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

7 Books to Read During #24in48 if You Can’t Go to the Women’s March

A version of this post originally ran on BookRiot.com. 

On Saturday, January 21st, hundreds of thousands (hopefully) of women (and men) will descend on Washington, DC to proclaim that women’s rights are human rights. While the march is not an outright protest against Donald Trump, who will have been inaugurated as the country’s 45th president the day before, Cecile Richards, president of official march partner Planned Parenthood noted, “we will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people of all faiths, backgrounds, and incomes.”

If you’re like me and live a prohibitive distance from DC, you can either find a local march to participate in or spend the day (since you’re already readathon-ing) reading march-adjacent books. While many people are bypassing the readathon next Saturday in favor of attending either the Women’s March or a local march, many more of you are unable to travel to DC or to your local capital to participate.

Here’s a reading list for your March day:

hope-in-the-dark-solnit-coverHope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

Originally published in 2004 (now available with a new forward), Solnit’s essay collection can seem a bit outdated – she was writing in the midst of a Bush presidency – but it’s general premise is a good one: that the radical and transformative acts we take as activists don’t always have victories that are immediate or measurable, but this doesn’t mean we should give up fighting. This is particularly valuable advice as our rights are threatened, and sometimes the only thing we can do is donate $5 or call our congressmen.


freedom-is-a-constantFreedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

Davis’ essays, speeches, and criticisms are newly collected in this compendium and focus on fighting an oppressive and violent state. From the publisher: “Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.” As this new era under a Trump administration dawns, Davis’ words are more necessary than ever.

bitch planetBitch Planet: Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (artist)

I will never stop pushing people to read Bitch Planet as a specific response to a Trump presidency and its threats to human rights. It’s a modern day version of The Handmaid’s Tale, but closer and more intersectional than ever. Go read it, get angry, fight the patriarchy. Be non-compliant.



what-we-do-now-trumps-america-coverWhat We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump’s America edited by Denis Johnson and Valerie Merians

Hitting shelves just before the inauguration, this diverse collection includes essays from NAACP president Cornell Brooks to Gloria Steinem to Senator Elizabeth Warren to founder and executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality Mara Keisling to George Saunders. Less an academic exercise, these short essays include measurable, definitive advice for fighting the injustices that are sure to come in Trump’s America. As the back cover proclaims, “If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you.” (Benjamin Franklin)

march-trilogy-coverMarch by John Lewis,  Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
A three-volume graphic novel that explores the origin of marching en masse under the brutal tyranny of the 1960s and the importance of these marches to the civil rights movement. Vital and powerful, these graphic novels are a necessary history lesson in understanding American activism and civil disobedience. While the Women’s March (and other inauguration protests) will likely be much less violent than those of the civil rights movement as portrayed in March, the graphic novels should be required reading for anyone engaged in fighting injustice from their government. Bonus: now that Trump has lashed out at John Lewis, this book is all the more necessary and relevant.


we-should-all-be-feminists-by-chimamanda-ngozi-adichieWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This slim 50-page book was adapted from Adichie’s TED Talk of the same name and is a powerful defining text of modern day feminism and the importance of inclusion and intersectionality in that definition. When someone questions the idea that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, just hand them this book.



feminist-utopia-projectThe Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future edited by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

When the organizers shout, What do we want? these are a few choice answers from a variety of diverse and cutting edge voices. While Women’s March participants and organizers are concerned about stopping the backslide of progress that’s currently overtaking our political systems, this anthology envisions a world that’s feminist as fuck and challenges us to demand a radically better future.


Will you be reading any of these, or any other social justice books, during readathon?

Prize Announcements + How to Participate in #24in48

We’re just over a week out from the start of #24in48 (have you been following the countdown on Instagram and Litsy?) and I’ve been hard at work gathering prizes for you lovely readers. I’m so excited to announce the first round of prizes. A second round about prize packs for readers who read a full 24 hours will be coming tomorrow!

Even though I’ve been running this readathon for five years (!!!), I’m still tweaking it each round to make it work best for you, the readathoners. Even as it grows, I want to make sure that it’s the same low-pressure and fun ‘thon that it’s always been. I still want to give people who are more active and engaged online the chance to win prizes, but I also want to give people who are just reading at home the chance to win some stuff too.

