The February 2021 #24in48GroupRead

You asked for it, you waited for it, and it’s finally here: Introducing the 24in48 group read!

As with everything we do with this ‘thon and community, we were hyper-intentional about our picks for this first group read (and will be for all of them, going forward). It’s our hope that these two books will either help take your reading life in a new direction or reinforce your existing commitment to reading BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ books, and many intersections therein.

Our goal is to be as expansive, intersectional, and representational as possible as our group reads shelf grows. We’re already on the lookout for our summer reads. If you have recommendations for disability lit, neurodiverse books/topics, Native/Indigenous lit, and/or any other marginalized or social justice-related topics/voices, send them our way at 24in48readathonofficial [at] gmail [dot] com.

Two final notes before we get to the reason you’re all here!

  • We’re gonna try tagging group reads throughout the ‘thon weekend with #24in48GroupRead so folks who are joining the group read have an easier time finding each other.
  • The group reads are not “mandatory”, as with everything else 24in48 is about/includes. We encourage, ask, and hope that you’ll join us, but it’s not a requirement for participating in the weekend.

[Fiction] Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

red book cover showing a trans boy in a gray tank with small tattoos and a rainbow flower crown around his head under the title Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
The cover of Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

An indie bestseller from Stonewall and Lamda Award winner Kacen Callender (they/them; he/him), here’s what you can look forward to:

​Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Here’s an interview with Kacen at YAPride.org

[Nonfiction] White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue … and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson

Cover of White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson

A debut from assistant professor of English and cultural critic/New Yorker Staff writer Lauren Michele Jackson (she/her), here’s what to expect:

Exposes the new generation of whiteness thriving at the expense and borrowed ingenuity of black people—and explores how this intensifies racial inequality.

American culture loves blackness. From music and fashion to activism and language, black culture constantly achieves worldwide influence. Yet, when it comes to who is allowed to thrive from black hipness, the pioneers are usually left behind as black aesthetics are converted into mainstream success—and white profit.

Weaving together narrative, scholarship, and critique, Lauren Michele Jackson reveals why cultural appropriation—something that’s become embedded in our daily lives—deserves serious attention. It is a blueprint for taking wealth and power, and ultimately exacerbates the economic, political, and social inequity that persists in America. She unravels the racial contradictions lurking behind American culture as we know it—from shapeshifting celebrities and memes gone viral to brazen poets, loveable potheads, and faulty political leaders.

An audacious debut, White Negroes brilliantly summons a re-interrogation of Norman Mailer’s infamous 1957 essay of a similar name. It also introduces a bold new voice in Jackson. Piercing, curious, and bursting with pop cultural touchstones, White Negroes is a dispatch in awe of black creativity everywhere and an urgent call for our thoughtful consumption.

Here’s an interview with Lauren on NPR

If you have the means, support an indie bookstore by ordering these titles directly from them or via Bookshop.org! And don’t forget to get on that holds list at your local library, if that’s more your speed.

We can’t wait to read along with you on Feb 6&7th (have you signed up yet?).

Until then, wash your hands, wear a mask, and read good books.

-Kerry, Kristen, and Rachel

Announcing the February 2021 #24in48 Readathon

Dear Readathoners,

What a long, strange year it has been. We never anticipated when we hosted the Social Distancing readathon back in March that we’d basically be in the exact same position (some better, some worse) nearly a year later. But we find ourselves—as hosts, as readers, as friends—missing this community and knowing with ever more certainty that finding solace in each other is how we survive.

We also recognize that our reasons for canceling last summer’s readathon in July are as important and relevant as ever (if not more so, since we must not only practice anti-racism when everyone is watching, but all the time, constantly and consistently).

Our reasons for canceling last January’s readathon have also not changed; our lives have not gotten any less complicated or busy and our capacity to put in the kind of work that previous iterations of this event required have not increased.

