Giveaway, Read-a-thon, Reading Event

#Readathon Challenge: Halloween Story Swap


Welcome to my mini-challenge for this year’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon!

First things first, you must be a registered participant of the 24-Hour Readathon happening today in order to be eligible to win the prize. Now that that’s done: what is the challenge?


I would like you to think of a favorite character or story-world from a favorite book. Then, re-imagine that character or world as a classic Halloween figure or scenario (witch, zombie, vampire, werewolf/graveyard, haunted house, cornfield, etc.)

Please describe for us why the character would make a good type of “x Halloween figure” or why the story would be fun if retold as “x scenario.”

My Example: I’m choosing NICK CARRAWAY, the narrator from The Great Gatsby. In my Halloween version, I imagine Nick to be a vampire, feeding off of the energy that Gatsby releases, just as he latches onto Gatsby in the original book and follows him around like an infatuated puppy. Also, in my scenario, the infamous “green light” that Gatsby himself believes in is actually the source of all his charm and power. When Carraway discovers this, he realizes he can eliminate Gatsby from the picture altogether and claim the power of the green light for himself. In the end, Carraway is the only character left standing, unscathed, while those around him are dead or shattered.

Bonus Points: If you can turn a favorite character into a Halloween type AND recreate the story-world itself into some kind of Halloween theme or experience, even better! (Think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter).

How to Win: The best answer will win the prize! The determination of “best” will, of course, be entirely subjective, as I’m the one doing the choosing, but I will be looking for the most detailed, unique, and creative responses. All comments received from registered readathon participants that are submitted prior to the end of the 24-hour readathon will be considered.

Prize: One book of the winner’s choice, priced at $20USD or less, to be chosen from The Book Depository.

Please leave your response in a comment on this blog post and/or leave a link to your answer if you share it on your own blog. Please use the tags #HalloweenStorySwap and #readathon to share your posts on social media and to make it easy for us to find them all!

Good luck, readathoners! And Happy Early Halloween!



10 Years of #Readathon!

Hour 15: Quick Update (7:00pm Pacific Time)

Pages Read: 307
Books Completed: 2 (The Story of My Life by Helen Keller & Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine)
Books Reading: 1 (Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann)

Hour 12 – Midway!

As of this halfway point, I’m failing tragically! I shouldn’t be surprised, because I always fail at these readathons. HA! But, today was the Las Vegas Festival of Books as well as Las Vegas PRIDE, and since I’m brand new to the city, I wanted to go to both. It’s also a GORGEOUS day – 74 degrees and sunny, with a breeze. We are usually pretty darn hot, so today was perfection. Unfortunately, that means, I’ve been away from my books for the last 5 hours. Oh boy.
At this point, I’m home and ready to finish reading Welcome to Dead House. After that, I plan to read Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann, which I should also be able to finish today. If there’s time, I’m going to then start reading Stephen King’s The Waste Lands. I’ll be checking in with some other readathon-ers, too.
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine
2. How many books have you read so far? 1.5
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Letters to a Young Writer (which just showed up in the mail today!)
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Uh. Well, I started 2 hours late because I couldn’t wake up. Then I read for 3 hours and was interrupted for 5 (see above). I’m not going to kick myself too much because it’s been a FUN day. It’s only 5pm, here, and there are 12 hours left to read. I should be good.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I’m a veteran, having done this 5 or 6 times since the first Dewey 10 years ago. So, nothing has surprised me. The sheer number of participants is amazing, though, and so exciting!

Hour 6 Update

This is hour 6 of 24 in the 10th annual readathon! I’ve only been at it for about 2.5 hours, though, because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed at 5am. Whoops. Anyway, things stand as such:
Pages Read: 77
Books Completed: 1 (The Story of My Life by Helen Keller)
Books Reading: 1 (Welcome to Dead House – Goosebumps #1 by R.L. Stine)

Challenge: 10 Years in 10 Books:

2017: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
2016: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
2015: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
2014: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2013: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2012: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
2011: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
2010: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2009: Under the Dome by Stephen King
2008: Paper Towns by John Green
2007: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Beginning Post

Today’s the day! Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is back! I’ll be spending most of the day reading, reading, and reading! Of course, I’ll need to take breaks for meals, I guess, and a walk or two, but from 5am Saturday to 4:59am Sunday, I’m going to read as much as I can!
What’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon! Well, for the last 10 years, it’s been a place for readers and book bloggers to gather together (remotely from our own locations around the world) and read like mad! It’s an introverts dream… a social event catered to what we love best, books, but that we can do from the quiet comfort of our own homes. Amazing.
I think back to the very first Dewey, which I participated in pre-Roof Beam Reader, with great nostalgia. I’ve only been able to participate a few times over this last decade because there always seems to be so much going on for me on the scheduled dates. I can’t believe that it’s still so alive and well. More than 1400 participants this year! Thanks to Heather of My Capricious Life and Andi of Estella’s Revenge for keeping this going!
I’ll be back all day to update this post with my progress and to participate in the memes and challenges that are hosted by a variety of folks who volunteered to steer the fun. I’ll place newest information at the top of the post so it’s easiest to find. Here’s the FIRST meme:

