Readathon Fever and Anthologies

So now that Cheri and I have finished Bout of Books, we had a bit of a “reintegration into society” period — sort of a reading-frantically aftershock. To deal with book hangover, we did what any good bookholic would do: We looked for another readathon.

Google is handy in that way and I was able to find National Readathon Day which will be Saturday, January 24, 2015.

National Readathon Day, Saturday, January 24, 2015, make #timetoread. - 4 Ways to Share Your Love of Books - 1. Pledge to join the Readathon. 2. Register on FirstGiving. 3. Fundraise & Earn Rewards 4. Share your enthusiasm with #timetoread!
This is an event hosted by the National Book Foundation which presents the National Book Awards. They do awesome literacy promotion events such as Book Up and 5 Under 35.

Book Up is a program where they give away books to middle schoolers and, since it’s inception in 2007, they have given away over 25,000 books. 5 Under 35 recognizes 5 new authors every year who are under 35 years of age promoting literary pursuits.

I love supporting programs like this that reach out into the community and share and promote literacy. From 1950, the National Book foundation has sought to celebrate literature and expanding the joy of reading to all those who might’ve otherwise not have discovered it.

Literacy has been a huge asset to my life. To me reading has meant an escape, adventure, new experiences, it has taught me so much (not all of which is true, to be fair). I know about sword smelting, about catapults. About politics and intrigue. All the different worlds, no matter your interests, are out there, just a page away.

And so between now and Saturday, January 24, 2015, I am donating all profit made from my etsy shop, TheCraftingMuse, (where that picture of the Evangelion hat went). Please join us if you are able to and donate under the OKPotato name at First Foundation for the National Book Foundation.

Potato Sacrifice
Me sacrificing Cheri for the good of literacy

You can also support the cause by spreading the word about the Readathon which takes place on January 24, 2015 from noon – 4pm locally under the hashtag #timetoread. Just four hours guys! This is a readathon that most of us will be able to participate in!

Readathons are pretty nostalgic to me because this used to be how I read books in middle and high school. I would borrow entire series of books and read them all at once, staying up all night and reading through meals, baths, and entire days until I finished.

bert-reading-o
Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street

Now that “adulthood” has descended, it has become harder to find time to skip out on sleep to read the next chapter — no matter how good it might be. This has lead to a horrible lack of reading in my life.

This past Bout of Books helped me find a niche that fits my new lifestyle in a way I’d never expected before.

To prepare, I’d gone to the bookstore to pick out a few books to read. Now that I have a full time job, fantasy books look daunting to me. The wide worlds and huge terrain require dedication and devotion, both of which have been in short supply with me lately.

I had been writing a few short stories though, and decided to pick up Carbide Tipped Pens which was an anthology about hard sci-fi (more on this to come).

The first story was short — less than 3k words — but boy did it send me into aftershock. It was a feeling that I hadn’t had for awhile and I was amazed something so short could still be so powerful.

shut it reading
Jake and Finn from Adventure Time in a library

Since then, I have purchased a few anthologies, and those who have been following along will realize that I haven’t enjoyed all of the stories. But that’s also part of the experience of reading. In my younger days (back when I was a kid…) I would read entire series that I thought were not great, but I would read them all just because I had the time to do so. Anthologies have given me a similar reading experience, but need less time to devoted to it. Good stories still make me stop, and put down the book in awe to digest. Bad stories still make me put down the book and digest it. It’s all there.

Distractions abound in adult life and obligations call with a fervor that I never could’ve fathomed in my youth, but I am finding that reading still holds the same solace and escape that had helped me so much throughout my life.

In other news, Cheri did an amazing guest post on actual writing tips found: HERE.

Have your tastes in books changed? What are some reading habits you used to have, but have since changed? Let us know in the comments below!

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