So. Where does that leave us? As you might have guessed from the title of this post, we’ll back with 24in48 on

February 6-7, 2021

It’s going to look differently from traditional readathons of the past. We had to reset and acknowledge that we couldn’t commit to providing the kind of intense and involved event we used to host, but that we do want to continue doing 24in48 events. This community is too generous, too fantastic, too supportive to ditch these readathons forever. How can we possibly stay away?

gif of Kamala Harris dancing in the rain on a stage, holding an umbrella

We loved hosting the Social Distancing readathon in March, and with the changing operations of publishing (and frankly, mail service), it makes sense for us to pivot into an event focused less on prizes and more on what it was always meant to be about: Reading. For a whole weekend. Together (virtually).

As per normal, we’ll begin ‘thoning at 12:01 AM ET on Saturday, February 6th and run through 11:59PM ET on Sunday, February 7th. You are welcome to shoot for 24 hours, but we won’t be asking for proof in a check-in for prizes at the end. Our goal (for you and for ourselves) is to spend some dedicated time hunkered down in a book.

We’ll be checking in here and on social media (mostly Instagram and Twitter, with automatic Facebook pushes) every 12 hours. We won’t be checking in on Facebook or Litsy, but we encourage you to use your favorite platform to keep up with your community. We encourage everyone to use the #24in48 hashtag to connect with each other.

As we discussed in our post canceling the July 2020 readathon, one of the ways we as white women can encourage diversity in publishing is to encourage you as participants to read intentionally and choose BIPOC authors, and LGBTQ+, disabled, and neurodiverse authors (and any/all intersections of those you can find). We’ll still be asking you to log the books you read during the readathon on a Google form so we can spin through both the fun parts of the data (how many books we all read over the weekend) and identify where we need to improve (how diverse we read, but we won’t be logging those books in Goodreads.

Lastly, one of the pieces of feedback we’ve gotten consistently at the end of each readathon weekend is the desire for a group read during the #24in48 events. With that in mind, we’ll be introducing two group reads, one fiction and one nonfiction, that we can all read together over the weekend. Our picks intentionally champion voices, experiences, and perspectives other than our own. Stay tuned here for the announcement of our group read titles this Wednesday, January 6th.

In the meantime, you can sign up to participate here and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and we’ll use the hashtag #24in48 all weekend. See you there!

gif of flickering fire in the background, person holding book in the foreground

Rachel, Kristen, and Kerry

A #24in48 update

Hello, lovely readers.

It’s July, and as most of you know we usually host a July #24in48. You may have noticed we haven’t announced a July 2020 event yet; that’s not an accident or oversight. This iteration of the ‘thon won’t be happening, and we hope you’ll read through to the end to understand why.

2020 has been unlike any year in recent memory (to put it mildly). A global pandemic has killed over 500,000 people worldwide (a number that will be out of date as soon as we publish this post); in the United States, as in many other countries, a disproportionate number of those deaths are Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color (BIPOC). A centuries-old and yet still unaddressed public health crisis is facing the United States—and, in different ways and to varying degrees, many other countries across the globe—in the form of institutional and systemic racism, showing up in the murders of Black people at the hands of police, the unsolved murders of Black trans women, disproportionately high rates of incarceration for BIPOC, high maternal death rates for Black women and other mothers of color… and the list goes on and on.

We hope that as co-hosts, we have made it clear over the years that we are dedicated to dismantling these systems as best we can in our own small ways. In the #24in48 community, that has looked like only highlighting prize titles by diverse writers; highlighting women and people of color in requests to publishers for prizes; intentionally reading diversely in our own #24in48 (and all personal) reading plans; and encouraging participants to consider the diversity of their own #24in48 reading stacks.

We started asking you all to log what books you read for #24in48 weekends in July 2018. Since then, we’ve received 7,967 entries for a total of 7,242 unique titles. Of those, 1,372 were tagged as written by an author of color; 3,664 were tagged as “I don’t know” for author race. 

Overall, the publishing industry is 76% white. At the executive level? 78% white. At the editorial level? 85% white. Literary agents? 80% white. Things get even worse, and more shameful, when you look at gender breakdowns, sexual orientation, and disability representation/employment. 

