How to Readathon: #24in48 Style

Hello, dearest reader friends! We are ONE WEEK out from the next 24in48 Readathon, and we can’t. freaking. wait.

As we get closer to the main event, we wanted to be sure to give you all an updated, condensed version of our “How to Readathon” Guide (you can find the original version here and the January 2018 version here if you’re into archives of stuff).

The 24in48 Readathon has grown every year, and we’re excited to welcome over (as of this writing) 1,000 readers for July 2018 (will we break 2,000 readers? We think so, but help us get there by spreading the word to all your reader friends!) More participants means more prizes, more ways to participate, more platforms to engage with us (and other readers) on, and more questions! So we’re doing our best to lay out answers to questions that are a bit more nuanced than the FAQs (though if you’re new to 24in48 and looking for some basics, be sure to check those out!).

So whether this is your 10th readathon or your 1st, take a spin through the how-tos, what’s-whats, and where’s-thats below. If there’s anything we’ve missed, drop us a line on any one of our social channels or shoot us an email!


  • Every ‘thon, we have a few people who don’t sign up because they don’t think they can make it the full 24 hours. It’s perfectly ok if you can’t hit 24 hours! You should sign up anyway! You will only be eligible for door prizes and challenge prizes if you are signed up. And there’s no punishment for not making it the full 24 hours.

Stay in Touch with Us!

  • There is a LOT going on in the 48 hours of the 24in48 Readathon, and we want to be sure you don’t miss out on anything. So be sure to follow us on your social platform(s) of choice, where you can see official #24in48 announcements, engage with other readers, see what books are being read and recommended, participate in challenges… you get the idea:
  • Pro tip: tagging all of your social posts with #24in48 to cheer on your fellow readathoners is great, but make sure your accounts are public (at least for this weekend) so others can cheer you on, too! 24in48 is a great way to connect with other readers across the bookternet (behind the scenes fact: it’s what brought all your hosts’ lives together #HeartEyesFaceForever).

Books, Books, Books

  • New this year! Behind the scenes, your co-hosts have made every effort to be intentional about diversity in this event, from prizes to book stacks to increased engagement with international participants (more on this decision, and what it means, here). While participants are encouraged to read whatever books they want during the event, we hope you’ll consider diversity when picking your own 24in48 TBR stacks.
  • New this year! We want to know what you all are reading! We love stats, and want to collect some about the many, many, many books read during this 48-hour window. We’ll have a “Books Read” form live during the weekend and for the week or so after the event for participants to log the books they read during the event.
  • New this year! Follow us on Goodreads to see what your co-hosts are reading, look for book recommendations if you find yourself in a ‘thon slump, or want to view the results of that “Books Read” form we mentioned above! We’ll be collecting them all here.

Tracking Time Read

  • To be eligible for prize packs reserved for participants who read a full 24 hours, you’ll need to keep track of your time read.
  • There are a number of ways to do this, but the most popular/successful is using the stopwatch function on your smartphone or by Googling “stopwatch.” (The Bookout app is also great, but I don’t know enough about it to include instructions here.)
  • Every time you start reading hit start and pause when you stop to take a break. Simple! It doesn’t have to be exact, but because this is on the honor system don’t abuse the clock (no letting it run while you nap, pals).
  • Pro tip: Take a screenshot (esp. if you’re using your phone) every time you stop the clock, just in case you accidentally reset it. You can use multiple screenshots to prove your reading time if needed.