So to that end, I’m introducing door prizes in addition to challenge prizes. I’ll be increasing my post frequency – every three hours instead of six – in order to give away all these amazing prizes and I’ll be running challenges throughout the weekend here on the blog as well as on social media channels, but you’ll be able to win a prize just for being a readathoner.

If you’re signed up to read, you are automatically entered to win a prize. Just show up and participate over the course of the readathon weekend at the URL/username you signed up with (you can edit your entry via the confirmation email you received when you signed up if you need to adjust or add this URL). Winners will be randomly chosen and announced during every three-hour post on 24in48.com. 

If your name is announced, check the 24in48.com/prizes page to see what’s still available and fill out the form on that page with your top three prize choices. You’ll get a confirmation email with the prize you’ve won by the end of the readathon. If you are based in the US, please choose from the US Only section first, in order to allow any International participants to claim a prize.

Now for the important part! The prizes! (This list may be updated as more are added.)

US Only


Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein (galley, release date: 03-21-2017)
The Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan (galley, release date: 04-18-2017)
The Leavers by Lisa Ko (galley, release date: 05-02-2017)
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy (galley, release date: 03-28-2017)
Be True to Me by Adele Griffin (galley, release date: 06-13-2017)
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Book Riot

Books Beanie
Jorge Luis Borges Paradise Tote Bag
Read Harder Mug


All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (signed galley!, release date: 02-07-2017)
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (signed galley!, release date: 02-07-2017)
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner (galley, release date: 01-31-2017)
Say Nothing by Brad Parks (galley, release date: 03-07-2017)
Home by Harlan Coben (finished copy, release date: 02-28-2017)
Relentless Spirit by Missy Franklin (finished copy)


Citizen by Claudia Rankine
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Look by Solmaz Sharif
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (release date: 03-07-17)

Hachette Audio

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (audiobook CD)
Indestructible by John R. Bruning (audiobook CD)
Mischling by Affinity Konar (audiobook CD)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (galley, release date: 05/02/2017)
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (galley, release date: 05/02/2017)
A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume (galley, release date: 04/18/2017)
A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume (galley, release date: 04/18/2017)
Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic (galley, release date: 04/04/2017)
Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic (galley, release date: 04/04/2017)
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (finished copy)
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (finished copy)
Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnick (galley, release date: 03/28/2017)
Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnick (galley, release date: 03/28/2017)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saénz (galley, release date: 03/07/2017)
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saénz (galley, release date: 03/07/2017)

Little Brown

Startup by Doree Shafrir (galley, release date: 04-25-2017)
Startup by Doree Shafrir (galley, release date: 04-25-2017)
Startup by Doree Shafrir (galley, release date: 04-25-2017)
Startup by Doree Shafrir (galley, release date: 04-25-2017)
Startup by Doree Shafrir (galley, release date: 04-25-2017)

Less by Andrew Sean Greer (galley, release date: 07-18-2017)
The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg (finished copy)
The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer (finished copy)


One January 2017 Classic Remix OwlCrate Box

Penguin Random House Audio

Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh, read by Ellen Oh, Kwame Alexander, Meg Medina and Various (Listening Library) (audiobook CD)
As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka, read by Ann Marie Lee (Listening Library) (audiobook CD)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith, read by Pippa Bennett-Warner (audiobook CD)


The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal (galley, release date: 05-16-2017)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (galley, release date: 03-07-17)
The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor (galley, release date: 06-13-2017)


The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett (galley, release date: 02-28-2017)
The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall (galley, release date: 03-14-2017)
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (galley, release date: 06-06-2017)


$15 worth of Book Depository books via Jen Shoots Weddings
$15 worth of Book Depository books via Jen Shoots Weddings
$15 worth of Book Depository books via Jen Shoots Weddings

$15 worth of Book Depository books via Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon
$15 worth of Book Depository books via Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

$15 worth of Book Depository books via Sue Dodd
$15 worth of Book Depository books via Sue Dodd

€20 worth of Book Depository to any reader NOT in one of these countries via Anonymous (for readers without access to Amazon):

  • United States
  • United Kingdom and Ireland
  • France
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Japan
  • China
  • India
  • Mexico

Thanks to our prize sponsors!

algonquin-books-logo   br_logo-copy deweylogo-400x335 dutton-logo graywolf-logo   hachette-audio-logo hmh-logo    jen-shoots-weddings-logolittle-brown-logo owlcrate-logo  prha-logo-1200x630riverhead vikingbooks

Tracking Your Hours + Prize Pack Announcement!