The majority of books that do get through the publishing process are written by white authors: In 2018, more children’s books featuring an animal character were published than children’s books featuring a Black, Latinx, Indigenous or Asian child. For every 100 romance books published by leading romance publishers in 2018, roughly 7% of them were written by BIPOC authors. And for BIPOC authors who are published, they’re often paid far less, and receive less support in terms of marketing and sales

If you remain committed to “just reading good books,” “not paying attention to author race,” or any other version of colorblind reading, you will read white books, by white authors, published by white editors and white agents and promoted by white marketing teams.


It is on us, as readers, to show the publishing industry that there is demand for stories by and about BIPOC. It is on us, as readers, to do so by being intentional about the books we choose to read, the books we choose to review and highlight on our social media profiles, the books we choose to share with our circles, and the people we follow in turn. 

The internet does not need another event hosted by an all-white team, which is what we are: three white women who love books and desperately believe that the world needs to do better, be better, and put meaningful actions behind the words Black Lives Matter. Rather than hosting a July #24in48, we’re encouraging you all to participate in events hosted by BIPOC Bookstagrammers, BookTubers, and reviewers instead. Seek out books by BIPOC. Read them, love them, share them. 


We’ve linked below to a few readathons and readalongs we’re participating in ourselves, and encourage you to check them out. (If you know of others, drop us a line at 24in48readthonofficial@gmail.com and we’ll add to this list!) This is by no means exhaustive (or even sufficiently representative of the online events, reviewers, book clubs, and resources on the web that await you); it’s a starting point to show how much is out there for you to discover, participate in, and enjoy that isn’t helmed by white women.  


Book Clubs & Monthly Subscription Boxes:

  • Read a Book! with Kara: A monthly book club with a book announced at the top of each month, with a livestream at the end of each month to discuss. The July book is Their Eyes Were Watching God, and the first livestream is scheduled for August 1st, time TBD.
  • Call Number Box: A long-time donor to 24in48, this subscription box offers a monthly book by a diverse author along with other goodies.
  • BlackLIT Box: A monthly subscription box featuring diverse titles with fiction, nonfiction, or children’s options. 
  • Now in Books: Featuring diverse YA titles, this Black-owned subscription box ships to US and Canada readers.

Reading Events & Readalongs:

Black Readers & Reviewers on Social Media/YouTube:


We believe that reading, both as an escape and as a way of better knowing and understanding our world, is more important now than ever before, and we implore you to be intentional about what that reading looks like for you. This applies not only to the books you consume and champion, but how you source those books. Whether that’s supporting Black-owned independent bookstores, delving into the thousands of Black authors with work exclusively available digitally on your Kindle, or submitting title acquisition requests to your library: you have a voice, and power to act. Do so.  

Until the next ‘thon, whenever that may be,

Rachel, Kristen, and Kerry

Hour 48: Just the Beginning


We’ve hit the end of our Social Distancing #StayHome24in48 Readathon and Kerry, Kristen, and I are truly astonished by the outpouring of participation this weekend. Though we never looked at numbers during this weekend, I snuck a peek at the sign-up sheet and nearly 2,000 of you beautiful humans decided to spend this weekend staying home, social distancing, and reading with all your friends online.

It’s becoming clear that this pandemic and the ways in which it will alter our day-to-day and longterm lives has only just begun and will likely last months, if not years. The ways in which we’ll be best able to cope with this upheaval and impending tragedy (because it already is and will be tragic) is by remembering what we as readers have always known: hope is just a turn of a page away, fellow readers make the best support system, and a good book allows us to escape from reality, if only for a little while.

Thank you all for joining us this weekend, despite the lack of prizes or challenges or much real structure at all. Your hosts all got in some much-needed reading too (which we rarely get to do during these weekends) and thought a lot about what future iterations of 24in48 could look like. Because it also seems clear that we’re just at the beginning of this thing and readathons may be more necessary than ever to remind us all that we’re never alone. Even when we’re staying 6 ft. apart.

