Read-A-Thon, Reviews, and a Revelation

Awesome library journal given to me by a friend


For the past two weeks, the school where I work has been participating in the BookSpring Read-A-Thon. What’s a Read-A-Thon? It’s kind of like a marathon, except instead of running a lot, you read a lot, and instead of sweating a lot, you earn money to buy books for local children who don’t have access to reading materials, so it’s infinitely more fun. (No offense meant to runners—I truly admire you. It’s just that I’d rather spend my Sunday mornings in my pajamas with a cat and a book on my lap.)

This year, I participated in the Read-A-Thon along with the students. From January 25th to February 5th, I read 409 pages (not counting audio books) and raised over $200 for BookSpring. (A HUGE thank you to the friends, family members, and book lovers who helped me earn DOUBLE my goal!) As I post this, I realize that I should have shared it sooner so that my readers could have pledged if they wanted to. Oops! But donations are still open through the end of this week, so if you’d like to make a contribution to this worthy cause, it’s not too late. Here’s the link to my donation page. Just $3 buys one book for a child.


Even when I’m not in a Read-A-Thon, I’m always reading. In fact, I’ve already read five books this year and currently have three going at once, despite my goal to slow down a bit. I read all the time, and I enjoy much of what I read, but I’ve really been dropping the ball on book reviews lately. For some reason, they intimidate me. Usually, if I’m reviewing a book, it’s because I absolutely loved it, and there’s a part of me that worries my review won’t live up to the book’s brilliance. So I put it off, and keep reading, and find *more* books I love, and soon I’m overwhelmed with everything I wanted to write but never did. (Sigh. The sad story of a girl who loves to read.)

This weekend I came up with a solution: mini-reviews. Full reviews are intimidating and many are long overdue, so I wrote smaller versions—a quick paragraph or two about why I loved the book. I just added over a dozen of these mini-reviews to Goodreads. You should check them out. All of the titles, except one (The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma—so good!), were books I read in 2015 or before. That’s important because it means that, despite not being fresh in my memory, I STILL remember why I loved them. Staying power is a good trait in a book.

I’ll try to be better about posting reviews in the future, but… don’t hold your breath. This mini-review method may become my new thing.


One of the books I read during the Read-A-Thon was Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones. It was good. While few things can live up to my admiration for the Lockwood & Co. series, this was another interesting take on the world of ghosts in London.

For me, the biggest surprise of the book (not a spoiler, I promise) came on page 330. One character (Colonel Penhaligan) is making fun of another character (Lapsewood) by calling him a donkey. It says: “Ee-ore,” brayed Colonel Penhaligan, with a low chuckle.”


Until reading that sentence, I had no idea that the character Eeyore, the droopy donkey from Winnie the Pooh, was named based on the sound donkeys make. I’d never put it together.

Mind. Blown.

Have a good day. I’m off to read.

Published by Carie Juettner

Carie Juettner is a former middle school teacher and the author of The Ghostly Tales of New England, The Ghostly Tales of Austin, The Ghostly Tales of Burlington, and The Ghostly Tales of Dallas in the Spooky America series by Arcadia Publishing. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as The Twin Bill, Nature Futures, and Daily Science Fiction. Carie lives in Richardson, Texas, with her husband and pets. She was born on Halloween, and her favorite color is purple.

6 thoughts on “Read-A-Thon, Reviews, and a Revelation

  1. Lol to “ee-ore”! Isn’t it funny how we can miss stuff like that for so long? I’ve had tones of those. “Wasn’t she trying to read *less* this year…?” is what I was thinking through the whole first two parts, and then you said it, which makes me smile, because I love readers. 🙂 The read-a-thon is certainly a noble cause to risk your resolution for!

    1. Annie, I can’t stop! 🙂 I think the only way I’ll be able to stay under my reading cap is if I lay off audio books later in the year. That seems more doable at this point than sacrificing actually hold-in-my-hands volumes.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: