Time to shut it down…

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I’m sure this will be no shock to any of you, considering I haven’t posted here since June. And considering that post was basically an apology for not having posted in months.

But the time has come to close the doors on this blog.

Since I moved to New York City at the beginning of the year, my priorities for how I spend my leisure time have shifted. Not dramatically, but a more demanding job has meant less time for blogging. I’m still reading, and in fact reading more, but my blogging motivation has shifted almost entirely toward the work I’m doing at Book Riot.

Let’s be honest, this space was never heavy on reviews, especially in recent years. The kind of writing I most enjoy – and which you, my readers, have most enjoyed – is the kind of stuff that can have a home on the Riot.

Since I recently passed my five-year anniversary here at A Home Between Pages in July (which came and went entirely without recognition), the timing feels right to say goodbye.

I will leave the blog live (but comments will be closed) until Nov. 1st, and then it’ll be going away completely.

Aside from Book Riot, you’ll still be able to find me lots of places on the internet. Twitter at @homebtwnpages is and will remain the best place to find me online. My Tumblr is going to continue on, as a general repository for all things happening in my life (including cute puppies). Follow me on Goodreads, Instagram and Pinterest, as well. The Facebook page however is also going away.

And no fear, #24in48 friends, the Readathon will continue, just not here. There’s still a ton of interest and I definitely want to continue to host it. The date of the next ‘thon is tentatively Nov. 15-16. You can stay posted to my Twitter and to Tumblr for the formal announcement, likely happening later this week.

Time for some feels: I cannot express how much blogging in this space has meant to me, both personally and professionally. I have met some of the most incredible and talented people – authors, bloggers, friends alike – because of this space. This space has brought me more joy than I can possibly express here, and I’m grateful everyday that people actually cared about and wanted to read my rambling thoughts about the books I like (or don’t like). It’s truly humbling, and I thank you.

hpo goodbye

I joined BookTube

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BookTube – if you’re unaware – is the large and growing community of book people on YouTube. They’re doing all kinds of fun bookish videos, talking about their TBRs, doing book reviews, readalongs, challenges, discussions, etc. All in bite-sized YouTube videos.

As you might have noticed, I’ve been less active here. I’ve been busier with work and with moving to a new city and establishing a routine. I also have found that when I do want to write about books, I don’t want to write reviews. I don’t want to try to find another way to say that a book is fantastic or awful without it sounding like every other review I’ve ever written. The way I want to write about books, honestly, I get to do that on Book Riot.

So the motivation to post here on a regular basis is becoming more and more difficult to hold onto.

I’m not saying that I’m going to totally abandon this blog. Not yet anyway. But I’m moving farther and farther away from regularly posting here.

BookTube feels like a really great way for me to continue to be active in a way that’s new and interesting, for both me and for you. Now that I’ve been blogging here for 5 (FIVE!!) years as of this July, it feels appropriate to try something new.

So here is my introductory video. (I’m going to get better at this whole editing/lighting/short-and-sweet thing, I promise.)

I’m going to incorporate some of the features I’ve done here, like First Line Friday, and introduce a few new things as well.

Any tips for me? Any BookTubers I should follow?

Bout of Books 10: Goals + Updates

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Bout of Books

As promised, I’m posting my goals for the Bout of Books readathon, starting on Monday. It’s not too late to sign up to join me! The larger goals for this week-long ‘thon are to read more than you normally read in a given week. But of course it wouldn’t be a readathon without a stack of books and a completely unrealistic goal list.

Time Devoted to Reading

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my dad is coming to visit me this weekend and he’s here through Tuesday morning. So I probably won’t get a lot of reading done until Tuesday. Otherwise I’ll be reading exclusively during the downtime during which I sometimes choose to not read: on my commute to and from work, during my lunch break (when I take one), and in the evenings after work when I normally watch some TV in addition to reading.

Also next weekend, I’ll be heading to Block Island, RI on Friday, for some quality time with some friends from college. Which means a solid 6-7 hours of reading time on the train (Fri. and Sun.) and, let’s be honest, tons of reading time during the weekend because that’s how we roll.

My Goals

That all being said, I typically average about 1-2 books a week. I’d like to read at least 5 books this week in print, and I’d also like to finish at least one audiobook. On my commute from Brooklyn into Manhattan every day, I sometimes listen to audiobooks or podcasts, but more  recently, I’ve been just doing music. I’m not sure which audiobook I’ll plug into yet, but that’s one of the goals.

Books to Read

These are the books I’m going to pull my reading from. I may pick a couple more as the week goes on, but these are first on my list.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney
The Bees by Laline Paull
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison

Updates

Monday:

Pages/Time read today: 0
Books read today: None
All books read: None
Thoughts: As I mentioned before, I didn’t get a chance to read anything today. My dad was in town, and we had a very full day. I’d been thinking I might have a chance to read a few pages before bed, but an evening baseball game and a long subway ride from the Bronx and I was dead to the world about 2 minutes after hitting the pillow. Tomorrow, I’ll be better.

Tuesday:

Pages/Time read today: 1 hour of audio, 20 pages of reading
Books read today: Audio of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All books read: Just the ones listed for today.
Thoughts: I’m definitely doing well with the audio goal with Smarter Than You Think. It’s a fascinating book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but doing it on audio to and from work has had an unexpected boon on my work product. Nice upside to the bout.

Wednesday:

Pages/Time read today: 50 minutes of audio, 50 pages of reading
Books read today: Audio of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All books read: Same as listed for today.
Thoughts: It’s been a rough week. I’ve been consumed by a project at work that has me buried up to my eyeballs in Excel, which is not a place I’m comfortable at all. Plus I’ve had plans after work Tuesday and Wednesday with friends so by the time I get home, I’m totally wiped out and usually head straight to bed. Does it count as “reading” time if I sleep with my book?

Thursday:

Pages/Time read today: 2 hours, 15 minutes of audio, 10 pages of reading
Books read today: Audio of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All books read: Same as listed for today.
Thoughts: So I’m doing well with my audio goal but not much else. This was maybe the worst week for this Bout to fall for me, considering my work week and my personal week. But all is not lost. I still have a great weekend trip to catch up on my reading.

Bout of Books 10: Letter of Intent

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Bout of Books

I’m pretty sure that I’m just going to spend my spring/summer doing nothing but readathons. But, I mean, why not?? They’re fun, and if it gets me to read more, even better. I’ve said before that I’m kind of in a slump with my reading. Stress and long days at work make for too many evenings spent vegging out in front of the TV, instead of vegging out with a book.

I’ve never done a week-long readathon before, but this one sounds like a lot of fun, with a great community and organizers. Here’s their official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

So this is pretty awesome right?

I’m still contemplating my goals, which I’ll post probably tomorrow or Saturday. My dad is coming to visit this weekend, and he leaves Monday night, so I’ll be kind of tied up for the first day of the ‘thon. But after that, I’m in it to win it. Figuratively speaking, of course. Because really, I’m just competing against myself.

This is the schedule for the week, but I’ll likely be doing one big post that I’ll update every day so as to not clog up the ole RSS feeds:

  • Monday: goal posts (a re-post of the goal linky)
  • Tuesday: progress for Monday
  • Wednesday: progress for Tuesday
  • Thursday: progress for Wednesday
  • Friday: progress for Thursday
  • Saturday: progress for Friday
  • Sunday: progress for Saturday
  • Monday: wrap up for the entire read-a-thon including whether goals were reached or not

There are also challenges and Twitter chats, though I’m not sure yet if I’ll participate in that part.

Dewey’s Readathon, April 2014 Edition!

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Hour 1

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Brooklyn, NY

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I didn’t create a TBR for this readathon, but I’ll probably dig into Dreams of Gods and Monsters and I’m excited to finished that trilogy.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Right now, coffee.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I host my own readathon (for readers who like to sleep) – the 24in48 readathon where you read for 24 hours over the course of 48. Just did our third a few weeks ago.

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 going to try to track my time read better, by using a timer on my phone and a spreadsheet.

As I said in my prep post last night, I’m taking it super easy this year. I’m tracking time read, but I’m not going to kill myself.

I’ll be adding updates on this post as we go, and also on my Tumblr, A Tumblr Between Pages.

dewey

 

Hour 5

I’m not sure why but my reading has been very slow going. It’s not like I’m not loving The Goldfinch, which I was halfway through when the readathon started. I’m loving it actually. But I feel super distracted, and I can’t quite get a good pace going.

I’ve done a number of mini-challenges, including this latest one, which is a Book Puzzle.

I’m also seriously concerned now about the lack of food in my house. I may need to take to Seamless soon.

Ah well. I’ve read about 78 pages so far, which is, eh. But I imagine I’ll knock out the last 250 in this book pretty quickly if I just stop checking Twitter.

 

Hour 12

Well, lookit that. I stopped checking Twitter and I finished The Goldfinch! What an amazing book. I’m in a bit of a haze from it – you know the kind I mean?

Thankfully, I don’t have to dive right back into another book, since we’re at the halfway point.

