It’s here. It’s here. It’s finally here! The chatter about our reading plans is here, and we’ll be updating this post throughout the day. Thanks so much for stopping by.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

We are reading from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s a bright, sunny, mild autumn day. The leaves are still more than half-on the trees. It’s even warm enough to sit outside and read!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Readathon StacksMr. BIP’s – I Live Here (a boxed collection of four graphic novels)
Ella’s – Crank
Emilie’s – Chi #8
Grandpa BIP – Neil Young biography
Grandma BIP – The two books wholeheartedly recommended by Ella and Emilie
Mine – Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep
There are pictures of these and more details on our planning page, if you’re curious

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Mr. BIP’s – Soup
Ella’s – Sandwiches
Emilie’s – Orange Bundt
Grandpa BIP – Croissant
Grandma BIP – ALL the snacks
Mine – Brownies and espresso

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

This is our first all-in-the-family read-a-thon. It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so we have Monday to play with too. It makes all of this even more fun.

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? 

For those of us who have done this before, we’ll be having MORE snacks. Which probably means a little less time for other things, but it’ll be worth it.
For the rest, “reading that is only interrupted by eating”, the snacks, “reading as many books as I want without being told to go and do something else”, “snacks”. (Yah, the food is a big thing here.)

Mini-Challenge Mad Lib Rewrite, using Pride and Prejudice:
“IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wifeHowever little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”

“IT is a gravity universally acknowledged, that a cantankerous man in possession of a good florescent light must be in want of a optometrist. However little known the duvets or pillowcases of such a man may be on his first entering a toilet, this truth is so well fixed in the public washrooms of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful chef of some one or other of their daughters.”

Update in Hour 9:

So…it turns out that we are way more about cheering and eating than reading, but collectively we have read 856 pages. Yah, that’s for 6 people. Like I said, fewer pages turned but more snacks consumed and a lot of bookish conversation.

Orange Bundt Cake RAT snackMini-Challenge: Mid-event Survey (Ella speaking)

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?

How are we doing? Well I’m fine really I was the first one to conk out last night and 6 hours before everyone else too (they went to bed at 4 this morning – long story). Ms BIP is cheering like a mad women so we’re all ok there. Mr BIP? Not even close: he’s on a rampage reading cheering AND cooking. Grandpa BIP had a nap earlier, so, yah he’s good. And Grandma BIP? Kind of tired, could take a nap, but prefers not to because of her captivating novel characters. And my sister Emmy….yah, she’s tired, but not ready to give up yet.

2) What have you finished reading?

Me(Ella):I have finished reading 3 Scaredy Squirrel books and Chi’s sweet home 3 plus two chapter books. Ms BIP: just read the first Scaredy Squirrel but is doing a great job cheer leading (no joke her fingers are flying as if she’s some robot.) Mr BIP: ditto to Ms BIP. Grandpa BIP: just read a chapter in Waging Heavy Peace and is currently reading “Horses of the Night” in a collection of Prairie fiction (due to his nap ;). Grandma BIP: ditto to Mr/Ms BIP (holy crap: we have a lot of ditto’s, eh?) plus second book of Scaredy and is currently reading Warrior cats: Midnight. Emmy: ditto to grandma BIP plus Chi’s Sweet Home 3 and 5.

3) What is your favorite read so far?

Me: Julie of the Wolves
Ms. BIP : who only read ONE book…so Scaredy squirrel
Mr. BIP: Infinite Kungfu
Grandpa BIP: Scaredy Squirrel (just started now)
Grandma BIP : Scaredy Squirrel
(Gawd, HOW many people are going to say Scaredy Squirrel, do you think?)
Emmy: doesn’t know yet (the night is young!)

4) What about your favorite snacks?

Mr. BIP: My soup!!!!! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^
Ms. BIP and Grandma BIP: chocolate almond bark.
Me, Grandpa BIP and Emmy: wdk because since their also DELICIOUS!!!!! Thank you, O Powerful Daddy for these wonderful meals you have so graciously given to our poor souls today LOL! ^_^ (minus the soup by me and cupcakes by Emmy)

Scaredy Squirrel5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!

We’ve been cheering soo many new blogs, there are too many to count and trust me if they were spotted by us, there wasn’t a stone unturned!

I had fun doin’ your challenge and hope y’all have fun and stay awake keep in touch and keep those pages turning!

Final Update:

1) Which hour was most daunting for you?

In the past, the 12 or 13 hour mark was really challenging, but saving “dinner” to have at that point, about three hours later than usual, helped push through that lethargy.

2) Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

  • Jennifer Quist’s Love Letters of the Angels of Death is a terrific read; it’s short (about 200 pages), literary, and the voice and content are compelling.
  • Ellen Hopkins’ YA novels are written in verse, so although the books look like the wrong size to choose for an intense reading event, the format is a refreshing change.
  • Books in your favourite series are a popular choice because you can comfortably resettle with familiar characters (and, OMG, Scaredy Squirrel rocks)

3) Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Perhaps more regular reminders, in a count-down format: Six months in advance, Five months in advance, etc. Although not everybody likes to plan ahead, things always go more smoothly when we do. (If there are reminders like this, I’m not noticing them.)

As a cheerleader, I would find it helpful if those readers who are participating on specific media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Livejournal) are assigned specifically so that cheerleaders with logins for those platforms are able to cheer them on.

4) What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

The shifts between hosts and challenge hosts all seemed seamless; it looked effortless, which is a good thing, because it must have been well-planned in advance.

5) How many books did you read?

Would you believe we still haven’t tabulated it? Around 10, which I did not contribute to at all. There were these 12 pages that I kept reading repeatedly, throughout the day, and then I had to read them again the next day, but, hey, cheerleading was great, and we were all having a blast.

6) What were the names of the books you read?

The adults didn’t finish anything (except for the Scaredy Squirrel books, which were the surprise hit of the event for the entire family!), just moved along in books they were previously reading. The girls read an assortment of titles in the series that they enjoy.

7) Which book did you enjoy most?

Undoubtedly Scaredy Squirrel. The only title in the series that we were missing was the Hallowe’en one, which we will have shortly, and we passed them around like a bunch of kids with a new stack of comics and trading cards. If there is a fanclub, I am SO in it. There is something to be said for a series which captures the hearts of readers across a span of six decades in age: remarkable!

8) Which did you enjoy least?

Nobody had any complaints about reading material. This is likely because we choose unreasonably large stacks of books from which to choose, so that even if our reading mood changes, there is always something there that appeals.

9) If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Try to section off time so that you are truly enjoying the cheerleading: don’t just think of it as “the time you’re not reading”. There are so many interesting readers, reading so many things that are not at all like the books in your reading stacks, so take some time to get acquainted and have fun with it.

10) How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Quite likely. Everybody in the family was responsible for doing some cheering, because everyone likes to be cheered along themselves, so we will definitely be doing that. I might not even sign up to read myself, if the entire family is involved again, because the idea of re-reading the same 12 pages for an entire day was rather demoralizing!

Anyhow, just hanging out was fantastic. Surrounded by books, surrounded by readers (real and virtual): it doesn’t get much better than that!