Saturday, January 26, 2013

Preparing for Monday: What to Bring to a Readathon

The idea that spontaneously burst into existence on Tuesday has proven only slightly more complex than originally imagined. The decision to immerse myself in one of my favorite novels for an entire day is certainly no hardship - in fact, at this moment in my life, it's more luxurious than a spa day - but I find that certain preparations should, nevertheless, be made.

First and foremost, I enlisted my husband and mother as the baby support squad. As much as I idolize Eliza, there is no way of accomplishing my goal of reading all of Pride & Prejudice while blogging about if I am being distracted by her many endearing (and demanding) habits. How fortunate to have a family indulgent of one's madness!

Next came the decision of which edition to read. It goes without say that I will be reading from a bound book, not some electronic device: utterly intolerable for 24 hours straight. While my first thought was for the new revised edition of The Annotated Pride & Prejudice by David M. Shapard, sitting on my desk just ACHING to be read, it would take far too long to do so. Instead I'm opting for the beautiful Dover Classics reproduction of the "peacock" edition from 1895, which I won a few years ago (I believe it was Austenprose). This hardback volume features illustrations by Victorian artist Hugh Thomson, and is an absolute joy to hold, let alone read. I can't wait to dig into it.

My third concern has not truly been addressed, and that is the need for "a room of one's own" in which to isolate myself. The best idea I can come up with is the library, which sadly isn't open at midnight. My only option seems to be bouncing from room to room in avoidance of the family, and while it will suffice, I am not pleased with the arrangement. It's kind of like having that spa day but having to get up and switch rooms mid-treatment - not as perfect as it could be. C'est la vie.

Of course I will require copious amounts of coffee. Easily done. I also intend to set by a bottle of wine for the final hour - something to help me chill out a bit before crashing when this all is over. For sustenance (funny to think of this after the wine) I'm thinking bagels and cream cheese to munch on throughout the day. Of course I plan to get up and stretch at least once an hour, stay hydrated, pace myself, and generally strive to avoid the harsh wear and tear sitting still all day can take on the body.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that my cat is on standby for copious cuddling throughout. Jasper is absolutely necessary to the success of this endeavor.

I think I feel ready to conquer this. I hope you all will check in on me, be it to provide encouragement or mock my incoherence as the day progresses. No one has yet jumped at the chance to undertake this challenge with me, but if you have suggestions for other must-have readathon provisions, I'm all ears. 

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