National Read-a-thon Day and other sundries.

National Read-a-thon Day. Something I had never even heard of before this week, suddenly popped up on my Goodreads homepage, and I found the idea of being able to devote an entire day to reading completely was one that I could completely get behind. I was sad, however, to note that it does not actually mean reading ALL day, rather you’re meant to spend at least 4 hours reading. The recommended time to take part in the event was noon-4pm. There is even a hashtag: #timetoread – apparently you have to post a picture of yourself reading at some point during the day. Don’t forget that part, ok?

For me? Well I am certain to enjoy my #timetoread tomorrow…I even have a plan:

We got a new mattress today, you see, in fact this is the first new mattress of my adult life. And I firmly believe that any time one get a new bed, you are completely entitled to spending the entire day in it. So, since the husband is going to be out all day, I plan on spending it inside, in this new magical bed of mine. I’m even making homemade bread today so I can eat big hunks of bread smothered with butter and jam while reading in my bed. Oh, and drinking tea, of course. What it appears that I have done, then, is create the ultimate me day, that just happens to fall on National Read-a-thon Day.

What am I going to read, you ask? I guess that is probably the most important part of this whole endeavor, huh? I’m planning on finishing up Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. Not sure what will come after that, but we’ll see.

What, exactly, is National Read-a-thon day? Well, this appears to be the very first one. And it is an initiative between The National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, Goodreads and Mashable that is all about getting people to open up a book and spend the day reading. But here is the interesting part: it is not just a day to spend reading, it is actually a charity event. They describe it as being like a walk-a-thon, only by turning pages instead of counting steps. Here is the fundraising page, if any one is interested in knowing more. But where is the money going to, exactly? Well, according to their website: “Proceeds will support our education programs, like BookUp, our after-school reading program which has given away over 25,000 books to middle schoolers since 2007.”

So you see, this isn’t just all about disappearing into a book for a few hours. It is also about getting books into kids’ hands. About making sure that kids across America (sadly, Canada does not factor in here) have access to literacy programs, libraries, books…learning. As a librarian, I am a pretty hard core supporter for this kind of thing, but I like to think that everyone I know and everyone who lives in the world with me would also be a hard-core supporter of this kind of thing too. So, while it might be too late to actually do any fundraising, lets all pick up a book tomorrow and read. And next year, lets raise some funds!

But I have another call to action – for Canadians. I know we have all kinds of great literacy programs for kids, the TD Reads program comes to mind, but I would love to see something like this happening North of the border too! So, Canadian readers – start looking into it! Do some kickstarting! Crowd source this stuff! But we can get our own National Read-a-thon day! I am certain of it!

Now, let me get off my soap box and say that I am happy this day exists, because I am filled with eager anticipation to spend the day with my new bed with toast, tea and a bunch of Hobbits.

Oh – and the other sundries bit…Just a question really? Has anyone heard of the graphic novel/comic book series: Locke & Key? I read the first volume in one sitting yesterday and it was amazing. A weird little horror comic about a family who lives in this Lovecraftian style house, filled with all kinds of magic doorways and ghouls. Well worth picking up, if you get the chance. I’ll try to give a bigger review once I read a few more volumes of it. But do check it out!


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