Books!, Signal Boost

Banned Books Week 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Once again we find ourselves at the time of year to celebrate Banned Books Week, and like every previous year, I like to write up a little post to talk about the occasion. You can find out a lot more information by checking out the Banned Books Week site or by checking out the Banned Books Week section of the ALA(American Library Association)’s site.

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration by libraries, publishers, booksellers, authors, and readers, to celebrate the Freedom to Read. There are a number of different events being held all over at libraries and bookstores, so check out your local ones to see what might be going on near you. Banned Books Week was started back in the 1980s, in response to the increased challenges and protests, including a 1982 Supreme Court case (Island Trees School District v. Pico) which ruled that school officials can’t ban books simply because of their content.

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Each year a list is released of the top 10 most challenged books for the previous year. Take note of the reasons these books are challenged. I feel like most of these books are challenged by a small yet very vocal group of people, and the sad fact is that for a vast majority of these challenges, the person asking for the removal of the book from libraries and/or schools actually has not picked up the book. They are going off of the summary and/or what they might have heard about the book.

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There are a lot of popular books that find themselves on this challenged/banned list, and I have talked about them in a previous post. This topic is one that I feel like I need to talk about each year, so you can find my posts from 2016 and 2017 at these links. I also have a Banned Books Recommendations post, which I definitely recommend.

And the ALA’s Banned Books Week Web site also includes a bunch of handy dandy infographics, which I think are cool to include. They give a quick glimpse at why books are challenged, where they are challenged, and more.

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So this might not be my longest post, but I still think it is absolutely an important one. As members of the book community, we pretty much have a responsibility to fight against censorship. If a book has content you don’t want to read, then that’s fine. The sensible solution is to just not buy/borrow/read that book. Don’t ruin the reading fun for others just because you don’t agree with the content of a book.

That’s like saying that because you don’t like hamburgers that nobody else should have access to hamburgers. Not cool.

On another somewhat unrelated note, I am getting pretty near to 500 followers on my blog –THANK YOU ALL–and I have always had it in mind that I will be doing a giveaway when I reach that point. So when I reach 500 followers I will be uploading a post with details on how one of you awesome people can win $25 worth of books from Book Depository.

I do believe that is all from me today. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Bookshelf Tour

Hey all, Dani here.

I said I would be getting a library tour post up as soon as I had everything ready, and I’m nearly there. However, at the moment we have a lot of our office supply boxes and such sort of haphazardly placed all over the library.

So I went with the next best option…a bookshelf tour. Now, as soon as we get the room itself tidied up and I get some comfy reading seats in, I’ll have another post where I show off the overall library/office space. But for now I figured this would be better than nothing.

Let’s just jump into this.

Right now I have seven bookcases up in the library. This collection does not include my comics, graphic novels, or manga. When we get those all organized and up in a bookcase or something, I’ll be sure to show those off as well.

Bookcase #1

This first bookcase starts off my short hardcover collection. It goes from Ahdieh to Riordan, with everything in alphabetical order. I never used to like varying my shelves with some books horizontal, but I came to realize that it actually gives me a little more room, which is great when I don’t have the space to continuously add more bookcases.

Bookcase #2

This second bookcase finishes up my short hardcovers and then has all of my taller floppier paperbacks. I like these when it comes to epic fantasy reads because you don’t really break the binding as much while reading. The bottom couple of shelves on this particular bookcase hold a lot of my ARCs and then a number of the books I’ve picked up from authors at comic conventions. Honestly those last two shelves aren’t really in any particular order yet.

Bookcase #3

Now we are on to all of my mass market paperbacks. Obviously this bookcase holds more shelves than the others because the books are shorter. And this is the bookcase with the most free space, which is why that huge ream of printer paper is hanging out there. This bookcase is the one I’m most likely to condense when my tall hardcovers need more space to expand (which is pretty soon honestly).

Bookcase #4

Here we go with my tall hardcovers. Obviously right now I only actually have space for a few more of these before I end up needing more space for them.

