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.Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec smiles and turns to speak. The caption reads, "Are you ready?"

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!

Sign-Ups

  • 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: http://litsy.com/p/eGlZMm9PZGYw.                                                                        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 24in48readathonofficial@gmail.com.)
  • 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!

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New and Improved FAQs!

Got questions about the 24in48 Readathon? Go check out the updated 24in48 FAQ page!

We’ve tried to cover as many of the basics as we can there, but if we’ve missed something, feel free to drop us a question in the comments here, shoot us an email, or find us on any of our social channels and we’ll get back to you ASAP (Twitter is probably fastest, if your question is pressing).

And stay tuned for a more in-depth and completely up-to-date version of the How to Readathon post coming later this week, which will include instructions for challenges, prizes, sign-ups, you name it.

Still haven’t signed up? Why on earth not? Get thee to the July 2018 24in48 Sign Up Form and join us!

We’re just over a week away from the start of the next ‘thon, and there are already over 1,000 readers participating. We are blown away by the love in this community, and can’t wait to spend a weekend reading with you.

24in48 With Intention: Focusing on Diversity

Over the past five years, our small corner of the bookternet has grown beyond anything we could have imagined. What started with Rachel and 5-10 friends on Twitter is now a sprawling, international, almost 2,000-reader strong biannual event.

I know, right?!

We love all of you, and we’re amazed and proud of how far we’ve come.

With that pride comes realization of the importance of our platform and the responsibility associated with it.

As the ‘thon has expanded internationally, it’s drawn our thon-specific attention and brainspace to the issue of representation and access, including everything from the books we post on social media to the ratio of U.S./Canada prizes to international ones.

The three of us are each dedicated to ensuring representation in our personal reading lives, and while that has naturally carried over into elements of the readathon, we’ve realized that we’re leaving a lot of intentionality on the table.

That’s why, this year, we’re making some changes both publicly and behind the scenes at #24in48.

Publishing is a notoriously white, privileged space filled with gatekeepers who don’t necessarily represent their readership, and we are not OK with carrying on that status quo when our #24in48 community has created this platform allowing us to not only be vocal about the necessity of industry change, but—hopefully—have a measurable impact.

Part of this effort means calling attention to what we’re doing, so we can be accountable for our actions—both when we hit and miss the mark.

We won’t get it right every time, but we’re sure as hell going to try.

What do these changes look like?

More representative book stacks. Actively seeking out titles to recommend that not only include/ represent/promote authors of color, but also LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiversity, geographic diversity, and more. Including descriptions of our images on social media to facilitate accessibility. Encouraging publishers and supporters to consider these intentions when selecting and donating prizes.

We’ll have a few more surveys for you to fill out this year, including an anonymous survey to help us determine the regional distribution of our readership and a book log to show not only how many books are read over the weekend but also the diversity/inclusion statistics of those books.

There’s more to come, and we have more to learn.

Thank you for journeying with us this far; we hope we won’t let you down.

XOXO,

Rachel, Kristen, & Kerry

Leveling Up, #24in48 Style

Readers! We’re back with an updated, condensed version of our How To Readathon Guide (you can find the original version here) a few days before this winter’s edition of 24in48!

Every ‘thon, we add hundreds of more readers than participated last time. With more prizes to win and places to participate than ever before, we’ve identified a commensurate need for some first timer guidance! Whether you’re totally new to the readathon or you’re a veteran looking to level up, these tips are for you!

(If you’re a repeat thonner, give this guide a thorough read: we’ve made a few changes to the challenge posts this time around! If your questions are on the basic end of things–how to sign up, what is the 24in48 anyway, and what counts for reading time–check out our FAQ post.)

  • 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. This year, we’re switching things up a little and having you submit your challenge entry through an embedded Google Form in the challenge post, rather than comment on the post itself.
    • 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: click on the date of the post (see below) to go to a direct link to the image (https://www.instagram.com/p/BPnWz65AlBh/). Your account must be public (or the @24in48 insta account needs to be following you already) in order to enter. Instagram capture
    • 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: http://litsy.com/p/eGlZMm9PZGYw.
    • 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.
    • 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).
  • 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.)
    • 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 Tweet us @24in48!

See you soon, readers!

Taking Your Feedback, Making It Better

We are just about 46 days from our next readathon and your team is hard at work preparing for another fantastic event. This past July, we had a record turnout for #24in48. Close to 1,400 of you signed up and read for a full weekend. You came from all over the world—from Australia to Japan, Finland to Brazil, the UK and the US—and when all was said and done, we shared a lot of great experiences and received a lot of feedback on ways to make this little readathon better.

July’s event was the first time I had any help managing the workflow (why I waited so long, I’ll never know) and the first time we were able to offer such an abundance of prizes thanks to increased publisher support. Many of you won drawings but were unable to select books from our prize list because they were specific to US-based contributors. We’re actively reaching out to international publishers and their sales teams to solicit more prizes for our growing participant base. I’m hopeful that these efforts will expand the number of international prizes offered for the readathon. (If you have contact information for or are employed by an international publisher and you’d like to help, send an email to 24in48readathonofficial@gmail.com.)

