- Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King ★★★★☆ (3.75/5)
- Finders Keepers, by Stephen King ★★★★☆ (4/5)
- End of Watch, by Stephen King ★★★☆☆ (3.25/5)
- Dolores Claiborne, by Stephen King ★★★★★ (5/5)
- The Outsider, by Stephen King ★★★★☆ (4/5)
- Gerald’s Game, by Stephen King ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)
- Insomnia, by Stephen King ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)
With Spookathon fast approaching, I am inspired to do a quick test run. I have yet to read Stephen King’s Bill Hodges mystery series and was thinking, why don’t I do a readathon for his birthday? When is that, oh the 21st, I really should have known that. That means this week I’m going to read the entire trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch). That wasn’t my intent when I had this idea, but hey, what the hell? I have had a pretty good turn around rate with recent books, so I figure I wouldn’t be losing too much reading time if I get it out in a weeks time. I also kinda want to give horror a break for hot minute before the spookathon.
I am giving myself until the end of Monday next week to finish, just in time for horror (and maybe the Outsider, the horror mystery follow up to this series). With ~14hr books, my average speed will take about 30hrs. That should be enough if I listen every morning and evening, still leaving time to read a bit of Gather Together in My Name.
Concluding thoughts (9/30/19)
This started as 3 book readathon over the course of one week. My goal: (belatedly) celebrate King’s birthday by giving his crime novels a shot and see if I can read 3 books in one week. It quickly became not 3 books but 5 then 7. I realized I could do a book a day, on average. That was all together exciting and exhausting. I love the idea that I could get through more books in one week than I did the first 6 months of the year.
This readathon is yet another good thing to come of this book blogging I’ve been doing. I enjoy thinking about what I read, and I always want to read more. If I can read 7 in a 7 days, then there is no reason not to read 5 a month. That would make 60 in a year. I never dreamed I might be able to do that. Hopefully, this sticks. Grad school is a fickle thing, and it my fade into the back. I hope not. I have been watching less TV, playing next to no video games, and these audiobooks force me to find something productive to do (biking, cleaning, etc.).
That is why I hope to make this a monthly thing. At least 1 readathon a month will ensure I more than meet my initial quota, and it will make up for possible dips in my free time. One week out of the month isn’t that much to give up. October will be #spookathon 2019. Then I will go from there. I absolutely love #kingathon. It is the perfect excuse and way to dig through that massive King list of books without only ever reading him (something I have been guilty of).
In the end, I am glad I did this, and I am glad I chose the books I did (for the most part). Most of the books were enjoyable, and the biggest disappoint (Gerald’s Game) was okay. Although, for that one mediocre read I found one of my yearly favorites with Dolores Claiborne. Of all these, the last one, Insomnia, was the only one I found myself reading for the sake of it, even if I realized I needed a break. That undoubtedly took away from that experience, but that was the risk I took with such a long book. This is a learning process, and I can work on my approach.
On that note, it is far easier to do these when listening to 1.8x speed. I thought 1.3 was the best I could do, but I was shocked at how quickly I acclimated to faster speeds. It as good as cuts the time in half. Insomnia, I bumped up to 2.0x for a lot of the story for the sake of time, but I think I am going to stick with 1.8 for most of my future reads. I bet if I had listened more quickly to To Say Nothing of the Dog, I may have retained more interest.
All in all, this was a success. I got to read Stephen King. That included a few books I probably wouldn’t have read but am glad I did. It brought me to Dolores Claiborne and Insomnia. Insomnia was the one odd ball here; I read it because I owned it on hardback. The biggest problem, I think, was it kept me so busy I never read any of Gather Together in My Name, which I was reading a bit everyday. Time to return there now! In any case, I loved this readathon, and I look forward to doing #kingathon 2020 next year September 19th to to the 25th.