Bookcase #5

The rest of my bookcases house my trade paperback or oddball paperback collection. Seriously, paperbacks come in like four different standard sizes, so if you’re trying to organize them by height, this is the area that will always mess with you. Anyway, for the most part these ones are my favorite types to read, just because they are fairly easy to haul around and not as heavy as hardcovers.

Bookcase #6

This particular bookcase houses my UK paperbacks of the Harry Potter series, as well as the UK paperbacks of Brandon Sanderson’s books. I love how the UK covers look for the Mistborn books as well as the Stormlight Archive (especially because they divide each book in the Stormlight Archive into two books–they are so much easier to carry around). That’s why I have the UK paperbacks for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series as well. I like the simple design on the cover and I think the format holds up really well for reading without breaking the binding.

Bookcase #7

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The final bookcase is the smaller sized Billy Bookcase from IKEA. Originally I was going to use it as a corner bookcase and do the setup that wraps your bookcases around the corner, but the spacing didn’t quite work in the library. Oh well. I still have the brackets so I can try again when we move into a house in the future. The top shelf of this one is set up to hold my Illustrated Harry Potter books, and then I also tossed some of my small hardcover geeky non-fiction books there as well. Then I finish off my trade paperback collection, and there is another shelf left over for me to expand the paperbacks just a little bit.

So there you have it, a look at the books I have in my library. Yes, I could have done like some BookTubers out there and rattled off every title and author for every book I have, but I really don’t think you guys want to read a list of every book I own. I think that would make for a boring blog post. That sort of thing only really works in a video.

I do believe that is all I have for you all today. I’m off to do some more reading (and some adulting–I need to do dishes…and maybe laundry). So hopefully I’ll have more reviews and such ready to go for next week.

Books!, Signal Boost

Banned Books Week 2017

Hey all, Dani here.

I know that it’s Sunday and I’ve been getting into a pattern of only posting on weekdays, but today’s announcement warrants a brief bonus blog post.

In just one more week we will once again be celebrating Banned Books Week. It is an annual event celebrating our freedom to read, and it is where we will talk of the hazards of censorship while raising awareness of these issues. Banned Books Week brings together all members of the bookish community, from librarians and teachers to bloggers, booksellers, publishers and readers. This year, Banned Books Week will take place from September 24th-30th

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You can find all sorts of free downloads for social media, as well as infographics, and even a coloring page by visiting this page.

Oh, and there is a lovely store that has all sorts of Banned Books Week merchandise, from buttons and totes to shirts and posters. You can find all the goods here.

There are many resources to be found on the American Library Association’s event pages, so if you want to know more about some frequently challenged books, or find out if there are any Banned Books Week events near you, all of the details are at the ALA site, which I have linked up at the top of this post.

I am going to try and have a couple posts up next week to further discuss banned books, censorship, etc. If any of you plan to also celebrate some of these wonderful books, please let me know. I would love to check out your blogs and maybe even share some of them with my readers as well.

Let’s celebrate books, and continue to fight to protect the books that are being challenged and banned (usually for fairly absurd reasons, but I’ll discuss that in a later post).

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost, Writing

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Signal Boost

Bookish Events! BEA!! BookCon!

Hey all, Dani here.

I guess the first thing I want to say is wow…this blog has been running for just over a year and I’ve written over 100 posts. I’m actually pretty pleased with that. I had a book blog back in college and grad school and it just never yielded very many views or comments. I think there were about 7 people subscribed to the blog. This one though, I feel is doing pretty well so far, and it can only grow. Right? Right!

So thank you to everyone who has followed me so far, liked my posts, and commented. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Today I just want to talk about some upcoming bookish events that I’m going to be participating in. Some are ones I’ve done in the past and others are brand new to me this year. So…let’s just jump right in, shall we?

First up is something I kinda made up, but it should be pretty fun, and that is Middle Grade March. I was looking at my bookshelves the other day and realized that I’ve purchased quite a few middle grade books and just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. So in March I plan to read and review as many of them as I can. Obviously if I have any e-galley or ARC books for review, I’ll still post those too, but my main focus will be some lovely MG reads. If this sounds like fun to you, feel free to join in, and let me know so I can follow your blog/vlog/etc.

