any books until I’ve read a significant amount of my own- This part of the challenge is something I will be tackling monthly (shaping that behavior and all that). 
  • If I’m itching for newness…use the library- Or reach out to my amazing bookish friendships. 

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Putting it out here means accountability, so I’m relying on you guys to help me out. I’m going to be realistic about this, and check progress monthly. I know we’re a week into April, but this is the first month I will be making a sincere effort toward this challenge. If anyone out there is already participating and needs cheerleading via the internet, let me know! I love being an interwebz supporter. 

Wish me luck!

-J