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?
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.
Rachel, Kristen, and Kerry