Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #13

Happy Sunday! Can you believe that it is almost April already? Almost Easter. And almost time for the 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I believe it starts at 8AM CST. If this Time Zone Converter works correctly. I have enjoyed participating in the past. But I haven't officially signed up yet. Have you?

I think Shelf Love makes a valid point in her Sunday Salon post. About pressure (from within and without) that can impact the fun of a read-a-thon. If the goal of the read-a-thon is to celebrate the joy of reading, to celebrate being part of a community of readers, then how is the best way to go about that? How much of a competition should this be? And is this perception that it is a competition a reflection of intentions.

Does it matter how many pages are read? How many books are read? How many hours are spent? I have always considered this a fun aspect of it. But always in a trivial, shallow kind of way. Not ever in a I'm-so-much-better-or-faster-than-you way. I don't think reading should be a place for apologies and guilt. I don't think fast(er) readers should make apologies for reading books quickly. And I don't think slow(er) readers should ever be made to feel less than. (I don't believe anyone should ever feel less than about anything, but especially about reading.) How much do numbers matter to you? If you've participated in the past, do you think of the read-a-thon as a competition? If I think of it as a competition (at all) then I'm more prone to compete against myself. I might set a goal for myself and try to achieve it. But that's about it.

I think the read-a-thon means a little something different to every participant. I think for some it's all about reading, reading, reading. And for others it's about reading and blogging. And for some it might be reading, blogging, twittering. I think some take the contests seriously, and others choose to focus on their own reading without having to check back in every hour or every other hour. I think it is a temptation of sorts if you check back too often to put yourself in a race with others. To get overwhelmed with what everyone else is doing.

Speaking of read-a-thons, don't forget the Clear Away the Clutter Read-a-thon. The challenge begins Monday, April 5, 2010. At 7AM. And ends Sunday, April 11, 2010, at 11PM. The host is Neverending Shelf.

Melissa is also having a fun discussion over at Book Nut. She's talking about how "involved" readers (can) get with books. I'm more like Melissa (probably not that big a surprise). I do think about what I read. Historical fiction actually excites me a bit more than other genres. In some ways. (For example, Scarlett and Rhett from Gone With The Wind. Or Anne and Gilbert from L.M. Montgomery's series.) I think in books where the author has to create a whole other world, it's a bit harder for me to stay connected, for my belief to remain suspended. One book that has changed the way I see the world, in a way, is Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. I think about that one a lot.

I also enjoyed this guest piece at 5 Minutes for Books called "On Reading and Kids: I Don't Forbid, I Discuss."

And did you see Amanda's post on burnout? Here are my thoughts. (And I do try to practice what I preach.) I think comments are good things. I love getting comments. But comments are not everything. I promise. It's easy for bloggers to fall into the trap of feeling guilty because they are not leaving comments or not responding to comments. But is it worth the guilt?! NO!!! Comments are supposed to be fun, be natural. Not something to stress about! Same goes with keeping up with everything in google reader. It's not the end of the world if you don't read (or skim, because let's be honest here) every post on every blog that you follow. It reminds me of Digga Tunnah. (All we do is dig, so we can hide--hide so we can dig--dig).

What I've Reviewed This Week:

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions. Becca Wilhite. 2010. March 2010. Shadow Mountain. 176 pages.
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? Louise Rennison. 2009. [October 2009]. HarperCollins. 320 pages.
When Mike Kissed Emma. Christine Marciniak. 2009. [July 2009] Wild Rose Press. 176 pages.
Falling In. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2010. [March 2010] Simon & Schuster. 245 pages.
Young Bess by Margaret Irwin. 1944/2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.
Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.
Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. [December 2008] Walker & Company (Bloomsbury). 368 pages.
All Things Bright and Beautiful. Based on Work by Cecil F. Alexander. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan. 2010. January 2010. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
Thirsty Thursday. by Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Helen Craig. 2009. August 2009. Candlewick Press. 24 pages.
Maggie's Monkeys. Linda Sanders-Wells. Illustrated by Abby Carter. 2009. April 2009. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
Hot Rod Hamster. Cynthia Lord. Illustrated by Derek Anderson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 40 pages.
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love. By Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer. 2009. October 2009. HarperCollins. 40 pages.
Hop! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Quack! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Here Comes Easter. Caroline Jayne Church. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 14 pages.

Currently Reading:

The Lost Conspiracy. Frances Hardinge. 2009. September 2009. HarperCollins. 576 pages.

Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. 2010. April 2010. Walker (Bloomsbury) 336 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:

As Young As We Feel. Melody Carlson. 2010. March 2010. David C. Cook (Pub). 352 pages.

One Crazy Summer. Rita Williams-Garcia. 2010. [January 2010] HarperCollins. 218 pages.

Numbers. Rachel Ward. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 336 pages.

The Last Summer of the Death Warrior. Francisco Stork. 2010. March 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 4:33 PM  

I love comments! And followers! I know it is silly, but I love these things.

And it has been too long since I visited here and left a comment!

I'm hosting a giveaway on my Sunday Salon post today. I plan to give away two $10 gift cards to Amazon on Easter Sunday. I hope you will stop by and sign up!

Wendy 4:52 PM  

Great post, Becky. I've participated in several 24 hour read-a-thons and I have never felt like I am competing with other readers (although I know it might be easy for some participants to get competitive). The reasons I participate are:
1. To connect with other bloggers during a fun event...I love doing the mini-challenges and visiting other bloggers...and it breaks up the 24 hours for me.
2. To clear books from my shelves. I have so many books to read and the read-a-thon always manages to get me to read at least 3 of them in a 24 hour period. YAY!

I am looking forward to April 10th but haven't yet signed up because I want to post a sign up post with potential books to read on my blog first :)

DanaB@ Windows Wide Open 4:20 AM  

I am so glad you enjoyed 'On Reading and Kids: I Don't Forbid, I Discuss'--tis a subject near and dear to me--loving books and loving kids the way I do!

You make some great points in your post today :)

My teenagers and I are planning a read-a-thon ourselves--just for kicks. I think sometimes such fun things jump-start fresh reading ideas as well as get the dust brushed off a book or two!


Debi 8:10 AM  

I love your attitude about comments, Becky! So very healthy. So how do I get my own head to adopt it and stop feeling so guilty all the time? :)

And that was an interesting post about the read-a-thon...I have to admit that I have never, ever felt it competitive at all.

And one last, totally unrelated note, I adore that cover on The Lost Conspiracy--so enchanting!

Amanda 9:06 AM  

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get that comment philosophy in our heads. Mostly I just worry about appearing selfish - I keep posting and yet don't do my comments? Makes it sound like I don't care about others' blogs, just my own. :(

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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