Snacks, Stacks, & Community: Readers share how they #24in48

Every few rounds of 24in48, we update our How To Readathon: #24in48 Style post. But since we did that this past July, this year we wanted to do something different. We talked to some of our bookternet friends, and asked them what they love about 24in48, how they approach the weekend, and if they had any unique advice, tips, or experiences they wanted to share.

They delivered and then some, so whether this is your first time or your tenth (this has been going since 2012, y’all, wut), be sure to check out what your fellow readers have to say.

At the end of this post, we also round things out with some specific tried and true book recs for your readathon stack from your #24in48 cohosts. You can download a PDF of our recs here!

Don’t forget: You can find our how to post here, FAQs here, sign-ups here, and participant list here! Don’t be afraid to DM us on social media or send us an email at 24in48readathonofficial [at] gmail [dot] com if you have any questions you can’t find the answer to!


💖 From Michele (@ultrabookgeek):

24in48 is definitely a classic example of it’s about the journey not the destination. It’s not about how long you read or how much you read. It’s about setting aside time to do one activity you really enjoy and making it as simple or extravagant as you wish. You can read in bed for 4 hours or make it to 24 with a million snacks, and tracking systems while ensconced in your coziest chair. As someone who participates time again the best advice I have to offer is to read in blocks of time, have some breaks for eating and napping, stay updated on social media for prizes and other peoples updates and have lots of snacks and drinks on hand. Lastly, make sure your family knows what you’re up to and knows to give you space as needed. Pick some books you’ve been meaning to read, find a cozy spot and happy reading!

😻 From Melissa (@balletbookworm):

How to have a successful 24-in-48 Readathon (from a reader who has both read for the full 24 hours…and has not even been close on occasion):

  1. Pick out an over-ambitious TBR “stack” (digital and paper and audio formats included): Choose a wide variety of lengths, formats, and genres—this narrows your actual TBR list and prevents aimless meandering around your house wondering about to “read next.” You can even start by knocking off books you have already started (finishing a book right away is a great boost to the start of Readathon). And don’t forget books that aren’t usually considered Readathon fodder like big poetry collections, classroom reading/textbooks, etc. – all reading counts in a Readathon.
  2. Have your favorite junk food at hand, if you like, but don’t forget to have a balanced meal, too: 24in48 isn’t a good time to gorge yourself on junk just because READATHON OMG or try out those new lobster-cheddar balls in the freezer case at the grocery store (trust me, both of those things lead to 2am indigestion regrets). Pick up some trail mix with dried fruit so you can have a snacky/crunchy good time to mix with your favorite candy. Have water standing by as well because as much as many of us are COFFEE DEATH BEFORE DECAF FIGHT ME, hydrating does help with the late-Readathon bleahs. A little advance prep for a stew in the CrockPot or a lasagna in the oven also helps cut down on aimless wandering at mealtime (this time in the kitchen, haha).
  3. Don’t sweat errands/chores, etc. because it’s 24in48: you’ve got 48 hours to play with here, but if you are out and about for periods of time (the kids have a soccer match, or you have to take the car to the mechanic, or do the grocery shopping, etc.) bring along a kicky book (or two) or fire up an audiobook on your phone or tablet (I’m extremely partial to my library’s Overdrive/Libby collection). Audiobooks also make great road companions if you have to drive around for a while and if the kids are in the car, or if the grownups can’t agree on what to listen to, a children’s book like Matilda or the Lemoncello series can keep everyone entertained for hours. And, like I said, all reading counts in a Readathon.
  4. AND IF YOU DON’T GET 24 HOURS OF READING DONE, CELEBRATE WHAT YOU DID READ! The biggest point of Readathon is just reading and sharing that love of reading with the rest of the 24in48 community. So if your plans didn’t work out or someone got sick or you fell asleep or it just worked out to only a few hours of reading time scraped together here or there, that’s OK. Gremlins won’t come after you (and if they do, we’ll fight them for you). Readathon is for having fun. But if you did make it to all 24 hours of reading….HIGH FIVES FOREVER

📚 From Sue (at Doddyaboutbooks):

The 24 in 48 is my very favourite readathon (you always have a special place in your heart for your first, right?) I have never made the full 24 hours (I made it to 19 once which I was totally stoked about). For me the readathon experience is about getting a bunch of reading done, and however much that is is great.

Here are some of my hot tips for a successful readathon:

Have lots of choices available. You will want to feel like you are getting somewhere, so if you have some poetry, novellas and graphic novels on your TBR, now is a great time to tackle them. This will also help keep your attention when you’re feeling tired. Audiobooks are also great for when your eyes get tired or if you have to do chores. Leave the Odyssey and Don Quixote fo another time – you will thank me.

Don’t be afraid to nap! Don’t keep dragging yourself on if you need match sticks for your eyelids! Sleep at night and nap during the day if you need to – it will help you concentrate.

Check in on social media. The blog has 3 hourly check ins, which is s nice time to give yourself a bit of a break and see how others are going. Plus there are prizes!

Snacks. I’m not much of a snacker, but staying hydrated is super important. I tend to stick with water and tea. Also, premake any meals so you just need to reheat them 😉

Last but not least – have fun! That’s the whole point right?

✨ From Sarah:

How I Readathon:
I’ve been most successful by choosing a stack of short (under 200 pages) books to have on hand, as well as a regular length engrossing audiobook. Every time I need to get up to do something, I put in my headphones and switch to the audiobook. This allows for almost continuous reading. The stack of books helps because then I can just grab whichever one looks good next instead of having to go choose from a larger selection. Having shorter books allows for a feeling of accomplishment throughout the weekend. Finishing a book every few hours motivates me to keep going!

💻 And finally, from Katy’s “So you want to do a readathon” post following our July 24in48 (at thebookishcronk):

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Great Selection of Snacks

My very first readathon I had no snacks or really any food in my house. This was a mistake. You have to have some snacks or meals planned out or at least some easy finger food like a sandwich. I tried to eat ramen my first one readathon and it was Not Good. (Picture a book with broth on it. Sad day indeed). Also I tried to read and cook at the same time and I tripped over my cat. True story.

Preparing a Book Stack and Sharing it with Your Friends is Fun!

I actually really enjoy this part even though I haven’t had a chance to create my stack until this evening. For me, it’s the dream of books I could get done this weekend, but don’t feel like you have to stick to it if something on your bookcase appeals to you after a really intense book. I also recommend that you have a few shorter books and/or graphic novels included. Sometimes, that’s a perfect break from novel-reading that can get you across the 24 hour mark.

We’ll see you in a few weeks, ‘thonners! (We can’t wait)

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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

Announcing the New 24in48 HQ!

In the last several years, I’ve been trying out a few different hosting locations for the 24in48 readathon, and I think we’ve finally found a home! I hope a dedicated blog will allow everyone to contribute and participate fully, and that it will encourage even more readers to join in.

(What’s the 24in48 readathon, you ask? Check out the FAQ page for the basics.)

You can also find us on Twitter at @24in48readathon and the hashtag #24in48 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and any other social media you can think of.

And as if a new blog wasn’t enough, I’m happy to announce the next readathon weekend. Join me on July 11-12 for 48 hours of reading! Keep an eye here for a sign up form in the next day or so.

If you’ve joined us in the past – or even if you haven’t – spread the word about our new home, and mark your calendars for July.