I did some quick figuring just now. I am reading three books – The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust, and Life A Users Manuel by Georges Perec. Between these three books here are 1,858 pages. I intend to finish all of these books by the end of April. I have read about 310 pages of them. That leaves 1,548 pages. I have exactly three weeks left to finish them. Am I feeling overwhelmed right now? Erm…
Let’s add to this the fact that I am working full time already (I usually only do that in the height of summer!), and I am once again moving house. How can I even imagine a reality where I can finish these books in time??
Well actually, I’m feeling very relaxed about this situation. National Library Week has come to my rescue this month!
Back in January, when I had tons of free time and I was volunteering for close to 8 hours a week at Jesup Memorial Library, I helped the librarians come up with some ideas for how to celebrate National Library Week (April 11th-17th). I suggested doing a Reading Marathon of course! I explained a little bit about how they work in my experience, and then crossed my fingers and hoped that The Board would approve something. I was imagining perhaps an event that lasted a business day – the regular hours of operation of the library. Or perhaps even a 24 hour period, with the library magically staying open all night.
I had to go back to work soon after, my opportunities to volunteer diminished severely, and I lost touch with the planning situation for National Library Week. I was astonished and thrilled when I went to Jesup most recently, to pick up The Brothers K, and saw a little stack of papers at the desk that were proclaiming, “Jesup Library Open for Reading 24 hours/day April 13-17“. It’s a wild and crazy reading marathon, and it starts at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and goes straight through until 5 p.m. on Saturday – the library will be open non-stop as long as they have someone there reading – a potential 103 hours! Extra comfy chairs will be brought into the periodical room, coffee will be provided, and tidy snacks are allowed. There are no prizes, no fundraising, no records at stake – just a chance to read a little extra, for the fun of it.
Totally amazing. I am stoked. I plan to be there as much as possible (as much of all night as I can, while still getting a little sleep so that I can work the next day!!), and I am positive now that I will bust through the remaining 1,548 pages of my reading stash with no problem. 🙂
As if that excitement is not enough, in addition, Jesup is doing a program on blogging during NLW, and I’ve been invited to answer questions about how I got involved (obsessed?) and especially how I found my way into the book blogging world. If I have the opportunity to name names, do any of you, my friends and fellow bloggers, mind being mentioned?
A final word on those three fat books of mine: Loving the Perec, laughing at the Dostoevsky, and actually having a little bit of trouble with Proust… – but essentially having a blast with my reading choices for April!