We’re a week away from the start of the ‘thon and, during the last readathon, I suggested that you keep track of your hours because it might be worth your while. While many of you did just that, and got a pair of Out of Print socks as a reward, I realized after the fact that my instructions about tracking and the requirements for doing so were unclear and many of you lost out on the option to win a prize.

While I won’t be doing another “everyone gets a prize” a la Oprah, if you finish the full 24 hours, you will be entered to win one of three fantastic prize packs (there’s even one for international readers). More about those in a minute, but first the rules.

In order to be eligible for one of these prize packs, you must:

  1. Sign up officially using your name, a valid email, and a URL/username for the platforms you’ll be updating during the ‘thon. (If you need to edit your response to include an actual link or username, you can do so by following the confirmation link you received when you signed up.)
  2. Be active on those platforms during the readathon.
  3. Use some method of tracking your time. This can include your phone’s stopwatch function or a digital stopwatch (preferred) or a written time tracker, but your 24 hours must be clearly recorded. (If you need a digital stopwatch, Google “stopwatch.”)
  4. In the post that goes up at the end of the readathon, you’ll be able to submit your info and proof of 24 hours of reading. You’ll also be asked to note whether you’re US-based or international.
  5. You’ll have 48 hours after the end of the readathon to submit this proof, after which the form will be closed.

Obviously, your proof is on the honor system and, while I’m thrilled to be able to offer these prize packages, please don’t abuse it.

Now for the fun part!

Prize Pack #1:

$50 gift card to the Book Riot Store, courtesy of Book Riot
“Read or Die” T-Shirt, courtesy of Book Riot
Dick: a card game based on the novel by Herman Melville


Prize Pack #2:

$50 gift card to Litographs.com, courtesy of Litographs
A tote from Graywolf Press
Bards Dispense Profanity: a party game based on the works of William Shakespeare



International Prize Pack

$50 worth of books from Book Depository, courtesy of Jen Shoots Weddings
Your choice of one Penguin item (see link for options) from The Literary Gift Company


Questions? Leave a comment or send me an email at 24in48readathonofficial@gmail.com!

Start the Countdown: 24in48 (Summer ’16 Edition) Sign-ups are Open

Since the last minute of the last readathon in January, I’ve been counting down to the next one. And now that we’re a little more than a month away from 24in48 (Summer ’16) Edition, it’s time to take this countdown public. The next readathon will be on July 23-24, 2016! Officially, we’re 40 days away from the start of 24in48, and I personally could not be more excited.

If you’re new to 24in48, this is the basic gist: Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

And that’s it. The format never changes but it’s always an adventure.

Have more questions? There’s an FAQ page for that.

Ready to join? Fill out the form below and feel free to list any and all of the places you’ll be hanging out online during the ‘thon. The participant list has it’s own separate home this time. If your entry doesn’t immediately pop in to the spreadsheet, give it a few minutes to populate.

Speaking of all the places to ‘thon online, I have a few new social profiles to announce. In addition to Twitter, 24in48 also has a dedicated Instagram handle now (@24in48readathon) AND a Litsy handle (@24in48). The official hashtag is #24in48 (or tag @24in48 in Litsy since they’re a baby social platform and don’t quite have their hashtags ready for launch yet).

Are you ready?

Prep for #24in48: Reading for Charity

The number of readers just keeps on growing, and I am continuously impressed by how many of you are joining in and excited about this weekend. We are so freakin’ close! Just 12 hours until this thing kicks off, and since there are so many of you (333 at the time of this writing), I wanted to mention that several readers take this opportunity to dedicate their readathon time to charity.

What does that mean exactly? Well, it can mean anything you’d like, if you’re up for participating. Some readers donate a penny or a nickel per page they read or $10 a book. Or some readers donate one book from their personal library for every book they read. Or if you don’t have money or books to donate, you can always donate time. For every book, donate an hour of your time.

Who are you donating to? Again, that’s up to you. Last year, I found a great local adult literacy organization and donated to them. If you want to donate time, finding an organization that helps children or adults learn to read is great or reading to residents at senior centers.

Okay so it’s not quite so dramatic as that, but volunteering or donating money during your readathon is a fantastic way to give back and not feel quite so guilty for spending an entire weekend reading.

