So I’m not going to give the background on this, because y’all know what’s what. Bottom line: I’m still in for this coming weekend’s special Social Distancing Edition of the 24in48 Readathon. The only change is that I probably will start early, today.
I’m only committing to two books:
- Sherlock Holmes, The Complete Novels and Short Stories, Volume 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Sherlock Holmes Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by DK Publishing and Leslie L. Klinger
I’m using The Sherlock Holmes Book as a companion volume, as recommended by Emma of the blog Words and Peace. I am glad I am because even though much of the Holmes canon are short stories, I’m still finding it hard to focus and the DK book gives synopses of each story as well as “pull-outs” about each story.
For those of you who say it’s too much time to commit, remember as the hosts of that event say:
No prizes. No hourly challenges. No requirements. Just a chance to reconnect with this amazing bookish community (online! no hand sanitizer required!), read some good books, and talk about them with other readers.
As I said in my last post and will say again:
You don’t have to read 24 out of 48 hours, because let’s be honest, we’re not going to do that, if we ever did. The main thing is that we’re reading or making an attempt to read, to breathe and relax. I, for one, believe that isn’t a bad thing, especially now.
I’ll update my progress (or lack thereof) here and on Instagram. If you are participating, let me know how you are doing. If not, let me know how you are doing anyway. 🙂
6 p.m. Friday night
So didn’t start early and probably not happening. But Kim and I are going to try to participate in a Social Distancing Mini-Readathon on Instagram from 8 p.m to 9 p.m.
11 p.m.-ish Friday night
I concluded the Social Distancing Mini-Readathon by almost finishing The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, only one more short story “The Final Problem” to read.
9 a.m. Saturday morning
I finished The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes so now I can feel that I have accomplished something this week. Yay. Next up: The Return of Sherlock Holmes. I’m skipping The Hound of the Baskervilles, which is the next chronologically after The Memoirs, since I already read years ago and am working on short stories for now.
4 p.m. Saturday
In four hours, I should have read a dozen short stories, right? Nope. I’ve only read one: “The Empty House,” the first story in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and a chapter in the aforementioned The Sherlock Holmes Book, about the short story.
I had to go out to pick up prescriptions for my wife and go to the store to get a little distilled water for our CPAP machines. I think that trip unnerved me briefly, at the number of older people that were out that probably shouldn’t be, and then looking briefly at news about our state, Pennsylvania. I purposefully have not been reading national news today so that I could focus on reading. However, I’ll admit like many who are participating in the readathon have admitted that their focus isn’t there this readathon (completely understandable), my focus isn’t there either.
My wife is awake now. She is a 911 dispatcher in our county. So I don’t know how much more I’ll read until she leaves at about 7:30 p.m. to go to work a 12-hour shift until Sunday morning. We’ll probably end up watching some more Schitt’s Creek, to be honest. I’ll leave you with a clip from the show:
9 a.m Sunday morning
I know from being on Instagram yesterday that a lot of people who normally read like gangbusters for this readathon are having a hard time focusing on a book, let alone books, plural or hours plural. The way I’ve always looked at this readathon or any readathon with a number in the title is that number is not the rule, but a goal, not the goal. Myself, I’ve always aimed for 12 hours and only reached it once in all my years of participating in these readathons. The last few years, the number of hours has decreased, but the number of people with whom I interact has increased and also what I read, when I read, is quality, not quantity.
All this said, I think a more realistic goal this time around is what was suggested by one commenter on one of the 24in48 posts: to read either 10 minutes or listen to an audiobook for 20 minutes each hour. I think this is not only doable, but also for many, maybe a good way to get a break from everything, as much as you are able. And if you’re religious, like myself, maybe a good way to read the Scripture of your faith or a devotional or something meditational.
Today, for myself, I think that is what I am going to aim to do, with the exception of when my wife is awake (asleep now because working a 12-hour shift tonight as a 911 dispatcher, not bragging post once or twice on Instagram and stay away from Instagram Stories, read Sunday Salon posts like I normally do, and read as I can while avoiding all news altogether. To that end, I’m going to be mostly on my laptop, only listening to music or playing Solitaire on my phone. THIS is not to say that this is what works for others, including yourself. You do what works for you and don’t feel guilty about it, whether you’re reading or not.
I’ll be checking in here periodically throughout the day, probably not every hour, but at least every three to four hours. See you later in the day.
11:15 a.m. Sunday morning
I’m at Washington National Cathedral. Here is a link to the livestream as it was happening. I encourage you to watch and listen only to the first 10 minutes for the view and the music. It sure settled my heart and maybe it will yours.
1 p.m. Sunday afternoon
9:30 p.m. Sunday night
So I’m ending my readathon now, with only reading two Sherlock Holmes short stories over the 48 hours. I might end with one last short story tonight, but I might not…