Readathon, Independent Bookstore Day, and Sea Worms

Independent Bookstore Day Haul -
My Independent Bookstore Day #BookHaul

Another readathon has come and gone. A huge thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, and readers who make this event so much fun.

I didn’t read as many hours as I assumed I’d get in. I use the word “assume” intentionally as I didn’t have a firm plan/strategy in mind this time around for the readathon. Still, I managed to get 200 pages into Frank Schätzing’s 898 page monster of a book, The Swarm.

In my readathon prep post I said I’d give the book 100 pages and either let it go or keep reading. I’m obviously sticking with it so far. That said, 200 pages is only about 20% for a novel of this length so the winds could change, the tides could turn, or a giant worm could eat me before I finish, etc.

Yeah, worms. In the sea. This post just took a hard turn away from readathon recapping. I recently found out — in a rather up close and personal way — that there are worms in the sea. I came across one at the beach near my house. Here’s a photo:


Clam worm


It was dead, which may not be obvious from the photo and a good 5″ long. It has legs that you can’t see that well in this photo. And a mouth. I consulted a natural history guide on the Long Island Sound and it looks like this might be a clam worm. These worms usually burrow into the sand and can be 5″ or 6″ inches long. In the spring, however, they like to swim around in the water. Perhaps this fella got swept ashore by a wave or dropped by a seagull who plucked him from the water.

I was both grossed out and interested in this specimen. I read a little about them and then moved on, not really wanting to think about large worms living in the water where I’ll be swimming. I don’t mind worms, I just have this horrible imagination. Remember that old childhood ditty, “The worms go in the worms go out?” But I digress.

So imagine my surprise that just days after my first clam worm encounter, the techno-thriller I was already a bit leery about reading features strange worms on the ocean floor that may or may not be a new species. They’re big worms, with big teeth. And there are millions of them squirming around down there.

Oh, the horror.

But it’s kept me reading. Apparently, sea worms do live on the ocean floor. They eat the bacteria that grazes on methane ice. That’s all I’ll say for now other than that although this novel and/or the translation isn’t all that well written, the story is good.

Back to the Readathon

I started off reading at home and then drove Laura, my wife, to the Book Club Bookstore & More for their Independent Bookstore Day celebration. Cynde, the owner, had a half-dozen or so local authors in attendance throughout the day and invited Laura to talk with shoppers about her workbook, Mastering the Art of Self-Expression.

After dropping off Laura I headed to the South Windsor Library to read a bit more. I did read some, but I also browsed their new book section and couldn’t resist bringing two books home:

Library Haul

The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 by Martin Salisburg (Thames and Hudson) and Bookshops: A Reader’s History by Jorge Carrión, translated by Peter Bush (Biblioasis). I’m sure I’ll write about these two in the near future.

Eventually, I went back to the bookstore and socialized a bit. These are the wonderful authors who were there when I arrived:


Independent Bookstore Day at Book Club CT 2018 -
Authors at the Book Club Bookstore & More


Clockwise they are:

📕 Benjamin Thomas author of Jack Be Quick (which I read but apparently didn’t review here. Yikes! But my buddy John Valeri did this interview with Ben last year.
📗 Kristen Tsetsi author of The Age of the Child.
📘 Laura Thoma (master of my heart and) author of Mastering the Art of Self-Expression: A Creative Journaling Workbook

📙 Mark Allen Baker author of Connecticut in World War II.

On the way home, we stopped for take-out at P.F.Chang’s and then watched a couple episodes of American Pickers before I read a bit more. I had planned on staying up super late and reading, but by midnight I was wiped out. I read a bit this morning, but by 8 am ET, Dewey’s 24-Hour Spring Readathon was over. 

Save the date for the next event. Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon will be on October 20, 2018.

Did you participate in the Readathon? Yes or no, let me know if you read something this weekend that you’d recommend!


  1. Sounds like a great day, even if you didn’t read as much as you want! I’ve never done one and not sure I would be good at it because I would be like WHY do I HAVE to read today, I can read anytime.

    • As we sat there watching American Pickers Laura commented on how much I’ve changed — a few years ago I was hellbent on being left alone to do nothing but read during readathon. My schedule used to be much less of my own making, so I felt the need to protect every minute of reading that I could get. Oh, I also forgot I mowed the lawn on Sunday! Haha. One of the things that makes readathon so much fun is the connection with so many other readers.

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