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Readathon book pile: selected.

Written by Kirsten on April 20th, 2016

One of my favorite days of the year, the day I update my blog header to reflect the titles I’m excited to read during the upcoming 24-Hour Readathon. I’ve been participating in Dewey’s readathon since October of 2009, and every time, I meet awesome book bloggers and reading fiends, and inevitably end up adding to my book stacks.

This header update is extra exciting because now my widget links to our new product, TinyCat. It’s BEAUTIFUL, and simple, and just a wonderful new way to interact with personal and tiny libraries. Check it out by clicking any of the titles ^^^up there^^^ in the scrolling covers!

Here’s the list of titles in my LibraryThing catalog

Tomorrow (or maybe Friday), the second best thing about readathon: the food!


Shakespeare’s First Folio

Written by Kirsten on March 26th, 2016

Just a quick post to share images from my visit to the Portland Public Library’s exhibit including the first folio. Incredibly cool.



Readathon Top 10 and check-in

Written by Kirsten on October 17th, 2015

dewey day and night

I always get to this point in the day and think, “How is it possible that more than 5 hours have already passed??” And since this is also when I think, “Jeez, I’ve hardly read anything besides social media in the last five hours,” I will leave you with this Readathon Top 10 I wrote for the Hour 5 mini-challenge, and I will go READ :)

Top 10 ways to enjoy the 24-hour Readathon:

10. Choose a short, easy read first: it’s good to have a sense of accomplishment early on!
9. Don’t slog through anything you’re not feeling.
8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
7. Caffeinate, caffeinate, caffeinate! :-P
6. Have a variety of places to read, in various positions: sitting upright, curled up, reclining, etc.
5. Snacks! Fruit, raw veggies, pretzels, deli meats, olives, cheese, anything easy to eat with one hand while holding a book with the other.
4. Have an audiobook ready for when you need both hands; showering, driving, cooking, etc.
3. Get up and move around the room at least once an hour, even if it’s just to shake out your limbs and wiggle a bit to get the blood flowing.
2. Let everyone know you’re readathon-ing, so they can join you, cheer you, or leave you the heck alone! ;)
1. Engage with fellow readers on social media. Don’t worry about how much time you’re spending not-reading, because while it is a “readathon,” the spirit of the thing is about reading communally, sharing the love of reading, and meeting other people also crazy enough to dedicate a solid 24 hours to the greatest pastime in the world!


Introductory Meme, October Readathon 2015

Written by Kirsten on October 17th, 2015


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, Maine
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? It’s really too hard to say… I’m excited about all of them! But I’ve been holding off on Ernest Cline’s Armada for today, so that’s had some time for anticipation to build.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I got some puff pastry to use for “puffles,” or waffle iron pockets of whatever delicious thing I put in them. That’s going to be amazing.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m a 35 year old queer Femme raising a kickass teen brother (he’s a SENIOR this year, WHUT)

I have the dream job of working for LibraryThing for Libraries supporting public and academic librarians around the world who use our products (like the lovely scrolling book display widget in my header – click on a cover! Isn’t that cool??)

My cats love Readathon as much as I do, and will appear in various photos throughout the day because I’m That Girl

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’m officially Cheering for the first time this year, so that’s going to be a fun challenge, especially since I know the last few hours is when readers need cheering the most, and when a lot of folks have tapped out. I’m probably going to nap so I have a little something in reserve for those who are still reading when we wrap up!

Okay kids, it’s time! Happy Readathon!


That’s a readathon wrap.

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2015


End of Event Meme:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
It isn’t so much a particular hour on the clock, but a number of hours awake: it seems that 20 is my witching number.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Texts from Jane Eyre. Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Any Jerry Spinelli. I wish I’d had something like one of these on the list this year, but I enjoyed what I did read.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope, the organizers just keep making it better and better. Y’all rock.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Similarly, it all seemed to work, nothing stood out one way or another.
How many books did you read?
1.8, with the rest of 2 finished in the hour after waking up :)
What were the names of the books you read?
Marvel’s graphic novel adaptation of Northanger Abbey, and Dorothy Must Die.
Which book did you enjoy most?
I really enjoyed Dorothy Must Die, more and more the further into it I got. The sequels and supplemental books are already on the wishlist for immediate retrieval from the local bookseller.
Which did you enjoy least?
I didn’t care for the illustrator’s style in Northanger Abbey, but the satire of the adapted text made up for it.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will absolutely take part, and while I’ll still just be a reader, I plan to (a) have an in-person reading date with local friends who are also readathon-ers, and (b) arrange for a wee-hours reading buddy, or maybe a group of us, so we can keep each other going in the final stretch. It gets harder to keep the energy going when it’s just the poor hosts and whoever drew the cheerleading short straw trying to keep everyone pumped after 4am.

All in all, another satisfying readathon weekend. And I think I have the fodder for a blog post that will help jump-start my writing again, which was a goal I didn’t realize I had until the opening meme. So, here’s to the magic of books and reading!