We will absolutely be back in some simpler form, likely somewhere on the continuum between what we did this weekend and our normal format. Subscribe to posts here, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram to be notified when we make an announcement. Much of scheduling and planning will depend on how this virus impacts not only us personally but the publishing industry, the mail system, etc. Stay tuned for more details.

The three of us are sending love and good health out to all of you and your families. We will get through this together.

Happy Reading!

-Rachel

Hour 36: Self-Isolation Ambiance

The world feels pretty quiet these days. I don’t mean the internet (we’re proof of that this weekend!); I mean the world. I mean when I open the windows, when we walk our dogs, when I take a break from my indoor quarantine to stand barely just a smidge outside my front door (when there are no other people outside and also not touching anything) and try and recharge my heart from the sunshine.

Any other time, I think I’d revel in it. Right now, it’s a little eerie. I’ve been seeking out something to fill the noise. Right now, that looks like me, sitting in my reading chair, facing our TV with a virtual fireplace running on the screen. Earlier, it sounded like this reading soundtrack on Spotify. Maybe for you, it’s the Gryffindor common room.

I’m new to the world of ASMR reading ambiance, but I know a lot of you aren’t! Do you have favorites? Tips and tricks? Good places for us to find new ones? Share em in the comments, or with our dedicated hashtag for the weekend, and let’s get even cozier.

Wash your hands. Drink water. We love you.

XX

Hour 24: the halftime show

Happy second midnight (well, for your east coast hosts), readers! 👋

Time is a weird thing these days with most of us isolated/quarantined, and tracking it this weekend is helping me feel like I’m getting back on track with knowing, you know, what “days” and “clocks” mean again. ⏰

Whether it’s your first or second or tenth time with us, we hope you’re loving a weekend devoted to books and turning the uncertainty around us into something as positive as we can. 📚

These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about what matters, what deserves energy and focus, what I want to devote my intention to. And my people, my community, and my books? They’re on the top of the list. I hope you’re finding that to be true for you, too. 💖

Now that we’re halfway through this thing, we want to remind you to make sure you’re hydrating and moving! Do some yoga in your living room or have a dance party in your kitchen. Whatever it looks like, leave your nest for a few minutes and get that blood pumping. 🧘💃

Don’t worry, we’ll be here when you get back.

Hour 12: Read Together…Separately

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We’re 12 hours in to this #StayHome24in48 and I hope everyone is finding their groove and managing to not keep checking their phone every two minutes.

As we hosts are settling in for the weekend, we’ve been reminded again and again that this community of readers is the heart and soul of these events. Not the prizes, the challenges, tracking your time…none of it compares to the fellow readathon-ers reading together.

Internet hugs only! Social distancing rules apply.

Are you doing any reading check-ins with other participants? Might we suggest a Zoom call or a Hangout call with friends who are also participating and reading together? Or how about reading out loud with your fellow readathon-ers, family members or kids?

Tell us how it’s going for you down in the comments. Are you reading with anyone else? Have you been able to escape into your books or are you having trouble focusing? You guys are doing so great and we love reading with all of you again!

Hour Zero: Social Distancing #24in48 Readathon

Helloooo Readers!

While this is not exactly the situation in which we’d hoped to be back with you, we are happy to be able to gather our little community together and maybe spend a few days curled up with a book (or eight) and not leaving the house. More and more of us are under lockdown or shelter-in-place rules, and while we stay in our houses, we welcome you to social distance, stay home, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and read.

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The guidelines for this #24in48 weekend are going to be a bit different than normal. We’re not doing prizes or challenges. Check-ins will happen every 12 hours here and every six hours on Twitter and Instagram (Facebook will receive automatic pushes, but we won’t be checking in there and Litsy will not be updated at all for this round. However, we encourage you to use your favorite platform to keep up with your community). And no logging titles on Goodreads.