Posted this on Tumblr, but here’s the mid-event meme again:

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? I just, like this moment, finished The Goldfinch. Even though it took some time to get immersed this morning, I’ve been MIA for the last 5 hours because of it.

2. How many books have you read so far? Just the one. And really just the second half of that one.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I think I’ll pick up The Storied Life of A.J. Filkry next. Something lighter.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope! Perks of being single and in a city where you don’t have many friends yet. (I’m trying to sound positive about these facts – is it working?)

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Just the interruptions of my stomach growling and the guy coming to pick up my laundry.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much prepping beforehand matters – cleaning, making sure there’s enough food, listing a TBR stack. Not having done that stuff is making me more anxious than it should, and it kept me from getting immediately drawn into my book this morning. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I love the organization of it all this year. I hope that part continues and is refined.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Definitely prep better. I know better, and now I know how much it sucks to have not done that. 

9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope, had an attack of the sleepies around 3pm ET, but fought it off and now I feel great.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I’m keeping some mellow music on in the background which is helping to block the neighborhood sounds outside. Good tips for urban dwelling.

How is everyone else doing?

Hour 19

image

I seem to be checking in when I’ve finished a book, and I’ve gotten my second book down for the count. I finished The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin basically in one sitting after a very short bout of the sleepies around page 50. But I got up, put clean sheets on my bed and plowed through.

Of course, now it’s 2am here, and I have no idea what to pick up next to keep me going!

How is everyone else’s readathon’s going?

Hour 24

I have never been able to stay up for the whole 24 hours, but this year I managed to get through hour 20, which I’m pretty happy about.

One thing I hate about being a grownup is that I can’t sleep past 9am, no matter what. Even if I’ve been up until 4am the night before. So I’m up and posting my answers, and hoping I’ll be able to catch a nap sometime this afternoon.

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? The last hour is always the worst for me. Sometimes I get sleepy before that, but in the wee hours of the morning, when I start to get so tired that it makes me sick to my stomach — that’s the worst.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was wonderful for this!
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I know that the cheerleader-to-reader ratio is tough, but I didn’t get any cheering this year. Not even a tweet. 
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Love the way you guys reorg’d the prize page.
  5. How many books did you read? 2
  6. What were the names of the books you read? I finished the second half of The Goldfinch and I read The Storied Life. I also started From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Hard to say. All really different.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? See above answer.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Definitely, I’d be a reader, and maybe host a mini-challenge.

Prep Work: 24 Hour Readathon

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deweySo its just about 9 hours before the start of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and I am the most unprepared. Seriously, I’ve done these things so many times before, and I’ve never been so unprepared on the night before a ‘thon begins. I am at the very last minute getting my shit together. But because of this edge-of-my-seat non-planning I’ve done, I’m approaching this readathon with a much more relaxed attitude. Especially in the wake of my own 24 in 48 readathon.

I’ve got a number of books I’m going to keep in mind for tomorrow, like Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor,Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead, The Hunters by James Salter, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney, The Bees by Laline Paull, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and oh so many more.

See? This is why I should be more prepared…too many books to choose from.

But I’m doing what I did a few weeks ago during 24 in 48 and having my laundry picked up early tomorrow. The rest of the mess will just need to wait until Sunday to deal with, right?

Oh well, I’m gonna wing it and see how it goes.

I’ll be posting a sticky post here where I’ll link to my ongoing updates, which will be over on my Tumblr. Also look for me on Twitter and you can follow the hashtag #readathon for the whole shebang.

Will you be joining in?

#24in48 – First Line Winner

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readathonI hope everyone has recovered from their weekend reading adventures. This is just going to be a quick post to reveal the winner of the Hour 42 First Line prize.

And the winner is…

Holly @ Hey Holly June

Congrats, Holly! You’ll get an email from me shortly.

Don’t forget, kids, there’s still time to enter your end-o-‘thon answers into the Wrap-Up post. I’ll be drawing a winner for the box of goodies tomorrow at noon.

#24in48: Hour 48 – The Finish Line

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Congrats, everyone for making it to the end!!

muppet arms

I have to say I am so impressed with the reading you guys did this weekend. I’m not sure how many hit the full 24 hours, but I know there were a lot of hours and a lot of pages. And even those of you that were only able to squeeze in a little bit of time added tremendously to the community of #24in48. This has, in the past, been just this thing that I get a wild hair up my butt to do, and like, maybe a couple people join in if they can. There were quite a few of you this time, and there were lots of questions about what it was while it was happening. I hope it can continue to grow with every iteration. Because there will be more, I promise!

On to the important things! I am writing this at 10:47pm ET because I just can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Which means that I won’t be able to draw a winner at midnight for the First Line prize like I hoped.

