24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Reading in Translation (Mini-Challenge)

From 8am EST (5pm my time) this morning until 8am (5pm my time) tomorrow morning, I’m joining in on the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon! It’s sort of a reading challenge, only everyone participates at the same time. For 24 hours, we read books, post in our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day.

Welcome to everyone heading over here for a break from the read-a-thon! I hope that you’re enjoying yourself so far, and I’m really happy to have the opportunity to host a mini-challenge on my blog to give you a bit of a break from whatever you’re currently reading.

Something that I’ve definitely gotten more into in the past year is reading books that have been translated into English from their original language. I started out by reading more widely-known, “popular” titles: for example, I read Alaa Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building, Rajaa Alsanea’s Girls of Riyadh, and Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, as well as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Since then, I have been seeking out more books to read in translation, though I haven’t posted the reviews just yet.





Back in March of this year, I posted about a session I attended called Literature Unleashed! The Power of Translation. This is definitely an area where my interest is growing, and I’d like to spread the love and enjoyment of translated works on to others.

In that vein, this mini-challenge is fairly simple:

  • On your blog (could be in your read-a-thon update post, for example):
    1. If you could read any book that’s been translated into English in its ORIGINAL language, what would it be?
    2. Include the original book’s cover if possible; if you want, also post the English cover for comparison.
    3. Optional imaginary bonus points: post a sentence from the book in its original language.
  • In the comments for this post, do the following:
    1. Do you read books in translation? Simply answer “yes” or “no”.
    2. Leave a link to the post on your blog where you participated in the mini-challenge.


  • The winner of this mini-challenge will be receiving a translated book of their choice with a value of up to $20 CDN. (Entries are open to people from any country that The Book Depository ships to.)
  • You can enter the draw using the Rafflecopter widget below; if you can’t see it, simply state this in your comment and I’ll add you manually.
  • This mini-challenge will be open for 4 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by and participating in the Reading in Translation mini-challenge!

68 thoughts on “24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Reading in Translation (Mini-Challenge)”

  1. This is one of the most interesting mini-challenges I’ve seen in readathon! Ever.

    I spent a good bit of time trying to figure out which might be my favorite but then it hit me, like a duh moment. One of my favorite books with my favorite first lines!


    Thanks for the interesting challenge!

  2. I do; I have the Larsson books, although I have only read the first. I recently read The Count of Monte Cristo, and, because my daughter is into Japanese culture (she’s an East Asian studies major), I’ve read a few translated from Japanese as well. Sometimes I wish the translation were better for some, but a good translation that includes all the nuances of the original language makes for a great read.

    Link to my update post:


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  4. Most of the books I read in translation are considered classics such as Crime and Punishment and Hunchback of Notre Dame. I would love to read more I just don’t know that they are translated when I pick them up.

  5. I am always reading translated books. I love Japanese literature and even have a shelf dedicated to all the English translations of Japanese books I read. I also try and get the original if I can. And vice versa – I have Japanese versions of English published novels like Goosebumps, Harry Potter, The Little Prince etc..

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  7. I’ve become a big fan of translated books too. I’m currently tracking down a copy of all six on the Independent Foreign Fiction shortlist. I’m excited to read all six. The first two just came for me at the library yesterday!

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  9. I guess I have it the other way around. I am often forced to read the Dutch translations from English books because that is all the library has. So it is quite common for me to read in translation.

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