Reading a Book a Day for a Whole Week is NOT Fun
June 10, 2012 54 Comments
I’ve done it! I’ve read a book a day for a whole week, starting a new book every day (and ending it in the evening).
Yes, that’s madness – but hey, we all like a challenge every now and then, right?
I read the book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch last year. I didn’t like the book as much as I had hoped, but I guess reading about someone reading couldn’t really be that exciting anyway. She also discusses her life and issues in this book, but that’s not why I wanted to read it. So I was disappointed.
Now, I didn’t want to read a book each day for a year, but I did want to get a feel for what it’s like to read a book a day. So, I decided to limit the timeframe to a week.
I don’t work at the moment and my family are at work and school most of the day (my teenage sons come home between 2.30 and 4pm), so there should be lots of free time to read! However, just this week I started going to the gym and I needed to buy clothing for it (which wasn’t easy in my small town, I tell you!) and also, I had some introduction sessions at the gym that took longer than I had envisaged.
Then there was Armchair BEA that I took part in: that meant writing a blog post per day and I’d signed up to be a commenter, which meant I would comment on participants’ blogs to keep the communication between bloggers going. That was fine, but that was on top of commenting on blogs that I subscribe to and returning the visit from bloggers that visited my blog. So, that took a lot of my time. As did normal life as I know it.
What I thought of it
Reading a book a day is not fun. It may seem great to indulge but it’s… annoying. Most of the time, I have other things I want or have to do but I had to constantly keep in mind that the book needed to be finished in time. So, throughout the day, I was calculating how much I should read before noon, before 4pm, etc. so that I could finish the book.
Also, I didn’t feel entitled to read that much. This was one of my main problems with Sankovitch book, too. My husband was quite happy about me doing this – although when he saw I was struggling half-way the week, he suggested I give up. But what gives me the right, the justification, to just sit and read? I didn’t get it when reading Sankovitch’ book and I didn’t get it when I tried it myself.
As I forget most books soon after reading them, I started every day writing a review of the previous day’s book. Then I read for a short while and started my normal day for that week: write a ArmchairBEA blogpost, comment on people’s blogs, do the housework, sit down for coffee with the book, do grocery shopping, eat lunch (with book), go to the gym, read more, make tea & cookies for the kids and listen to their stories, read more, make dinner, read during dinner, read after dinner, going for a walk with hubby, reading more, and finally: bedtime (only) when the book was finished. I found it stressful!
Of course, some days I did other things, like visiting friends, or shopping for fitness clothes, which took a lot of my time and made my day even more stressful! I’m happy to say that I finished each book before or only slightly after my normal bed time so I wasn’t up until 2am to finish a book, as I had expected to happen.
So, if you were curious (like I was), what it’s like to read a book a day: stressful and not fun. Yes, some days I had a really good book and I was happy to spend a lot of time reading it, but I wasn’t happy about having to finish it the same day and folding my whole life around it. I want to be able to read a book when I feel like it, not when I have to.
Day 1: The Cottage at Glasss Beach by Heather Barbieri. 320 pages (English).
This was a Sunday and I had planned to work in the garden. However, it rained all day and I ended up spending a lot of time reading. I finished this book by 6pm.
Day 2: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. 336 pages (Dutch translation)
Monday. This took me a little longer, because of all the “issues” (see above) – I read this book until slightly past bedtime (11.20pm, bedtime is at 11pm).
Day 3: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. 313 pages (English)
Tuesday: Not wanting to be caught out again, I decided this Young Adult book would probably be an easier read and I should be able to finish it earlier. Not so, it was only a little before 11pm before I closed this book.
Day 4: Een gat in de lucht by Erik Nieuwenhuis (Jumping in the Air). 208 pages (Dutch)
Wednesday: Now, a Dutch book of just over 200 pages, that should be easy enough. Wrong, again, it took me until 11pm before I was finished. I realised that I dosaged my reading so I could finish on time, but not necessarily earlier than needed. Also, this book was quite literary and not an easy read.
Day 5: The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell. 298 pages (English)
Thursday: I learned my lesson and made sure I didn’t leave it too long. I finished by 8pm. Not bad. It was a fun book to read so I was quite keen to get back to it any time I could.
Day 6: Virals by Kathy Reichs. 348 pages (Dutch translation)
Friday: A YA book that I needed to read anyway for my Reading around the USA in 90 days challenge. This was my South Carolina book. I didn’t think it was very good, but it was an easy read and I finished by dinner time.
Day 7: The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. 310 pages (Dutch translation)
Saturday: Another book for my Reading around the USA in 90 days (Washington DC this time). This was in the thriller section of the library so I expected to read this fast, at least, if it was indeed a real thriller. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was a little boring at times (because of my thrilling expectations). Also, I was busy with other things and by 8pm I was only half-way. I was about to give up on the book (and abandon the a-book-a-day challenge), then I remembered I needed it for the USA in 90 days challenge. The story did pick up and I finished at 11.30pm.
Have you ever read a book in a day?
Did you enjoy it?