HOUR 0 – Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?: Las Vegas, Nevada!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Probably The Waste Lands (Dark Tower III) by Stephen King. (Stack is below!)
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? This is the first time I forgot to plan for snacks! I’ll probably stick to my usual stuff, cheese, almonds, snack bars, etc. Maybe some chocolate. 🙂
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’ve been blogging for over a decade, most of which has been here at Roof Beam Reader. I teach College English & Literature, love the classics, and earned my Ph.D. in American Literature & LGBT Studies earlier this year.
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 don’t think I participated in the last one, except as a cheerleader. But one thing I’ll try to do this time that I didn’t do last time is actually read more. Ha!
Okay. That’s it for now! Here we go, and here’s my stack! Up first: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.

Read-a-thon, Reading Event

Dewey’s #Readathon Updates!






Today, I’m participating in Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. Haven’t heard of it? Find all you need to know right here!

UPDATE 3: 10:30PM (HOUR 16)

Books Completed: 2.5

Pages Read:

UPDATE 2: 2:30PM (HOUR 8)

  • Books Completed: 1.5
  • Pages Read: 462
  • Current Read: The Long Walk  by Stephen King
  • Other: I’m still going! Have had to do some other things, like quick grocery shopping, laundry, and, uh, eating meals? I haven’t completed as many books as I would’ve liked, but that’s mainly because I picked the King book third, which is the longest (nearly 400 pages). Probably should’ve picked two shorter ones instead. Oh well!

UPDATE: 10AM (Heading into Hour 4)

  • Books Completed: 1 – We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Pages Read: 56
  • Current Read: Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Sustenance: Oatmeal with blueberries + Iced Coffee!

Post 1: Kick-Off Meme (8:13am)

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

Chicago, Illinois, USA!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?


ALL OF THEM. I’m not sure, actually. I’m nearly finished with We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which is very interesting. So, up next, I think I’ll move to Robert Cormier because he’s also kind of creepy but fun? And usually his stuff = super fast reads, and I want to kick off the day with a win! I’ve got my stack pictured, here, but I also have the complete LITTLE BLACK CLASSICS from Penguin on deck, just in case. In the pile, now, are: Stephen King’s The Long Walk, Robert Cormier’s After the First Death, Chuck Palahniuk’s Stranger Than Fiction, Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?


Once again, ALL OF THEM. Haha. Part of the fun of today is the snacks. I’ll be sneaking in an hour-long workout later today, though, to re-energize and to burn off some of the not-so-healthy snacking I might be doing.

I try to go health-ish (and delicious), but, you know, things happen. 😉

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’ve been blogging for 7 years. I’m also the Classic Literature Expert for I’m currently completing my PhD in English (writing my dissertation) so I’ve stepped away from blogging this year – but I’ll be back! And I couldn’t miss today.

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?

Yes, I participated last time and barely read anything, partly because I joined at the last minute and hadn’t thought about all the things I needed to do that day. Today, I’m ready to go!

2014 Challenges, 2014 Reading, Classics, Classics Club, Read-a-thon, Reading Event

Classics Club Readathon #ccreadathon

ccreadathon2Today, I’m participating in the Classic Club’s second annual Classics Readathon.  I plan to return to this post throughout the next 24-hours and make updates (as I feel like it), and also to update it at the end of the 24-hours, which would be 8am Sunday morning, for me.  I’ll give a note on my progress, take a look at how many total pages I read, where I stand in each my books, etc.  Very exciting!

Here’s our kick-off prompt and my responses:

  1. Name and Blog:  I’m Adam of Roof Beam Reader!
  2. Snacks and Beverages of Choice: Uh, see above. Mostly chocolate.
  3. Where are you reading from today? Chicago, Illinois, USA!
  4. What are your goals for the Readathon?:  I hope to make a good dent in the three chunkster books I’m reading this month. I doubt I’ll finish any of them, but I want to get at least 100 pages of each knocked out. If I do that, maybe I’ll try to plow through one short book, just to knock something off my list early in the year. :)
  5. What book(s) are you planning on reading?:  Ulysses by James Joyce; Walt Whitman’s America by David S. Reynolds; and The Complete Poems by Walt Whitman.  Each of these is 600-900 pages, so, yeah, I won’t finish them, but I think I can definitely make some good progress.
  6. Are you excited?: Uhm, yeah!  I’m going to post a readathon journal entry on my blog sometime today with my starting point for each book, and then some updates throughout the day, as well as a final page count/ending point for each book – that way I can accurately track just how much reading I did, how far I got with each book, etc.  I’m just going to update that one post throughout the day, though, so that my readers don’t get spammed all day long with multiple posts.  Good luck to you all!

Update 1: 8:30pm local time (Central US). 

Although I have taken quite a few breaks, today, to exercise, shower, eat, and run out for some errands (we are expecting 10+ inches of snow and temperatures nearly 20 degrees below zero in the next few days), I think I’m making some good strides.