Next up is National Library Week, which is being held April 9-15, and obviously celebrates libraries and librarians. I’m hoping to have a post or two up about how much libraries and librarians have shaped my life in that time.

To go along with that I’ll once again be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon on April 29, and I have decided that I am going to read a bunch of books about magical libraries, librarians, and bookstores. I’ll have a post about the event and my TBR about a week or so before, and then a day or so after I’ll post a Readathon wrap up post.

Oh, and in April I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, but with so many other events going on at the same time, I imagine that I’ll be setting my word count goal around 25,000 or so.

Another readathon I hope to participate in is National Readathon Day, which is hosted by the American Library Association and Penguin Random House. I’ll post more details about this as I learn them because the web site for this event still has the 2016 details up.

After that is my big brand new bookish event experience, and that is Book Expo America and BookCon!! You can probably tell that I am super excited about it. BEA will be held May 31-June 2, and BookCon is June 3-4, and this year both events are back at the Javits Center in NYC. I have seen so many awesome blogs and vlogs about these events and they just look like so much fun and a great opportunity to meet up with authors, publishers, and readers/bloggers/vloggers. I have already purchased my passes for both events and booked my hotel room, so all I have to do is worry about transportation. I cannot wait to spend a week in NYC hanging out with other people who are passionate about books. So if you’re heading to BEA and/or BookCon, let me know! I would love to meet you in the real world.

Of course, here is where I should also mention that June is GLBT Book Month. I like to try and read diversely whenever I can, and this is a month where I highlight that diversity on my social media accounts. So I’ll be sharing books with characters who are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, asexual, etc. If you have any suggestions for books I should look into for GLBT Book Month, let me know in the comments.

Camp NaNoWriMo is held again in July and I’m hoping to do a good month of writing this time around.

As usual, August takes me to Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. Held this year from August 24-27, I’ll be roaming the convention floors, attending panels, and buying bookish and nerdy merchandise. It’s always a fun time.

In September I’m going to try to do Self-Publish September again. I started to in 2016 but then sorta got distracted. This is a month where I highlight self-published and indie authors who I think should get more attention and recognition.

September 22-24, you can find me at Cincinnati Comic Expo where Mousai Books will be set up at the Colorworld Books booth. It’ll be a great time and you can pick up some amazing books and artwork.

Banned Books Week is Sept 24-30, and I’ll likely talk about my experiences with banned books, and share some of my favorites.

Then Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will come around again in October. I really enjoy this event because I read so many books and it’s just great to connect with others who are also participating.

Obviously in November I participate in NaNoWriMo. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to pre-schedule some book reviews and other posts to get through the month. If not, you’ll know why I suddenly fall off the social media radar.

Whew! It’s going to be a very eventful bookish year for me, and I am so looking forward to it. There’s lots of writing, lots of reading, and lots of talking books with all you amazing bookish nerds out there.

Book Releases, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost, Writing

2017 Bookish Resolutions

Hey all, Dani here.

The tradition this time of year is to make a whole bunch of resolutions for your life, and with a large number of the resolutions we all only make it a couple weeks before we slack or just stop all together. That’s actually why I stopped making lifestyle resolutions like eating better, exercising more, or losing weight.

But making book related resolutions typically works out quite a bit better for me, so I’m just going to run through a few of those I’ve made for myself in 2017.

First up: reading. My initial goal is to read 75 books. I know this is an easily achievable goal, but I also know that if I manage to devour a lot of books quickly I can always increase my goal number. I’ve changed my goal the past several years. In 2016 my goal went from 75 to 100 to 130. More than that, though, I plan to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October, because I really enjoyed my experience with the readathon in 2016.

Second: blogging. I will have at least one book related blog up each week. Right now I have several bonus posts figured out thanks to some of my egalleys and ARCs, but I am really going to work to make sure that I maintain my posting schedule.

Third: vlogging. I have been watching BookTube for a while now and have thought that is something I could do myself. I love talking about books with other people. This is going to be the most difficult resolution for me though, because I am so nervous about this. Taking pictures or video of myself has never felt natural or comfortable to me, but I’m going to work through those feelings. With a bit of repetition and practice, I’m sure I’ll start getting used to filming and editing videos. So I’m going to start…soon.

