The monster book is FINALLY complete! This morning I closed my exceptionally worn out copy of The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon and sipped my second cup of coffee triumphantly.
Triumphantly because this read has taken me the better part of two months and was a bit tedious to get through.
Not so triumphantly because I lost a reading competition to my Belgian bestie. But, if I was going to lose to anybody it would be her.
I know I have teased that my Belgian bestie and I were reading a monster of a book together, and that I also teased that we started a best friend book club. But I don’t know if I actually went into detail of the experience. I think I intended to explain this in another post, but never got around to it.
Anyway, me living in Pennsylvania, USA and Emma living in Brugge (or Bruges), Belgium poses some challenges whenever you want to simply “hang out,” with your friend. Neither one of us were born with trust funds or teleportation abilities (although it would be cool if we had), so we have to get a little creative with how we interact and do “normal,” best friend things.
One of the ideas that we came up with was reading together. Now, you might be wondering how we could do that living on opposite ends of the Earth. Well since The Fiery Cross is divided into part’s, ranging from 100-300 pages, we decided that we would read an entire ‘part,’ of the novel within a predetermined amount of time. Usually each part took us about 1-2 weeks.
This was very helpful with ensuring that one of us didn’t stray too far ahead of the other since we both read at different speeds (Emma is the hare & I’m the tortoise). And with us reading at relatively the same pace, we were able to talk about our favorite & least favorite things regarding the novel.
In addition to predetermining our pace from week to week, we also decided towards the end that we were going to do a reading sprint, and get the general public (at least, the general public who knows we exist hah) involved.
We decided that for the last two sections (roughly 200+ pages) we would keep going until April 15, or if one of us finished sooner, until that date. At first this started out as a fun competition between friends, but then it occurred to me that we could turn it into something more. That’s when the idea for a book giveaway came up.
We asked our followers to vote on who they thought would finish The Fiery Cross first (spoiler alert: it was Emma), and then if they ended up guessing for the winner, someone would be randomly selected to win a free copy of The Kite Runner.
Surprisingly, the votes were split, and so it really just came down to us and who could finish the book first. We had 3 votes each, which might not seem like a lot, but given the fact that we both don’t have many followers and The Kite Runner is a 15-year-old book, I thought this was kind of cool.
By random selection my lovely friend Jackie won! Yes, you did read that right. She is my friend, but took my advice and voted against me haha. Anyway, Jackie will be receiving a copy of brandy new version of The Kite Runner, a beautifully told story about friendship & the special bond that friends share.
I’m sure a lot of you have read this book, but if you haven’t, you really should. Emma bought it for me for my birthday last year, and I read it during a four-day stint in Texas. Naturally (or Natuurlijk—my latest Dutch word learned hah), we thought it was fitting to select this book as the first of (possibly many) book giveaways from our book shelves to yours.
Of course, we need to know, what makes book giveaways so special for you. What makes you want to participate in a bookish giveaway? Do you participate in all of the ones you can find? Are there better ways to advertise book giveaways?
We’d love to increase our participation level in the next one we put out there, so any advice would be much appreciated!
Until next time, happy reading all!
Coming up next: My colorful review of The Fiery Cross.