20 October 2014

An Experiment

During the Readathon I just couldn't truly get into a book.  I started a few.  I liked what I read.  But nothing stuck.  It wasn't that I didn't want to read the books I started--because I still want to finish them--I just wasn't able to commit.  I have been having that issue ever since the Readathon and quite honestly it happens every time I'm between books.  I flit around from book to book before one just grabs me and won't let me go until it's finished.  I've written about this before.  It's not a new thing.  Except after reading this article on BookRiot, I don't feel as bad about it.  It's not just me!  (The older I get, the more clearly I realize that very few situations in life are ever just me)

I'm going to do what the author of the article did--go to random.org and use the random number generator to decide what book I'm going to read next.  But I'll also probably pull a Gilmore Girls and make it a 1, 2, 3 he's yours kind of deal, like so...



Then I will stick with that book until I finish.  I'll probably replace it with another on the list because I really like my list of books.

Here's a shot of my list of books.  I wound up with 13.  I am a little bit scared because that means it's probably going to be scary.



I was going to make it just 10 books, but I really didn't want to cut Gellhorn and The Receptionist, so I added them back and War and Peace was sitting there on my desk with the other books piled on top of it all "Hey, man, what about me?"  And I didn't want him to feel excluded.

Also we're going to pretend that Secrets of the Flesh is number 14 on the list.  For reasons.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the first roll from the random number generator:



The Good Soldier.  I will go with it!  For the record, I went ahead and generated the next two to play out the game and the results were Gellhorn and Breakfast of Champions.  Once I saw this, I almost went ahead and went for Breakfast of Champions, but I didn't screenshot the result for Gellhorn and there was no way you'd believe me if I just told you without any proof.

It's kind of funny.  I bought The Good Solider when I was a junior in college and that's when my book buying and lack of reading got out of control.  Literally right after I bought this book.  So maybe if I finish this then maybe the evil spell will be broken and I'll get my reading shit together.  A girl can dream.

So I'm off to start The Good Soldier.  Fortunately, Monday is a night that there are no shows that interest me on, so I won't be tempted to watch instead of read.  I may even take a bubble bath.

19 October 2014

L'art pour l'art

Yesterday's readathon wound up being a total bust for me!  Like I noted, I basically doodled around all morning and didn't really get any reading done.  Then I had to go in to work.  I was scheduled to leave at 6...then someone called in sick and my manager asked if I wanted the hours.  I accepted.  By the time I got home and showered, it was going on 11:00.  I'm usually in bed on my way to sleep by that time, but I tried to give The Picture of Dorian Gray a shot.  Really I did.  I loved the book, but my eyes kept growing heavier and heavier, so I decided to just throw in the towel and get a good night's sleep.



I am glad I did because I woke up feeling rather refreshed today.  I had a nice coffee in bed and read Dorian Gray.  I think Oscar Wilde might be my spirit animal.  Seriously.  I absolutely fell in love with the preface to the novel.  It says so much that I agree with about art and books.  In case you aren't familiar, here is a great portion of the preface.  You can find the whole thing here.

Preface
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.
Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.
-- OSCAR WILDE

I love it!  I love the l'art pour l'art sentiment of the preface.  Some things exist only to be pretty and not to instruct.  Some things just exist.  Sometimes a blue door is just a blue door, that sort of thing.

My hope and dream for my day off is to read a good chunk of Dorian Gray.  Wilde fascinates me.  He is credited with so many fabulous sayings about art, beauty, and life.  I cannot wait to learn more about him through his work, through his letters, and through biographies.

18 October 2014

Hour 4 Update



We just finished four hours of readathoning.  I haven't done much actual reading.  I don't know.  Nervous excitement or something, I guess.  Or I just haven't found the right book.  I have, however, posted some great pictures on Instagram!  And I've been commenting on several blogs.  And chatting a lot with Andi.

I've been keeping a log of what's been going on.

7:00--My official start time.  I climb out of bed about three minutes 'til and do about ten minutes of yoga.  Then I make coffee.  Then I write my intro post.  Take a few pictures.  Read a few blog posts and leave some comments.  I'll get to reading once I've woken up.




8:17--Thus it is 8:21 and I've read three pages from two different books, and I am creating this log for the day.  The deep rumblings in my stomach tell me it's time to eat soon.  I wish fervently that I had some of Andi's breakfast casserole.  No such luck.  Dorothy Parker and I will venture downstairs to scout out the breakfast situation.




9:13--I finished breakfast (ham and cheddar omelette, grape juice, and a banana [for good measure]) and am ready to finally start reading.  Up first--The Portable Dorothy Parker.  At least the introduction to it...



