It’s the Monday after the #24in48 Readathon! My plan was to post something yesterday marking the end of the marathon and the 24 hours of reading. Unfortunately, my best friend and I burned out at around hour 19-20. The break between the first day and the second sucked out all our energy. Having said this, I don’t regret participating, even for a second! It was a fun way to get some solid reading done.
I read Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older, which is the sequel to his Half-Resurrection Blues. It was light, fun reading that took me longer to read than I expected it too. Because I read so much, I tend to think I read faster than I do. I’m always kind of surprised when I remember that I actually read pretty slowly!
I also read Palacio by Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón, a Puerto Rican author who happens to be my best friend’s brother. We’ve been friends for about four years and the book had already been published by the time we met. Every time it came up that I still hadn’t read it there’d be a whole “shame on you” moment. Because he’s her brother sure, but also because he’s an excellent writer. And, really, shame on me for having waited so long! It was a good book with interesting imagery and unexpected metaphors.
My third book for the marathon was actually a play, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. I didn’t know it was a play when I picked it up, so that was a bit of a surprise. I hadn’t read a play in so long that for a few minutes I wasn’t even sure how to go about it. Things clicked as I kept reading and it turned out to be a really gratifying experience! This is actually my pick for Omaha, so I’ll be writing a more in depth post about it later.
Part of the reason I burned out was that after the play, I wasn’t quite sure what to read. I tried a few books, but I couldn’t get into any of them and it drained my reading energy even more. After an extended break though, I picked up Sergio’s second novel Dicen que los dormidos about a guy who gets shot multiple times “by accident” which lands him in a coma and the fallout of it all. It’s an exploration of violence in Puerto Rico. I’m about halfway through and enjoying myself. I’ll probably finish it today, actually!
There are things I’d do differently if I were to participate again. I chose to read many small books, rather than sticking with one large book for the duration. The truth is, having to settle into a new story every few hours was distracting and contributed to my burning out. Had I stuck to one large book, I think the consistent plot line would’ve had a better chance of keeping me on until then end. If, for some reason, short books is all I have to read then meticulously curating the list will be a must.
Also, I think I’d rather try my hand at reading continuously for a full 24 hours, rather than breaking it up into two days. I thought I’d appreciate the chance to sleep and feel relaxed, but that actually worked against me. I think the energy needed to keep reading from midnight to midnight would keep me more excited and centered on the challenge.
It was still a good experience, though. My best friend and I loaded up on snacks, shared things that were happening in our books that surprised, scared, or grossed us out. Plus, I’m honestly really happy with the reading I got done. I think had I not burned out I would’ve finished Sergio’s novel and probably had time for a fifth book! It almost makes me want to set aside a day every month to read for 24 hours straight! I just might do that…*Cue suspense music*
Stay tuned because on Wednesday we return to Texas for a look at my newest pick! Until next time, readers.