This Saturday, April 26, I won’t be having my own readathon as planned. My wife let me know about a baby shower that she has to go to, and I also am attending, to hang with the husband and father of the mother (if that makes sense). We also have to go to church afterwards because my wife is leaving for a business trip on Sunday. The readathon instead will be moved to Sunday, April 27.
This Saturday, April 26 is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and I will not be participating, but I will be reading nonetheless, having my own readathon.
Don’t get me wrong. This particular readathon is a great event…
…just not for me.
Let me explain. I have written about needing a “no people” day previously. I need that again this Saturday, and with the way Dewey’s Readathon is designed or intended with cheerleaders and visiting other blogs periodically throughout the day, that just wouldn’t be possible.
I will write about what I read, on Sunday, as I usually do, during The Sunday Salon. I might post a few photos of my reading Saturday on Instagram, but no blog posts that day.
For you, Dewey’s Readathon might be what you need. A way to connect with other readers while you are reading too. Dewey’s Readathon is a great way to do that…and also raise money for a good cause if you want.
For me, Dewey’s Readathon is not what I need. I’ve had my fill of people. I want to connect with books on Saturday. I will connect with people on Sunday.
At the beginning of Lent, I gave myself a challenge to read less crime fiction last month for Lent and read a couple of Christian theologians from the early 20th century by names of Walter Rauschenbusch and Charles Gore. While I did read less crime fiction, I didn’t read the Christian theologians as planned.
So what did I read instead? Here’s the list:
- Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais, which is a crime novel.
- The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence, which isn’t a crime novel.
- The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, a poetry collection, by Marie Howe
- The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
- Code Zero by Jonathan Maberry
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, which wasn’t a crime novel either :).
- All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver
My favorite by far was the reread of the collection of Carver’s poetry. The others all were solid with Code Zero, A.J. Fikry and Alex Woods standing out among the novels. The Zevin book has been lauded elsewhere by many a book blogger and deserves the laurels, although I was not as enamored with it as some. I enjoyed the book on the Dalai Lama but I would have liked to have heard more from him instead of through the filter of Cutler.
All in all, they were positive books with maybe the exception of the obvious ones: Chasing Darkness and Code Zero, but the latter was still good in its own fun way while the former was just okay.
So what did you read during Lent this year? Anything good, anything outstanding?
I know on Saturday, I said I was stopping and resetting, and not doing the feature A Former Poet’s Almanac daily for the month of April as initially planned. However, I still am going to continue the feature periodically here, including especially this month in honor of National Poetry Month. Today, which I don’t have to be to work until later this afternoon, and Friday, which I have off from work, I am going to read Raymond Carver’s last volume of poetry A New Path To The Waterfall. I already had planned on reading it as I have been working my way through a reread of the collection All of Us: Collected Poems, but yesterday while shelf-reading at the library where I work, I came across the single volume and leafed through it.
I think maybe it’s because the poems are divided into one or two pages instead of jammed together one poem after another, but for some reason, I was drawn to reading the original book as opposed to the collection. I’m not sure, but I’m looking forward to a reread of the book, if not in a slightly different format.
Yesterday here on the blog, I announced that I was stopping and resetting, first in the larger scheme of things with A Former Poet’s Almanac, which I had been doing this month, and then on the small scale for the day. To that end, I said I would be “stopping thinking about work for the day and resetting my thoughts by reading poetry, specifically continuing to read Raymond Carver’s All of Us: Collected Poems and William Carlos Williams: Selected Poems.” The hope was that sitting and reflecting on something outside of myself would help me become a better person.
Then I also mentioned that as much as it was possible, it would be a “no people” weekend.
So how did that work out for you?
Um, yeah…Not so much.
I had just gotten settled into the couch for what I hoped would be a relaxing day of reading when I received a phone call from a coworker asking me to come in because she was sick and needed to go home. Instead of saying “No,” I immediately said, “Yes,” and told her I’d be there in about half an hour.
Within the first half hour, I had a “bad day” with a “problem patron.” Without going into details, it involved me having to call the director and while the rest of the day was what I termed “relatively quiet,” that incident weighed heavily on my mind. So as a result, my “no people” weekend has turned into a “no people” day.
This is my view as I type this:
To my left is my tablet with WXPN’s Sleepy Hollow playing on it; my iced coffee and books of poetry on my right. After hitting publish on this post, I will be reading a few Sunday Salon posts and then making my way back to that couch that I was getting settled into yesterday morning.
Sometimes I believe just as you have to listen what your body is telling you (slow down, for example), you also have to listen to what your mind and soul are telling you.
Today they are telling me to be quiet and replenish.
I leave you with this clip from The IT Crowd, which my wife and I joke about on days like this, and I stress joke because in both of our jobs, we have to “deal” with them in one capacity or another– and most of the time, fingers crossed that I’m not jinxing myself for the rest of the week by saying this ;), they’re not bastards.
Do you ever have days or weekends or even weeks where you need to be free of people? What do you do to relax? Where is your “laughing place” as Uncle Remus used to call it?