Fourth: writing. This is actually an area where I really did slack in 2016. I did write on a few different things, but I didn’t finish a project or release one to the world. This needs to stop. Writing needs to be a priority in my life too. So, I will get Project Death: Revelation finished and released in the next couple of months. Then I need to get my focus onto the third book in the series. I’d like to have both Revelation and Redemption out in 2017. I guess this is also the area where I mention that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, and NaNoWriMo in November.

Fifth: Bookstagram. I loved being an active part of the book community on Instagram in 2016, and I’d like to keep building on that. Book photography is actually pretty relaxing and fun. So in 2017 I’d like to keep building my account, participate in at least a few monthly photo challenges, and just enjoy connecting with all my new book friends.

Sixth: Conventions. For this year I plan to be at a brand new local author event being held by my public library in March. I also am really hoping to make it to BEA and/or BookCon this year. As always, I’ll be attending Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, where I’m looking forward to seeing which authors show up, because I usually come home with a nice haul. And for right now my only author appearance at a convention will be Cincinnati Comic Expo in September; Mousai Books will be teaming up with Colorworld Books and it should be a lot of fun.

Well, I think that’s it for my bookish resolutions. That’s quite a hefty list when you look at it all together. Thanks for being a part of the first year of this blog, and I look forward to talking about bookish and nerdy things with all of you throughout 2017. It’s going to be a great year.

Books!

Banned Books Week 2016

Hey all, Dani here.

Today is the first day of Banned Books Week. It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, and is an event I wholeheartedly support. This year it takes place September 25-Oct 1

So many books are challenged and banned in schools and/or libraries nowadays and the sad truth is that a lot of times the adults who make the requests to remove certain materials from circulation have never even opened the book themselves.

Books are wonderful items that transport us somewhere else and often times have wonderful lessons behind them. As a massive reader I have grown close to so many characters within the pages of some of my favorite books. I journey with them, befriend them, and sometimes develop a crush on them–there are many swoon-worthy characters out there.

I love books because they help me travel to faraway places and experience people, places, and cultures I might not ever experience in person.

So when people try and take those experiences away from others, it stings. I can accept that a parent might not want their child to read a certain subject matter but other parents might not see that as an issue.

I know that my mom was very open about me reading whatever sounded interesting to me. When I was a kid I read through most of the children and juvenile sections and needed more reading material. This was before YA really grew popular as a category of books. So I needed parental permission to check out books from the adult area. My mom happily signed the permission slip, knowing that if I actually had any questions I would ask her. Even then I was in love with fantasy and science fiction.

I can admit now that there were probably some topics that I didn’t fully comprehend, particularly when it came to romance and violence, but still. Nobody tried to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to read a book because of my age or because of their personal predilections or beliefs.

Banned Books Week strives to share the harm of censorship and brings together the literary community (book readers, bloggers, teachers, librarians, BookTubers, etc) to speak out against the restrictions and removal of books available to the public.

You can learn more about Banned Books Week, including looking at lists of books that have been challenged and banned here.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers AssociationAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of American Publishers;Author’s GuildComic Book Legal Defense FundDramatists Legal Defense FundFreedom to Read FoundationNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of EnglishPeople for the American WayPEN America and Project Censored.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Books!, Signal Boost

GLBT Book Month

Hey all, Dani here.

June is going to be a fun month for reading, because I am actively trying to diversify my reading a bit. First, I’m definitely going to be reading some contemporary, some historical, and perhaps even some biographical and nonfiction type books. But, more than that, June is GLBT Book Month.

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Originally The Publishing Triangle established this month as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month in the 1990s, but since 2015 the American Library Association has been celebrating GLBT Book Month. This is the month where the Stonewall Book Awards are given to the books/authors who won, and when the ALA holds their annual conference, including roundtables on the topic.

