Wednesday, May 18, 2016

National Readathon Day - 21 May 2016

National Readathon Day is coming again, which means it's time to bookstagram your edited-for-tidiness book nook, complete with elegantly draped vintage pashmina and perfeclty poised cuppa . . .

Or you could use it as an excuse to blow off your chores and lounge around reading all day, or browsing bookshops all day, or hitting the 'big' library and shutting it down.

In the spirit of encouraging your latest forage efforts, be they second-hand or library based, my favourite marathon reads (in no particular order):

Waiting for Godot  - - All I learned about life I learned from Estragon.  That's a painful oversimplification, but Gogo is everything I aspire to be in life - as a friend, as an unobtrusive member of society, as someone with the simple kind of life where you don't need to know what day it is, ever.  You are never too old or too young for Samuel Beckett - frankly the younger the better, although I will concede that at certain ages you may not want to have to explain to your young what crablice are . . .
This takes only a few hours to perform, and so, only a few hours to read - read it aloud with a few friends and gain a whole new insight into who you all are.

A Christmas Carol  - bear with me, I know it's May, but remember the full title is A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, and nothing is more appropriate for late summer evenings by a campfire than a ghost story.  It only takes a few hours to read aloud, making it eminently suitable for a readathon, and the words - dialogue and description alike - are worthy of being spoken aloud.  And that cover?  Old Fezziwig and Mrs. Fezziwig, who "was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term."  A cleverly crafted scene, jovial warehouse camaraderie in stark contrast to the office he left that day, loving couple in contrast to the split he is about to relive.  This book makes an excellent marathon read at a party, with different guests taking a chapter a piece, all the better if you hot chestnut or smoking bishop to lubricate the social gears.


The official mantra of my life is that you should recycle and be nice to people.  Perhaps I read Dr. Seuss' favourite propaganda piece, The Lorax, one time too many as a callow yute, but it still resonates and makes my heart sing, weep, and hope.  It takes no time at all to read this, and so is perhaps not entirely perfect for a readathon, but if you are sharing many books with young readers, please consider including this in your day.  These are words we can't hear ourselves say enough.

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