The ‘thon will run as normal from 12:01am EDT Saturday, March 21st (oh hai, that’s now!) to 11:59pm EDT Sunday, March 22nd. You are welcome to shoot for 24 hours, but we won’t be asking for proof in a check-in for prizes at the end. Our only goal (yes, your hosts too) is to spend some time escaping from the world and getting lost in a book. We will be reading all weekend as well (hence the scaled down check-ins and backend work), and we want to encourage everyone to use the #StayHome24in48 hashtag to connect with each other.

Especially if you’re having trouble focusing on books. I know very few people who aren’t struggling with concentrating – on anything, let alone a book – so be patient with yourselves if the pages just aren’t turning. Even if you easily hit 24 hours (and even if you didn’t) in previous readathons, don’t be surprised if you struggle this time around.

Sleep, take walks (but practice good social distancing; stay 6 ft apart from people not in your household) and listen to audiobooks, stretch, eat good food, and stay cozy, friend.

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We’ll see you back here in 12 hours at noon EDT. We’re so happy to see you and to be back with this incredible community.

#24in48: The Social Distancing Edition

Readers, we miss you.

Your hosts have been busy busy busy with many non-bookish things of late: a baby, job shifts (of both the good and bad varieties), family demands, the rigors of day-to-day living in the current news cycles, international travel. It’s been a lot. And it’s why we decided to pause our beloved 24in48 readathon this winter, skipping the regularly planned January edition while we figure out what the future of this corner of the bookternet might look like (more to come on that; thanks for your patience!).

I mean. Can you even? One of us MADE THAT. 

But in the meantime … we miss you. And as more and more countries are implementing social distancing recommendations (if not actual quarantines), we decided it was time to find comfort in books and the community that loves them.

Which brings us to the Social Distancing Readathon.

Stay home.

Wash your hands.

Read books.

March 21 & 22. 

It’s that simple. No prizes. No hourly challenges. No requirements. Just a chance to reconnect with this amazing bookish community (online! no hand sanitizer required!), read some good books, and talk about them with other readers.

This spontaneous Social Distancing Readathon will take place next weekend, (officially) starting 12 a.m. EST on March 21st. You know the drill by now; adjust your timezone as desired, and read with us on Saturday (21st) and Sunday (22nd) from wherever you are in the world. 

So, who’s in? Sign up here. Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter, and we’ll use the hashtag #StayHome24in48 all weekend.  

virrtual hug

Plan on reading—with us—a whole lot.

We’ll see you on the internet, where digital hugs have no virus transmission risk. 

XX,

Kerry, Kristen, & Rachel 

An Update: January’s Readathon

Hello and happy fall, readathoners!

dog-reading
Your founder and co-host Rachel here with an update for January’s scheduled readathon.

I started #24in48 in 2011 as a small (literally I think there was a dozen of us) online reading weekend.  As you know if you’ve been participating in #24in48 for the last year or so, the biannual event has grown significantly every January and July and the growth has been exponential, particularly over the last three readathon weekends. This past July we topped 3,000 participants. Kristen, Kerry, and I are so thrilled that so many of you join us year after year and pull your friends and family and fellow readers into this amazing community. And as that community grows, the more demanding and logistically complicated the readathon gets, particularly if we want to continue to serve you as readers and participants the best we can.

Kristen and Kerry joined me to help manage and host, which helped us continue to grow and evolve. We’ve been experimenting with ways to make participating more fun and engaging AND with making it easier for us to continue to put on this event twice a year. Unfortunately, our lives have also gotten more complicated and our ability to run the readathon the way we want (and the way you deserve) is no longer possible.

What this means for now is that we’re going to be canceling the Jan. 18-19, 2020 readathon. (I know, sad faces all around).

The three of us will reconvene in the spring to determine if we’ll be moving forward with future readathons, and if so, what form those will take. Stayed tuned and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or subscribe to posts here to be notified when we make an announcement.

We have loved hosting the ‘thon for you guys and we thank all of you (and especially our publishing partners) for your support.

t hanks

Happy reading,

Rachel (and Kristen and Kerry)