The Stonewall Book Awards was first awarded in 1971, and since then it has continued to honor those books that hold special merit for the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience, and that is fantastic. You can also find lists for Rainbow Books and Over the Rainbow Books. Rainbow Books are aimed towards the YA reads, and Over the Rainbow books are aimed more towards adults, but both are worth checking out.

GLBT Book Month is a nationwide celebration of authors and writings that help to reflect the lives and the experiences of the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, and I think that is great.

I have been seeing an increase in the number of books and even in television shows and movies that include a more diverse cast and a more diverse observation of relationships, and I’m glad for that. Personally I see love as love and as long as I connect with the characters in these fictional narratives the rest of it doesn’t matter.

Basically, throughout this month I’m going to highlight some books and series that just so happen to have gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender characters, and they are still books that I really enjoy because the characters are fantastic and the stories are great. Plus, I’ll be honest, I do ship the relationships too. Those book discussions will be on Tuesdays, but I also have some book reviews on Mondays from stuff I’ve read in the past couple months (and I’ve read a heck of a lot of books).

I’m also hoping to have my first few vlog posts up in June, so stay tuned for that.

Guys, I’m super excited about these GLBT books I’m going to talk about this month. They are so good and I’m also so excited to read even more books outside of my usual fantasy and sci-fi fare. June is going to be an awesome month. I might toss up a tentative June TBR post tomorrow just so you have an idea of what books I’m hoping to read.

Book Review, Books!

National Readathon Day Wrap-Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I was going to try and have this up yesterday, but I had a lot to do and I was recovering from a very busy day Saturday…and sadly I wasn’t as accomplished on the reading front as I would have liked. Instead I had a twice-delayed Mother’s Day dinner with my mom and had to run some errands and such.

Still…I did read 2.5 books during National Readathon Day.

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I started the day off with The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani and it was actually a cute and fun read that I really enjoyed. It is a Middle Grade novel that follows two girls from the same village, Sophie and Agatha. Sophie is blond, pretty, and thinks of herself like a sweet princess, so she’s sure that she’s going to be taken to the School for Good, while she thinks her friend Agatha, who is a loner and everyone see’s her as strange and different, must obviously be going to the School for Evil. And yet, when the girls are taken, it is Agatha that is dropped into the School for Good, and Sophie finds herself in the School for Evil. Both girls are sure this is a mistake and work their hardest to try and get switched to the proper schools, but that only seems to cause more problems. I might actually try to do a longer review on this later, but I gave it a 4.5 star rating out of a possible 5 stars.

Then I jumped into The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. This book just came out so I’ll do a longer review later so I don’t potential spoil anything, but it is a historical fantasy novel that takes place in Imperial Russia. It follows Vika and Nikolai, who are both enchanters, and Pasha, the prince. The basic premise is that people have forgotten about magic, thinking it the stuff of stories. But the Tsar of Russia knows that magic still exists and the time is coming where he will need an Imperial Enchanter at his side. There’s just one problem: there are two people with enchanter abilities, and that can’t last. Magic is drawn from the same source and an enchanter only has full power if they are the only one using the source. The only thing to do is to hold The Crown’s Game, a challenge of five rounds where the two enchanters compete against each other to prove they are the better enchanter. The winner will become the Imperial Enchanter and the loser will die. Things get complicated when Nikolai and Vika are drawn to each other due to their magic, but Nikolai’s best friend, Pasha, also is falling for Vika. I admit that at first I was going to go 4 stars or maybe 4.5 stars, but the last 10 chapters or so cut me emotionally and I ended up giving the book 5 stars.

