Today and tomorrow, I am participating in the 24in48 Readathon (read for 24 hours over two days). I am keeping most of my updates on Instagram. However, I also will be updating here from time to time over the weekend. Above is a photo of the books I am starting with.
Check-In No. 1
I plan to check in every four hours except when I’m sleeping tonight for a planned 8 hours. So here is my first check-in after starting at 8 a.m.
- First Book Started: I started with All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot, which I started last year, but didn’t finish. After reading about more cows’ “lady parts” and blood than I wanted for the morning (or really any time), I decided to take a break and read the January 2019 edition of Harper’s. No less disturbing in some ways, with its political rhetoric (with which I agree), but still a reprieve from Herriot’s bloody (literally, often) musings on being a veterinarian. Out of the four hours, I read about 2.5 hours.
- First Meal Eaten: Burger (apropos after reading about cows – and how cute they are? Hmmm) with Muenster cheese on a croissant, onion rings, with a side of Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce on the side.
Check-In No. 2
I’m about halfway through my first book and am enjoying it immensely. Unfortunately, I also have been reading from time to time the Wikipedia entries about Alf Wight, the real man behind James Herriot, and the other “real-life” inspirations for his characters (his stories were semi-autobiographical). Sadly, the inspiration for Siegfried, his mentor veterinarian, committed suicide in his 80s, because among other things, he was depressed after Wight died from prostate cancer. However, that doesn’t take away from Siegfried or from any person who committed suicide. He and they still could have inspired others. Just because they committed suicide doesn’t take away their good qualities.
I also was inspired by Wight that he didn’t start writing until the age of 50, the age I am turning this year. It reminds me of the late George Sheehan, who was a former doctor and who started running when he was 45. He then went on to write several books about running that helped inspire others, including myself, to get into running, which I did when in my 30s and 40s (yes, I no longer am a runner, but my goal is to get back to walking regularly this year). This quote from Sheehan also is the inspiration for the title of my original blog “An unfinished person…in an unfinished universe” and this blog, by extension.
‘We live in an open universe,’ said William James, ‘in which uncertainty, choice, hypothesis, novelties and possibilities are natural.’ But if the universe is unfinished, so are we. Each one of us is, in fact, an open universe. Each one of us is a microcosm of uncertainty, choice, hypothesis, novelties and possibilities. Each one of us is an unfinished person in this unfinished universe. And each one of us feels an infinite and mysterious obligation to complete ourselves and somehow contribute to the completion of the universe.”George Sheehan, “The Ends,” The Running Life
In the last four hours, I read about 1.5 hours, which puts me at 4 hours in 8 hours so far. I hope to make up some time reading tonight after 8 p.m. as my wife goes to work. She is a 911 dispatcher and works 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday and then 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday every weekend, along with Fridays and Saturdays, which allows me to be able to do readathons on weekends without taking away time with her. She is off Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays each week and since I work a job with later hours most days, I get to spend time with her earlier — and later after work– on those days.
Check-In No. 3
I am continuing to read All Things Bright and Beautiful, but now am taking another break with Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields by poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photographer Steven Rubin. I picked this one up at our local library, where I work. It caught my eye because where we live in northcentral Pennsylvania has been affected, and continues to be affected, by the natural gas industry.
I read the same amount of hours, 1.5, within the last four hours. During the previous four-hour stretch from noon to 4 p.m., I ended up napping part of that time, like our cat, Seamus, pictured above. This last four-hour stretch from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., I called a friend whose birthday was today and talked with him for an hour and had dinner with my wife. We also watched a couple of episodes of a Canadian TV show Corner Gas that we have been enjoying on Amazon Prime Video.
Check-In No. 4
I am putting my last check-in for Saturday up at 11 a.m. instead of at midnight, at an interval of every four hours, because I am going to bed. I finished Shale Play, which I will talk about more tomorrow or another day, but I will say this: It was very good. I ended up reading for 1.5 hours again, finishing with reading again from the January 2019 edition of Harper’s Magazine. I will continue that tomorrow as well as All Things Bright and Beautiful, which I probably am about three-quarters of the way through. I also plan to start, if not finish, Born A Crime.
Check-In No. 1
I got a full night’s rest and started at 8 a.m. this morning. Yesterday, I started at 8:30 a.m. and finished with 7 hours of reading. I think my record with any readathon is a maximum of 8 or 9 hours, so I should shatter that record. Of course, I now am on a CPAP and am getting good rest too so that is helping. Since I finished with 7 hours of reading yesterday, I will set my goal for 7 too today.
As planned, I have started with Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. I’m already about 75 pages into it and it’s great. I know that many have expressed that I should listen to this in audiobook, but I just don’t do audiobooks. I can read quicker than I can be read to. I have heard Noah speak before, on a comedy special so know he pronounces the Xhosa words, which adds to the experience. I just rather would read the book. I appreciate those of you who have commutes to work and enjoy listening to audiobooks. My commute is five minutes so it doesn’t work for me.
I woke up this morning to an unexpected snow. We were supposed to get an inch and we already have a couple of inches, so I had to go out and help our neighbor shovel our shared driveway. As I’m writing now, it’s still snowing, but I don’t think it’s supposed to accumulate much more today (I hope). The good thing is I’m in for the day, reading.
Check-in No. 2
Sooo…my grand plans to read today? Um, yeah, I’ve read a total of three hours in the last 8 hours, but I’m almost finished with Born A Crime and I will finish that tonight. Also at 10 hours of reading in, I already have eclipsed my reading numbers for any readathon I’ve participated in previously (to the best of my knowledge) and I still have hours to go and get my goal of 7 hours in today. If not that, I’ll be happy with 12.
The main reason for my not reading is because I distracted myself with a run to get winter boots at Goodwill and wine at the wine and spirits shoppe. I only planned to grab boots at Goodwill, but couldn’t resist looking for pants and shirts. I found one good pair of pants and two nice long-sleeved shirts. Likewise, I went for one bottle of wine, but “found” two other bottles of wine plus a discount bottle of tropical flavored vodka. No, it will not be drunk tonight (some is for The Wife) but as you can see from the photo, I did partake of at least one bottle.
Now the plan is to finish Born a Crime and I think I’ll end with finishing up things All Things Bright and Beautiful since I have been enjoying that. At the end, I’ll report in on how I finished.
Check-In No. 3
It is 8 p.m. and I am in the homestretch now. I finished Born A Crime, another excellent book, which I will talk about later, and now am working on finishing All Things Bright and Beautiful, which earlier I called erroneously (twice, no less in this post) All Creatures Bright and Beautiful. Oops. Now that is corrected, and I’m on to finish my third book for the readathon and should end with over 12 hours which was my initial goal.
Check-In No. 4
If you are participating, let me know how you are faring and what you are reading in the comments. If not, let me know how you are faring anyway and what good books you’ve been reading lately.