That does mean that I’m going to keep that post open until noon ET tomorrow (April 7th) and anyone who didn’t get a chance to post their first line can still go do so. (International participants, this includes you too. Rather than a gift card, I will have any book up to US$25 shipped to you from The Book Depository.)

In addition, I’m going to send a box ‘o goodies to one random participant who fills out the following end-o-thon survey:

  1. How many hours did you read, if you were tracking?
  2. How many books did you read, if you were tracking?
  3. How many pages did you read, if you were tracking?
  4. Favorite book of the ‘thon?
  5. Least favorite?
  6. Thing you learned from this ‘thon?

Here are my answers:

  1. I read a total of 21 hours and 40 minutes. I’m really happy with that considering I was hosting.
  2. I read three books from start to finish: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala, and Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest by Jen Doll. I finished the last 70 pages of The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud at the beginning of the readathon, and I’m now about 2/3rds of the way through The Martian by Andy Weir.
  3. I’ve read 1173 pages.
  4. This is tough. I read some really great books. Its a toss up between Eleanor & Park and The Martian.
  5. I didn’t have a least favorite. Seriously. They were all fantastic and all different.
  6. Do dishes if you can. Also, writing at least the shells of blog posts in advance helps tremendously. Blueberry scones are easier than I thought, and totally worth lost reading time. And if you put something in the oven, don’t forget to hit start on the kitchen timer. Because you’ll get caught up in your book and forget there’s something cooking.

So leave me your answers, either in a comment, or on your own platform of choice and leave the link, and you’ll be entered. And don’t forget to go post on the Hour 42 post!

Guys, thanks so much for joining me for this awesome reading weekend. It was a blast, and I hope I’ll see you back here, if not soon, then at least for the next one! (I’ll also be joining in on the original readathon, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in two weeks. Hope you see you all there!)

#24in48: Hour 42

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readathonThis is my last check in before this thing is all over – but we’re not done yet :). I know many of you are racing to hit that 24 hour goal and some are just trying to get in what they can around other commitments. However you’re spending these last 6 hours of readathon, I say, more power to you. You do you. All the reading is good reading.

I have one last mini-challenge for everyone. There are lots of new faces here, some of you who are only here because of the ‘thon and some of you who have been friends (Internet-y or otherwise) for a while. If you read my blog with any regularity before January (when I got a new job, moved to a new city, and generally fell down a dark hole), you know that I have a thing about first lines in books. I believe you can tell a lot about a book, whether it speaks to you, from that first sentence. I have put down a book because that first line didn’t sing to me. They can be magical and tiny little grains of truth and humor and drama and horror in just a handful of words.

What I’d like you to do is find the best first line from all the books you’ve read for the readathon, and post it or a photo of it in the comments, along with the name of the book and the author.

Mine comes from The Martian by Andy Weir, which I’ve just started.

The Martian first line

Honestly, I can’t really follow that with anything except, post your best first line and I’ll be drawing another random winner for a $25 prize to an online book retailer of your choice.

I forgot to post my numbers in the last update, so here’s where we are:

My Stats:

Books read: Four finished (The Woman Upstairs, Eleanor & Park, Wave and Save the Date), starting #5 The Martian
Pages read: 960
Time read: 18 hours

#24in48: Hour 36

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12 hours to go, guys!

Bela Karolyi says, YEW KAN DEW EET!

Bela

Okay, so I may be getting a little bit punchy. Thanks everyone for your Sunday morning routines. I’m not sure what I expected, but a bunch of readers curling up with a book on lazy Sundays? Yeah, not surprising. But nevertheless, it’s time to pick a winner for the second $15 Starbucks (or coffee purveyor of choice) gift card! And the winner is…

Shannon @ River City Reading!!

Congrats, Shannon, and you’ll be getting an email from me soon.

One of the things – along with coffee – that helps keep me alert and awake during a readathon is some exercise. Obviously I’m not going to go rock my lats at the gym (whatever that means), but I suffer from a tricky lower back that has a habit of completely locking up on me if I sit or lay in one position for too long. So I make a point to get off my couch and get my blood flowing, especially on day #2.

This afternoon, I’m planning on taking a walk in Prospect Park with an audiobook for company, but first I’m going to stretch it out with a couple of sun salutations. If you’re not a yogi – and I’m definitely not – this cycle of stretches is fantastic. The key is to breath, inhale and exhale through the poses and let each pose flow into the next.

sun-salutation-4Hope this (or something else) keeps the sleepies away this afternoon. I’ll catch you guys this evening at 6pm. Good luck!

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