So, around 9:30-10:00 pm I picked up An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s been on my TBR for months and I figured it was time to finally read it, even if I wouldn’t be able to finish it by midnight. I did finish it yesterday, so I’ll still give my mini-review here. This story follows Laia, who is of the people known as Scholars, and Elias, who is a Martial (the ruling people). After her grandparents are killed and her brother is taken prisoner, Laia seeks out the Resistance to save her brother. They agree to do so, but only if Laia goes into Blackcliff Academy and spies on the Commandant. Elias is about to graduate from Blackcliff but all he wants to do is be free. He doesn’t agree with how they control things or treat the Scholars or anyone else. He is told by an Augur that if he doesn’t desert, if he stays, then he’ll participate in the Trials to determine the new Emperor and doing so will earn him his freedom. Things get complicated from there, with Laia and Elias being drawn to each other. I wanted to like this book much more than I did. Frankly I found the “draw” between Laia and Elias to be a bit too near to Insta Love, and I thought the connection of Elias and his best friend Helene to be much better. The story did mostly hold my interest until the end, and with the way it ended I am super curious about what will happen in the next one, but the book just didn’t blow me away. I ended up giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Well, I guess that’s it for right now. I have some more reading to get back to, so I will be back tomorrow with another post (a review of an ARC I received that I really enjoyed).

Books!

National Readathon Day

Hey guys, Dani here

I know what you’re thinking right now: didn’t you just do a readathon last month? Answer: yes, yes I did. I learned about Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon on a Wednesday and participated that Saturday.

Now this is National Readathon Day, which is hosted by Penguin Random House and the American Library Association, and this event I’ve been planning on for a couple months now.

Not only will there be a whole lot of events both online and off, but National Readathon Day is holding a fundraiser on Firstgiving.com and it goes for a great cause. Funds raised during #Readathon2016 will benefit the Every Child Ready to Read initiative, a program that supports the early literacy development of children in libraries across the nation.

I love promoting a love of books in young children. Storytime is one of the coolest parts of childhood. I’m at the point in my life where friends are settling down and having children themselves and when I’m invited to the baby shower, I bring a package of diapers because those are useful and will most definitely be used, and I get a few books, whether it’s Goodnight MoonThe Very Hungry CaterpillarCurious George, or some Dr. Seuss. So many other people are going to bring clothes and I’m not going to lie, I hate how so many people want to start a tiny person’s life with forcing them into a specific gender role. Oh, you’re having a girl…here’s lots of pink…no, it’s a boy, well here’s all the blue clothes I could find. Books are a bit more gender neutral, and helpful for developing a baby’s mind. So yeah, I buy my friends’ babies books.

Anyway, National Readathon Day is Saturday, May 21, this year, and I have quite a stack of books I’m hoping to get through. Seriously, the month of May has been an incredibly good month for reading, at least for me. I’ve reread all of the Percy Jackson series, and finally finished the Heroes of Olympus series. Oh, and thanks to the lovely ladies of PeruseProject and abookutopia on YouTube, I have found a large number of new books and authors I hadn’t known of or paid attention to before. Now my TBR pile is getting wildly out of hand. Whatever. Happiness is a full bookcase, and I have 6 of those in my bedroom alone.

For Dewey’s Readathon I did fairly well, starting and finishing 5 books. This time around I have a stack of 7 books, though I doubt I’ll get to them all. A few of them I’ve really been wanting to read, a couple are light read palate cleansers, and a couple are for if the mood strikes and I want to read them. Regardless, if I don’t read them on Saturday, I’ll finish them the following week because all of these books are on my May TBR list anyway.

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Literacy is one of the biggest issues I care about. I owe a great deal of who I am and the profession I’ve chosen to my love of books and reading. I am happiest when surrounded by books or when around other book lovers. It’s my favorite thing. Seriously, I’m not even kidding, but if you make me sad or mad and need a quick way to make it up to me, nothing says I’m sorry like getting me either a book you know I want, or just getting me a B&N gift card so I can buy books myself.

Whenever I have felt like my life is spiraling out of control, books are there to help me make sense of things. When I feel like I’m losing myself, I turn to books and they help me rediscover myself all over again. Oh, and of course, there are the times when I feel like a loser because I’m 27 years old and single with no prospects, but hey, I have plenty of book boyfriends so who cares?

Books are my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, let me know if you’re planning on participating in National Readathon Day. You can follow along with all the action using #Readathon2016 on social media, and please, if you can, consider donating to this event. Even if you can only chip in a dollar or five dollars, seriously, it will make a big difference in the early literacy of children in America.

Thanks everyone. I’ll probably have a Readathon Wrap-up post up either Sunday or Monday so stay tuned.