One way we’ve been able to add more prizes for non-US readers is by funding Book Depository and Amazon gift cards, either ourselves or through the generous (though rare) contributions of readathon participants. We’ve been brainstorming ways to expand the inclusivity of the event on an international level. Now that the need (and expense) is greater, we need some help.

To this end, a PayPal “Donate” button has been added at the bottom of this update and on the site’s sidebar to accept monetary donations.100% of the funds donated (minus PayPal’s standard fees) will go to creating and purchasing international prizes. Together, we can create a readathon that embodies the increasingly global community we have all worked to grow over the last five years.

Additionally, if you’re interested in donating actual prizes—be it bookmarks from your Etsy store or new books to be sent to a winner in your own country—please send us an email.

I’m so proud to be a part of this fantastic community, and I know each of you are too. Thanks in advance for your support.

How to Readathon, #24in48 Style

First of all, there is no one right way to readathon. Let’s just get that caveat out of the way up front.

But as 24in48 reaches maturity (insert cheek pinching here) and there are more prizes to win and places to participate, several ‘thon-ers have requested a bit more guidance in advance of this summer’s event. Hopefully, this will be good for any newbies joining us for the first time or veterans who want to level up. For some of the basic questions, like how to sign up, what is the 24in48 anyway, and what counts for reading time, check out the FAQ post.

  • Signing Up
    • A lot of people (more than you’d expect) participate in the readathon without signing up because they don’t think they’ll come close to reading for 24 hours. Here’s a secret: the vast majority of people who participate don’t come close to reading that much. In fact, I don’t even really think the point of the event is to read for a full 24 hours. Sure it’s a good goal, but really the intention is to set aside some solid reading time over the course of a weekend, hang out with your bookish friends online, and maybe win some stuff. That’s it. It is literally the most low pressure readathon ever. There is no “failing” at readation. Did you read during the weekend? Congrats! You didn’t fail.
    • So there is zero reason to not sign up. Which you can do over here.
    • You must provide your email, your name (even if its your online persona), and at least one place where you’re participating.
    • Please please please don’t choose a platform from the dropdown and then leave the “handle or URL” field blank. Telling me you’re going to be on Facebook without linking to your FB profile doesn’t help. Same with putting Litsy and not listing your handle (you know, that name after the @ sign). If I can’t find you online, I have no idea if you’re actually participating or if you just signed up to try to win prizes. So you won’t be able to win anything.
    • If you need to go back and edit your entry, you should have gotten an email on the account you used to sign up that will let you click through to change your sign-up info.
    • If you DIDN’T get an email, send me a message at 24in48readathonofficial@gmail.com and tell me what you’d like to change and I’ll update it for you. (Don’t abuse this, please.)
    • Pro-tip: if you listed a bunch of places where you think you’ll be participating and realize that you’ll only be using one, like Twitter, edit your entry to reflect just the one. You don’t have to be everywhere to get credit.
  • Tracking Time Read
    • In order to be eligible for prizes for participants that 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 by using the stopwatch function on your smart phone 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, then pause when you stop to take a break. It doesn’t have to be exact, but because this is on the honor system, please don’t abuse the clock (like letting it run while you nap).
    • 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 need be.

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, etc.), you’ll have the opportunity to do a fun little task (usually photo- or comment-based) to be entered for a prize.
    • Check-ins: If you entered your info on the sign-up post, you’re automatically entered to win a random check-in prize, as long as you’re actively participating on one of the platforms you entered in the sign-up form (i.e. Twitter or Instagram, etc.)
    • 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 by time (Hour 6 vs. 6:00am on Saturday), so if you start Hour 0 in concert with the readathon, 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 Comments
    • Often the challenges will ask you to take a photo and link it in the comments. You can do this by posting the photo to your social media of choice and dropping the link into a comment (your entry won’t be counted unless its in the comments.)
    • For Instagram: click on the date of the post (see below) to go to a direct link to the image (https://www.instagram.com/p/BPnWz65AlBh/). Your account must be public (or the @24in48 insta account needs to be following you already) in order to enter. Instagram capture
    • 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 comment from my computer, but if you’re using your phone to comment on the blog, you can just copy and paste the link from the body of an email or wherever you’ve shared it to and add it to your comment). For the below post, this is the direct link: http://litsy.com/p/eGlZMm9PZGYw.
    • Litsy screenshot
    • Due to the number of participants, comments 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 in order to enter for prizes.
    • 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.
  • 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 even after the readathon begins, but you can’t win anything unless you’ve signed up. And your sign up information MUST include not just the platform you’re participating on but the actual place I 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.) You can’t win anything if you don’t provide me a way to find you during the readathon.
    • 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 name you use to comment and the one you use to sign up are consistent. If I can’t match your comment to an entry on the participant list, 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.

We’re on Facebook!

Just a quick post to let you know that you can now find 24in48 on Facebook with our own dedicated page, for those of you using that as your primary social platform this weekend. Like our page to keep up with the convo and join other readers this week to discuss your readathon plans and updates throughout the weekend.

Happy readathon planning, friends