24-Hour Readathon: End of Event Report

Here we go! It’s the end of the 24-Hour Readathon, and I’m posting my report.

I actually joined the Readathon at the last minute this year, because I realized I couldn’t let the year go by without me joining at least one Readathon. I hadn’t counting on making it home in time for the event, and I did, so I hurriedly grabbed some books from the shelf, took a photo, booted up my lappy and joined the Readathon. And I’m so glad I did. The Readathon is a really fun event that fosters the community spirit across the globe, and I’m always happy to be part of it.

October 2010 marks my 3rd readathon, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Miguel Syjuco launches ‘Ilustrado’

I spent most of last week in Davao City, toting along my review copy of Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado, winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize and the Palanca Award. It’s a metafictional novel that pieces together the life of Filipino writer-in-exile Crispin Salvador as his student, Miguel weaves together fragments of Salvador’s body of work, personal interviews, blog entries, newspaper clippings, and many other sources as he investigates his teacher’s mysterious death.

I spent most of my spare time engrossed in the novel — at the airport, on flights, and before hitting the sack at the hotel room  —  and I was looking forward to coming back to Manila to attend the press conference and launch at National Book Store.

The review will have to wait; I just finished the novel and I’m reviewing it for Manila Bulletin, so here’s a recap of the launch, the first release of Ilustrado anywhere in the world!

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24-hour Read-A-Thon end-of-event meme


This is a bit delayed, as the read-a-thon officially ended at 8pm (Philippine time) last night, but my internet was on the fritz for the weekend and I couldn’t even post a midway update.

It was a tough weekend for me as I was up late the night before working on a painting, and then I was out all day for several meetings (I had to read through one of them) until I got home past midnight.  And then I was going to update, but found out I didn’t have an internet connection at home!

I’d like to thank all those who dropped by to wish me well on the reading, though, even though I didn’t have any updates posted. Cheers to all the readers and cheerleaders, and hope to see you again on the next read-a-thon!

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Book Geekiness

This is a long over-due post on my Book Gook Geek experience over at Fully Booked last month.

… hehe, here’s the new and improved banner:

A bunch of Flipper friends and I joined the Book Geek challenge, our second time actually, because we are suckers for book trivia and free books and a shot at P5000 worth of Fully Booked gift certificates (just under $100).

The actual contest went by in a blur to me, so I’m borrowing my cousin Dianne’s (she has her own book blog now too by the way, which recounts bargain book hunting adventures) recap of the event, and also her photos:

Blooey and I arrived at Fully Booked High Street at around 3 PM. We went straight to the fourth floor, only to find the venue completely empty (which was unsurprising, since we were about 30 minutes early). We decided to kill time by browsing around and gazing longingly at books we would never buy at full price. I kept asking Blooey whether she was anxious or excited, and she just shrugged and replied that she was “ok”. I think I was a lot more anxious than her.

At exactly 3:30 PM, we returned to the venue and registered. Joel G was already there, together with one other non-Flipper contestant. We were offered frozen raspberry shakes from Bo’s Coffee (one of the sponsors of the contest), which we gladly accepted. As we slurped our yummy creamy raspberry shakes, more people started to file into the room. One of them was a strange lady with big curly hair who later introduced herself as Madam Dementia. Turns out she was the host of the contest.

The contest proper was supposed to start at 4 PM, and around this time, more or less 10 contestants had shown up. Other Flippers who participated were Joel G and Marie. As Madam Dementia started to explain the mechanics of the contest, Honey arrived, barely making it past the cut-off time. Due to the brevity of last month’s contest, Fully Booked decided to change the rules a bit. The contestants were seated in a circle and were to pick out numbers (corresponding to book-related questions) from a bowl. However, in contrast to last month’s “sudden death” rule (i.e. you fail to answer the question correctly, you’re eliminated), contestants could either skip the question or pass it to another contestant. Should the person decide to skip the question, he/she has to answer 2 questions correctly in the next round to avoid elimination. If the person decides to pass it instead, he/she selects another person to answer for him/her. But if that person gets the question wrong, both of them will be eliminated. Contestants can only use pass and skip once.

Honey, me, and JoelG

This newly implemented rule was shamelessly abused the moment the first question was asked. The contestant was asked, “What was the crime in ‘Crime and Punishment’?” She decided to pass the question to another contestant, who also decided to pass it to the person sitting beside him, who passed it to Joel G, who passed it eventually to Honey. Just imagine the absurdity of the situation – 5 people faced elimination with just the first question. Luckily, Honey – the Classics expert/book lover extraordinaire/Literature goddess – hit the nail on the head by answering with, “Murder”. Several people remained in the contest (even several rounds later) thanks to her.

Marie answers a question

Honey’s turn

The funny thing was, despite Honey’s vast knowledge in all things bookish, she managed to draw questions regarding relatively unfamiliar territory – Harry Potter. Which was ironic because her downfall became Blooey’s saving grace. The same was true for Marie, who completely forgot the name of the street where the Dursleys lived. And so, after several nerve-racking rounds of questions about Harry Potter, Little Women (whoever created the questions was obviously a fan), The Count of Monte Cristo (ditto), Narnia, The Little Prince, Jane Eyre, Perfume (where the Flippers all laughed conspiratorially when Blooey was asked, “What is the one thing Jean-Baptiste Grenouille cannot smell?”), chick lit, popular thrillers, Pulitzer Prize winners, authors’ initials, pseudonyms and what not, Blooey and Honey made it to the Top Three.