10:24--I finished reading the intro.  Then I took a short power nap until 10:00.  I ventured downstairs to eat some cookie dough (thanks mom!).  Then I doodled a bit online.  People are tweeting about the readathon faster than I can keep up!  I shall attempt to read "Big Blonde" by Parker, then I really want to sink my teeth into something rather grand and sweeping, which probably means Dickens though he wasn't on my grab list.  I should probably put away all the books I've pulled...
Then I read...



10:46--More doodling about online.  I tried "Big Blonde," but I am just not feeling it.  I'll set aside Dorothy for a while.  Really I am just kind of dreading calling my boss at 11:00 to see if I need to come in because I just don't feel ready to work the floor.  I haven't really been trained!

11:00--I am going in.  At 1:00.  Trial by fire.  I called and my boss asked me if I wanted to come in, which means you need to come in or look like not a team player.  Honestly, he'd probably be OK if I had said no, but I'm really trying to do everything that is asked of me so that I look good.  (Plus if I keep working over 32 hours a week on average, I'll get insurance, which I would love)  I warned him that I'm really not familiar with the products yet.  He said he didn't care (in a nice way).  So maybe I'll just wind up observing and learning at first, then I'll take a couple of customers by myself.  Hopefully.  Now it's 11:38 and I need to eat lunch at some point, get dressed, and maybe do a bit of reading (so I'll probably totally get wrapped up in a book literally minutes before I have to put it down to go in!).  If nothing else, hopefully I'll come back from work ready to read!

Happy reading, y'all!  See you this evening!

Readathon Opening Meme



Opening Meme: 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  I am reading in Tulsa, Oklahoma today. 

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?   Tough one!  I am reading from a few books that I have in progress, so obviously I'm looking forward to those.  But I also like to mix it up a bit and read a perfectly readathon book (in my opinion, this is one that is a quick read and isn't terribly difficult--that doesn't necessarily mean that I finish it that day).

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I didn't really plan on doing the readathon until late yesterday, so I don't exactly have any snacks.  I may make a grocery store run.  I am already thinking of garlic hummus and Triscuts (sp?).  But some people are posting about crockpot chicken tacos, which is making me think of the lovely Chipotle down the way from my parents' house.  Then again, I am really trying to start eating better.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I'm Lori.  I'm not in school for the first time since I started going to preschool.  I love coffee.  A lot.  Italian Roast from Starbucks, fixed in a French press.  Or a homemade cafe au lait with Cafe du Monde grounds.  I primarily read the classics, but I am trying to branch out a bit to contemporary fiction (if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!).  I love typing parenthetical thoughts (obviously).  I don't know...if you have questions, ask!

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?  Last readathon was really successful for me, so I don't think I'll change much!  Maybe a bit less gratuitous eating.  And maybe some physical exercise throughout so that I don't get too blah.  I also want to do more commenting on blogs.

I can't wait to get to know everyone!  Please comment below so I can make sure to come visit you!

Happy reading!

17 October 2014

Readathoning

Thank you, Kanaye, for this lovely button!

It's time for another Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.  I can generally be counted upon to attempt to do the thon.  This year is no different.  I am still working to get a handle on the whole work-life balance, namely how to not be a total zombie on my days off or after work, but I appreciate y'all bearing with me.  I honestly wasn't sure that I would be able to participate this year.  I am scheduled for the flex shift at work, which means I have to call in two hours before my shift is supposed to start to find out whether I need to come in or not.  After talking to my boss today, it didn't look too likely, but there is always that chance.  So I'll participate as much as I can.

I cannot recall how many of these I have attempted to participate in.  But I always have a great time.  I start out strong.  I get distracted.  I get sleepy.  I take a nap (maybe).  Then I come back for a bit before going to bed for good.  I think 1:00am was my record--which is hour 18 of the thon.  By the way, I'm probably going to start a little late.  I'm scheduled to start at 7:00, but that doesn't give me much time to wake up, have coffee, and do some yoga before settling in to read, you know?

I love the amount of interaction through Twitter and blogs.  I always find so many new people to follow and new blogs to read, which is great.  I don't have a lot of people in real life to talk about books with, so I need my online people!  :)

Due to the spur of the moment nature of my decision to participate, I don't have any special snacks prepared.  That's OK.  I really need to work on getting a better handle on my eating because I've felt pretty blah lately (but not as blah as i was feeling about my eating earlier this summer).

Book-wise...I want to make a good bit of progress on Secrets of the Flesh by Judith Thurman, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, The Portable Dorothy Parker (which I thought I had lost), Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham for sure.




I also have a good-sized stack of possibilities in case I need a break from the above.





In reality, any book in my possession is fair game to be read during the thon.

I am not sure how I'll do my updates for tomorrow.  Maybe separate posts.  Maybe one long post.  We shall see.  I'd like to try to post an update and do some commenting every four hours, but we'll see how that works out.

I can't wait to see what everyone else is reading!