stopwatch screen capture

Challenges and Check-ins

  • Every three hours, a new post will publish on the blog, alternating between challenges and check-ins.
  • The Hour 0 challenge will always be an intro survey, and the Hour 48 post will always be a closing survey.
  • Challenges: every six hours (Hours 6, 12, 18, 24…), you’ll have the opportunity to do a fun little task (usually photo-based) to be entered for a prize. Last time around, we switched things up a little and had y’all submit your challenge entry through an embedded Google Form in the challenge post, rather than comment on the post itself. That worked well on all sides, so we’re bringing it back going forward!
  • Check-ins: If you entered your info on the sign-up post, you’re automatically entered to win a random door prize as long as you’re actively participating on one of the platforms you listed in the sign-up form (i.e. Twitter or Instagram).
  • The best way to keep up with these posts is to subscribe using the Follow button in the bottom right corner of the blog, which will push an email to you every time a new post is published.                                   subscribe button screen capture
  • Pro tip: Even though you are free to participate in the full 48 hours (midnight Friday to midnight Sunday) using your local time zone, following Eastern Time in the US (the official readathon time zone) is the best way to ensure you’re catching as many of the challenges/check-ins as possible. Posts are labeled by hour number, not time (Hour 6 vs. 6:00am on Saturday), so if you start Hour 0 in concert with the readathon itself you’ll have an easier time catching all of the challenges. If you need help figuring out what that translates to in your local time, check out this world clock conversion tool. (The downside, of course, is that if you’re on the opposite side of the world, your reading weekend might spill into Monday or start on Friday instead. If you decide to use local time, you won’t be penalized for having not started or starting early re: prize drawings.)

Adding Social Media to the Form: 

  • Often, the best way to complete the challenge is to take a photo and link it in the form answer box. You can do this by posting the photo to your social media platform of choice and dropping the link into the form (your entry won’t be counted unless it’s submitted through the form).
  • For Instagram: Your post should have a three-dot menu at the top right. Select that, then “share”. From there, it should give you an option to “copy link”. Your account must be public (or the @24in48 insta account needs to be following you already) in order to enter.
  • For Litsy: share a direct link to your post by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the post and selecting how you want to share it (I usually email the link to myself in order to submit the form from my computer, but if you’re using your phone you can just copy and paste the link from you’ve shared it to and add it to the form). For the below post, this is the direct link:                                                                        Litsy screenshot
  • IMPORTANT: Due to the number of participants, form submissions  that only include a handle (i.e. @24in48) and directions to go look for the entry will not be eligible. You must include a direct link or the actual image.
  • If you don’t dig social media, you’ll have the option to enter the challenges with a line of text as your entry (where it makes sense with the challenge theme) in place of a link to a social post.

Winning and Claiming Prizes

  • You MUST be signed up on the original sign up form in order to be eligible for prizes. You can sign up after the readathon begins, but you can’t win anything unless you’ve signed up. Your sign up information MUST include not just the platform you’re participating on but the actual place we can go to find you, be that the URL or the handle. (If you’ve already signed up, you can edit your entry by going to the email you received and clicking through to edit or email us at
  • Even if your readathon weekend doesn’t contain much social media or regular check-ins (which is a perfectly fine way to participate), make sure you post something about the readathon when you start the weekend on one of the platforms you entered when you sign up so we know that you actually are participating. You’re still eligible for check-in prizes as long as we can see that you’re reading along.
  • If you are staying away from social for the weekend, don’t forget to check the blog periodically (or at least once at the very end) to see if you won something during a check-in or challenge. Prize winners will be announced throughout the weekend, so scroll through all the posts to check for your name.
  • As soon as you see that you’ve won a prize, hop on over to the prize page (which is being updated as prizes are added) and select your first, second, and third choices. If you live in the US, please do not select any of the international prizes unless that is all that is left. The sooner you claim your prize, the higher the likelihood you’ll get your first choice. The prize page will be updated periodically throughout the weekend so you’ll have a good idea of what’s still available.
  • Pro tip: Make sure that the information you submit through the challenge forms is consistent with your sign up information; if we can’t find you, you’ll lose out.

I hope this helps as you’re prepping for the ‘thon. If you have any follow-up or additional questions, leave ’em in the comments below or reach out on any of our social channels and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

See you soon, readers!

7 thoughts on “How to Readathon: #24in48 Style

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