There was a short break for everyone to catch their breath (the “sudden death” round lasted for about an hour). Afterwards, the Top Three contestants were each given white boards and markers. The rules were simple. Questions would be drawn by the judge and a point would be awarded for each correct answer. Whoever gets five points first wins the contest. The first question was drawn, and to Honey’s horror and Blooey’s delight, again, it’s Harry Potter-related (What was Lily Potter’s maiden name?). For the first round, only Blooey gets it right. The next question was about E.B. White, which all the contestants answered correctly. Another Harry Potter-related question pops up, (What is the title of J.K. Rowling’s late
st book?), which Blooey and Honey answer correctly. The final question, as luck would have it, was about Twilight. (What was the name of the book that was most often mentioned in Twilight?) When Blooey and Honey revealed their white boards, they had different answers. Honey answered, “Pride and Prejudice” and Blooey went for “Wuthering Heights”. In the end, Blooey had Heathcliff to thank as she was declared Book Geek of the month.

Lily Evans!

Tales of Beedle the Bard

I really wasn’t sure, but the gamble paid off!

Checking my answers…

The prize consisted of Fully Booked GCs worth P5,000, Outback GCs worth P750, plus a random book. Other contestants were also given random books as consolation prizes. Pictures were taken and congratulations were given out as Blooey was now eligible for the Book Geek finale this November. Meanwhile, Madam Dementia invited the other contestants to join next month’s contest, as they were all still eligible to win.

with Madame Dementia

With Beth and Honey, who were in the top three with me

Book geek!

There you go. The final competition is in November, hopefully I can cram more book trivia in by then.

Hahaha, I was so indebted to Harry Potter, I used part of my book geek winnings to buy another book for my collection. Watch out for tomorrow’s post :)

I Survived the 24-hour Read-a-thon.

I’m still alive!

It’s the 24th hour and I’m far from finishing the last book I started so I thought I’d start blogging already.

I realized I didn’t include an introduction of my challenge in my mid-event post, so to explain, the 24-hour read-a-thon is an event mounted in memory of Dewey, a blogger and a reader who started the event in October 2007. Dewey passed away in November 2008, and the 24-hour read-a-thon is continued by those who’ve helped Dewey organize the past read-a-thons, and hundreds of book bloggers in the world.

I never met Dewey, although she was also active on BookMooch, but I am inspired by the number of lives she touched, and how she shared her love of reading to people all over the world. I decided to join this year because I salute her efforts, and I wanted to be part of this global celebration for a fellow book blogger.

So, as you’ve read in my mid-event post, I had a lot of catching up to do since I got stuck on Silverlock last night. Here’s the story, and the answers to some memes

I realized I didn’t answer the introductory meme so here goes:

3 facts about me …
– I live in Makati City, Philippines, where it’s the peak of summer and the temperature’s over 30 degrees!
– I collect international editions of Harry Potter.
– I am scared of flying cockroaches.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I didn’t plan my reading list, other than Silverlock, which was I was in the middle of when the event started, so after that I just grabbed some books from my general TBR pile, which has nearly 300. Now they’re in disarray because I trawled through them like a madwoman, lol!

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
My goal was 8 books.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
It’s my first time, although I’ll definitely plan better for the next one, and I want to pull a hardcore all-nighter!

And finally, my end-of-event meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Gosh, around hour 16, after I posted my mid-event entry.
It was sooooo hot, I was sweating like crazy so I took off for a walk to McDonald’s, which is around five blocks from our house. I finished one book, Para Kay B, and then I had to go home because I had to go to mass — it’s Sunday in the Philippines.

Downing a coke float, which didn’t have much of an effect towards the heat!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Hmm, high-interest books in general, not necessarily ones I’ve read for this event. I’m thinking short and interesting so here are some suggestions:
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
The Arrival by Shaun Tan — wordless!
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, ill. by Lane Smith
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Tattooed Map by Barbara Hodgson
Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupery

I’ve found that illustrated books work great because there’s a visual interest, and your eyes can rest from straight text.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
My suggestion is same as my mid-event suggestion — a holiday read-a-thon, because people have more time off or can clear their schedule accordingly, regardless of time zone.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The Mr. Linky and the feed site — it’s a great way to find out what other readers are up to.

5. How many books did you read?
8 and a half

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The first four were in my mid-event post: Silverlock by John Myers Myers, D is for Dahl, and 2 Little Lit books (It was a Dark and Silly Night, and Fairy Tale Funnies).

Today’s reads included:
Para Kay B by Ricky Lee (photo above)

The Secret of the Pistoulet by Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen
The Legend of Villa della Luna by Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen

The Pixie Hollow Pop-up

and halfway through Miller’s Collecting Books by Catherine Porter
(and that’s my tottering TBR mountain– those that don’t fit my TBR shelves!)

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed the last book the most, Miller’s Collecting Books. It contains everything you need to know about collecting books and all sorts of book geekery, and I’m really loving it so I’m reading it slowly so I can savor it.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Hmm, Silverlock was hardest for me to get through because I started it over the Easter holidays, stopped for a week when I had so much work to do and picked it up again for the read-a-thon. Hardcore fantasy (with maps and strange names) are really not my cup of tea, although the book references in Silverlock kept me going. Note to self: next time, no fantasy epics!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I wasn’t a cheerleader, but to the cheerleaders — good job! See you again next year!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I’d still want to be a reader. I really want an all-nighter, and I’ve got to plan it out. An idea would be to read with another reader (or maybe more!), for a read-a-thon party.

Heehee, one last thing, I’d like to share a photo of my dog, Macky, helping me out in the read-a-thon:

Maybe he wants me to cook this recipe for him?
Cheers, and congratulations to all readers! Will post reviews of the read-a-thon books throughout this week.

Thank you Dewey for starting this tradition. You live in the memory of all read-a-thoners and read-a-thon cheerleaders!