Are you reading for charity this weekend? Tell me about it!

Prep for #24in48: What to Eat, Where to Sit, What to Do

First of all, let me just say how pumped I am for this weekend. It’s only Tuesday, but I’ve officially reached the point in the week where I don’t want to actually do any real work and I’m just planning for the readathon. As of this writing, there are 242 (!!!!) readers signed up to participate and over 500 followers on Twitter. I’m overwhelmed by all this readathon love, and how many new readers are jumping on board this train.

A few housekeeping things:

  • Due to popular demand, I’ll be announcing the dates of the next readathon as soon as this readathon ends. So you future planners will be able to mark your calendars nice and early!
  • With that being said, I’m officially switching up the timing of this readathon to a bi-annual winter/summer schedule, instead of the fall/spring schedule that it had been on. This gives people who also take part in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon some breathing room.

Okay, so onto the really important things. Part of my IS IT TIME YET excitement of readathon prep is all the other stuff that goes into the weekend. As I’ve said over and over again, this is supposed to be FUN, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So you have to be prepared.

First, food. You have to eat. It’s a whole weekend, and unless you have a houseboy (or a well-trained child or dog), you’re going to have to feed yourself. There are some super easy ways to do this without taking away too much time from reading. I am a proponent of anything in a slow cooker. I’m making this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe on Saturday, but I’m doing all the prep work on Friday night so it’ll be ready to just turn on Saturday morning.

Or make up a pot of chili or chicken noodle soup that can be sitting on the oven warming all day for people to eat as they please. (A loaf of crusty bread is crucial for all of these options).

Keep some healthy options for snacks along with the junk food you only eat during a readathon (Oreos are my ‘thon-only food). Hummus and veggies, obviously, but edamame is also great to snack on (buy it in easy-to-steam frozen packages). My snack options are going to include these, as well as chips and guac, cheese sticks, and fruit, and I’ll probably make something sweet as well.

It’s crucial to stock up so you can feed yourself well, but not spend too much extra time doing it. Unless you’ve got a really compelling audiobook and you need an excuse to stand over a stove for hours in order to listen to it. In which case, go nuts. (Audiobooks while grocery shopping are also a great way to replenish the snacks while still putting a book in your brain – and helpful to get you moving after sitting a while).

Second, where to sit. Just one tip: change it up. Do you have the perfect reading armchair? Even that’s gonna start hurting after a full day of sitting, so move to a couch or a bed (no napping! Actually, napping is fine) or the floor or outside (if you live in a warm climate right now). Or read standing up for a while.

The point is to keep your body from getting stiff and knotted up from being in one position for two days. Stretching, a little downward dog or toe touches are good for this too.

Third, what to do. Read! (Obviously). But read in different places. I like jumping in the car (audiobooks!) and going to a local coffee shop for a few hours. Or taking a walk (audiobooks!) in the afternoons. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who’s also readathon-ing, join them (or vice versa) for some quality reading time.

And don’t forget to take breaks to cheer on your fellow readers! Follow this blog for updates throughout the weekend (every six hours starting at 12:01am on Saturday morning). In the first update, I’ll repost the Google doc with everyone who’s participating so you can find them directly online. Check the hashtag #24in48 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. too.

Building Your #24in48 Stack

I’ve been doing readathons for a loooong time now. Between Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon in the spring and fall every year and hosting this shindig for the past few years, I’ve learned – sometimes the hard way – how to build my book stack for a ‘thon.

But why should I set aside specific books, you might be asking? Can’t I just stand in front of my shelf and decide in the moment?

You certainly can, and some people do, but I’m a proponent of being more intentional about my readathon books. Not every book is going to be right for you or for a readathon. And it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by ALL the books on your shelves, rather than a small dedicated list of titles. Are you doing the #Hamalong and reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton? It can be part of your stack, but it’s probably a good idea to read it in bits and chucks, interspersed with lighter reads. I’m in the middle of A Little Life but I probably won’t read more than a chapter or two during the ‘thon because it’s both long and heavy (in terms of subject matter).

My suggestion is to set aside a mix of books: short books, long books, comics (if you read them), funny books, genre books, and a few serious books. This combination will give you plenty of variety during the weekend, without overwhelming you by too many choices.

(I discussed this and 8 more tips back in July if you’re looking for more help in planning your ‘thon.)

Tell me, readathon-ers – what’s on your stack?