I’ve read 150 pages of Ulysses, putting me 50 pages beyond my goal mark for that book, and leaving me with just 3 episodes left to complete the entire book!  Thrilled about that.  Also, I read 100 pages of Leaves of Grass, hitting my goal with that one, too.  So, I just need to try to read 100 pages of Walt Whitman’s America and I will have successfully achieved what I set out to do with this readathon.  Hope I don’t fall asleep or give up!  My eyes are pretty tired (and my brain is rather mushy after 150 pages of Ulysses, let’s be honest).

Update 2: Midnight

I only managed to get through one chapter of Walt Whitman’s America.  Distracted by too many other things! But I did a lot of reading today, especially with Ulysses, so I’m good with that.  Here’s my favorite excerpt from today’s reading:

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

–Walt Whitman (from “Song of the Open Road”)


Book 1: Walt Whitman’s America by David S. Reynolds

Starting Page: 81 of 704

Ending Page: 111

Total Pages Read: 30

Book 2: The Complete Poems by Walt Whitman

Starting Page: 125 of 912

Ending Page: 245 of 912

Total Pages Read: 120

Book 3: Ulysses by James Joyce

Starting Page: 350 of 657

Ending Page: 501 of 657

Total Pages Read: 151

So, even though I didn’t read 100 pages from each of my books, I still read 301 total pages – which, I think, is a success! Yay!

Classics Club, Read-a-thon

Classics Club Readathon #1


As many of you know, I’m one of the moderators of The Classics Club.  Today marks our very 1st Readathon!  Clubbers around the world will be spending 24-hours reading books from their lists of Classics (Here’s my list, if you’re curious!).  

The reading schedule is 7am Central time on Saturday, January 5th – 7am Central time on Sunday, January 6th.  I’m hoping to read two books during this 24-hour period, but if I don’t finish – that’s okay.  And if I read more than 2, well, that’s awesome!  

Instead of posting separate updates throughout the day, I’m going to come back to this post and update as I go along – that way folks’ email boxes (and Twitter feeds, etc.) won’t be constantly spammed.  But, I do plan to update every hour or two, just to let ya’ll know where I’m at – how many pages I’ve read, how much coffee I’ve had to drink, etc. 

You can see who else has signed-up to participate by Clicking Here.

You can follow along with the main discussion post by Clicking Here.

Twitter #Hashtag for Conversation: #CCReadathon

My Plans:

140963Book #1: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

Starting Time: 9:45am CT

Completion Time: 4:18pm CT

O Pioneers! Updates:

#1 – 9:45am ::  The readathon has begun!  I’ve got oatmeal, coffee, and book #1 (O Pioneers!).  Let’s do this! 

#2 – 11:08am :: I’m on page 64 of 230. Got a late start (wanted to begin at 8, but it was about 10 when I started reading).  

Notable Quote: “A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves” (37).

And since the title of this book was inspired by my favorite poem, “O Pioneers” by Walt Whitman, I thought I would share my favorite reading of that poem with you all.  Enjoy!

#3 – 2:03pm :: I’m on page 200 of 230. Loving the book – it just took quite a turn toward the Thomas Hardy (anyone familiar with his endings will understand what I mean).  Going to take a break for lunch and to watch some t.v. – rest my eyes a bit. Then, I’ll be back to finish Cather and start Book #2 (still thinking it will be Hesse, but not 100% sold). 

Notable Quote: “Isn’t it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years” (89). 

#4 – 4:18pm :: Finished! What a lovely book.  I’ll be writing my review tomorrow.  Meanwhile, onto book #2! 

Notable Quote: “Above Marie and Emil, two white butterflies from Frank’s alfalfa field were fluttering in and out among the interlacing shadows; diving and soaring, now close together, now far apart; and in the long grass by the fence the last wild roses of the year opened their pink hearts to die” (201).


Book #2:  Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Starting Time: 4:30pm CT

Completion Time:

Siddhartha Updates:

#1 – 6:22pm ::  Half-way done – page 60 of 128.  Interesting book, definitely. Not totally on board with the philosophy, yet, but I can see why some would be called to it. Seems clear that I’ll be able to finish both planned books, so I’m taking a break to visit other participants, leave some comments, and then make some dinner.   

#2 – 9:04pm :: Finished!  Very interesting book – thought-provoking, for sure.  Ultimately, I love the philosophy, though certain parts of the journey were troubling. Review to come in the next few days or so. 


So, that does it for me!  Approximately 12-hours.  I’m calling it a night early, as I don’t want to start a 3rd readathon book because I know I won’t finish it before bed/time expires, and that will just make me mad.  Still, I’m calling this readathon a success because I hoped to read two books & I did that – I even read the 2 books I had originally planned on, which is crazy!

I will probably read a bit more tonight (from The Alchemyst by Michael Scott, which does not count towards my Classics Club Challenge, of course).  And I might watch a movie or something.  But, I’ll also be keeping up with all your updates on Twitter and at The Classics Club & on your blogs.  So keep on pushing through!  10 HOURS LEFT!