Mid-readathon check-in

Written by Kirsten on April 25th, 2015

dewey day and nightMid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
I’m on p120 of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
2. How many books have you read so far?
I’ve finished one
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Still going with The Ables, though I may save that one for a more leisurely read – in which case, I’m most curious about Sentinel, the first in a series the second book of which is currently up on NetGalley.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Nope, nothing unplanned. I mean, you kinda have to expect felis interruptus when reading, right?
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Nothing’s got me yet this time around. Usually it’s how hungry I get just sitting around, or how little reading I’ve gotten done by this point, but I’ve not really eaten many of my special readathon foods yet and I’m used to the low page count by now. Maybe something will come to me in the wee hours :)

Back to Oz!


Mini-challenge number 1: The Classics

Written by Kirsten on April 25th, 2015

girlreadingI’ve often talked about the fact that I didn’t read many of the classics in high school like most of my contemporaries did. So the quotes that stick with me when I read them as an adult are probably different from the ones that would have impacted my younger self. That being said, this quote came to mind immediately when I read Allie’s challenge over at A Literary Odyssey. And while they may not seem like words of wisdom, per se, I think they do advise the reader/writer in classic, cutting Bradbury style.

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” ~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

As to what the words mean to me, they serve as a reminder that writing should explore and discover and find the delight in all aspects of the story being told, even the most mundane details that are often taken for granted or overlooked.

Now back to my modern classic, the enjoyable Marvel adaptation of Northanger Abbey!


Let the Readathon begin! Opening Meme:

Written by Kirsten on April 25th, 2015

girlreadingHere we go!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I’m in Portland, Maine, USA.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
This is a tough one (always!) but probably The Ables by Jeremy Scott. My brother introduced me to CinemaSins, Jeremy’s film-related YouTube channel, several years ago, and we’re both excited for this debut novel, a superhero story with a twist.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I’ve recently become enamored of using my waffle iron for everything, and was even talked into starting a tumblr for Things I Have Waffled. So, probably something starting with croissant dough – maybe a turkey and cheese pocket with spicy ranch dipping sauce. Mmmmm, getting hungry…
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I’m a queer femme living with my 17-year old brother, who has been in my custody since he was 13: he will probably interrupt my reading with a few hilarious videos during the course of Readathon, which I welcome. I have a wonderful Person in my life who will probably join me at some point today, and if I know her, she’ll show up with something delicious to eat (my money is on a bacon cheddar donut from The Holy Donut). Also present are my spoiled felines, Xander, a tuxedo boy, and Iliena, a silvery Russian Blue-y baby. They love Readathon because mom stays awake and home for most of a solid 24 hours.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Only thing I’m doing differently is setting a donation amount instead of fundraising because math. I’m most looking forward to hopefully using this as a jumping off place for returning to blogging on a semi-regular basis, with a feed reader full of awesome bookish types.

Okay, time to get started on my first pick, Marvel’s Northanger Abbey, and some coffee and cantaloupe to kick off the Readathon caffeine-and-feeding frenzy. Happy reading, all!


Ready for Readathon!

Written by Kirsten on April 24th, 2015

dewey day and nightThe time has come once again for readers around the globe to dedicate 24 hours to whittling down their ever-growing piles of books. After the first time I participated in October of 2009, Dewey’s 24 hour readathon quickly became one of my favorite events, and unlike holidays, we get to do it TWICE a year! Pretty awesome.

The last two readathons, I have used comments and pages read and time not reading to tally up a donation to The Jimmy Fund in memory of my grandmother, an avid Red Sox fan. I’m doing two things differently this time around.

One, the amounts of the last two were so close, and the amount of time I spent encouraging engagement and tallying numbers so great, that instead of doing all of that I’m going to donate a flat amount of $125, the rounded-up total from each of the last two.

And two, this April’s donation will be given in memory of a patient from one of the practices where I have worked, who passed earlier this year. For privacy reasons I can’t disclose more than that, but the organization was one for which she volunteered for many years.

I have an overly-ambitious stack of physical books and an even more ridiculous number of ebook pages lined up for tomorrow’s festivities. Before I sleep I’ll pick out three top contenders for first read, which I like to be something I can breeze through to get that sense of accomplishment early on. Other than that, I just need to set the coffeemaker and get a few food items cut/portioned so they’re easy to grab ‘n’ go. Looking forward to connecting with the usual suspects, and meeting some new bookish friends. Happy readathon, everyone!


Saying Farewell.

Written by Kirsten on November 17th, 2014

How do you grieve the loss of the author who penned the book that set you on the path to self-discovery? How do you process the fact that the first person who ever said, “I see you,” through their story, has left this world? How do you come to terms with the knowledge that one of the strongest, loudest, most determined voices in advocacy for your community has been silenced?

You become that voice. You don’t allow it to be quieted. You ensure that “I see you” and “I have come for you” are words that others who are where you have been, continue to hear.

Leslie Feinberg wished to be remembered as “a revolutionary communist,” and so I ask you all to take a moment and honor that request. Remember – or learn about – this incredible individual who fought for so many, for so long. Send up a prayer or send out a positive vibe or send around a hug in your circle of friends, in remembrance of this warrior spirit who is, now and always, speaking through us.