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)

12

 

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Hour 18: What’s On Your Nightstand? (Challenge)

SAINTS ALIVE, it’s time for another challenge already?! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING???

First off, I just want to say: you’re all. so. amazing. You’ve been reading all the books, eating all the snacks, spending all this time with us, and—if that isn’t enough—you’re interacting with and cheering each other on.

Every year I think our group of readers can’t get any better, and every year y’all prove me wrong.

three men in a car with one of them excitedly saying best weekend ever

Gif of Jake, Charles, and Terry from Brooklyn 99 in a car saying “Best weekend ever!”

Before we dive into this hour’s challenge, we’ve got some winners from Hour 12! We loved reading your worldview-expanding reads, and (thanks to some help from our random number generator) picked a few winners from the EXCELLENT entries:

Mariann Dargusch

Callie Pastor

Rebecca Simonin

Chessa Hickox

Erin Feinstein

Heather Conley

Michelle Fecko

Jennifer B.

Janani

Sheri Cheatwood

Kara Roost

Alexus Green

Caryn Livingston

Head on over to the prize page to stake your claim!

Without further ado, for the third challenge we want a look at your nightstand. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried a lot of nightstand solutions over the years. I’ve had so many stacked up I knocked them over in my sleep, tried a multi-shelved table, stacked them on the floor…No matter what I do, the books take over! Here’s my current situation:

 

I like to have options at hand, what can I say? Who wants to extract themselves from the pile of snoring dogs and cozy blankets to peruse their bookshelves?

Show us your nightstand books, or tell us how you decide what to keep on your bedside table! Is it everything you’re reading? Do you limit it to one book? Are your bookshelves so full that your nightstand is, essentially, another bookshelf? Share your situation with us!  

If you’re posting a photo of your entry on social media, don’t forget to use the official hashtag #24in48 so other readers can find you, and tag us so we can see! We’ll post the winners of this challenge in six hours (Hour 24—the halfway point!), so make sure you check back after you entered to see if you won! You’ve also got six hours left to fill out the Intro Survey!

Reminder: This 24in48, we’re trying something new to get a geographic snapshot of all participants and log every book read over the weekend! Let us know where you’re reading from here, and track your books as you finish them here!

Hour 12: A Whole New World (Challenge)

IT’S HOUR 12, Y’ALL. We’re a quarter of the way through this thing, and you 👏 are 👏killing 👏 it. 👏

This is a perfect opportunity to do some stretching, refill your snacks or-—you know—eat an actual meal if you’re into that, and drink some water while you crack those page-turning knuckles and get ready for our second challenge!

Before we dive in, here are the winners from the Hour 6 challenge:

Cassandra Wifert

Lindsay Knutson

Maria Angelis Rojas

Christina (christinastephaniereads)

Carla (simoes)

Chelsie Schadt

Simona

ingeveldkamp @leeskipje

Audrey Mattevi

Jana Eichhorn

Laura Cerone

Donia K

Kennedy Gelinas

Head on over to the prize page to stake your claim! And now, the second challenge:

One of the best things about reading, in general, is that it takes us outside of our own lives. Whether that’s through a cozy mystery, a fantastical adventure, or quiet poetry that reminds us of the beauty in the world, all those books on your shelves can help you do just about anything.

More specifically, we here at 24in48 HQ love books that open us up to the diverse experiences of humans the world over. Reading opens us up to truths, ways of thinking, and worldviews that we’d never have otherwise (particularly as three cisgender white ladies). And we’re always looking for more books to do just that.

For this challenge, share a book that has expanded your worldview or changed the way you look at something, whether it’s another culture, gender, race, a new concept, social justice issues…the possibilities are endless.

Here are ours:

Rachel: Homegoing by Yaa Ghasi wasn’t my first foray into “diverse” literature by any means. I’d been intentionally and consciously trying to expand my reading to find 

the cover of homegoing by yaa gyasi

Cover of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

 books and authors that didn’t look or sound or think like me for a while. But it was the first book I read that took my perception of the “American” experience and turned it on its head. It’s one thing to know academically about slavery and its impact on Black Americans; it’s something else entirely to be shown how generation after generation is damaged and scarred by the brutality forced upon vast swaths of people. It is also something else entirely to be reminded that America has never dealt with its abuse of slaves and its ongoing abuse of their descendants. The impact of Ghasi’s generational saga has never left me, and I am reminded of the story every time another abuse of Black Americans is in the news.

the cover of Salvage the bones by jesmyn ward

Cover of Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Kerry: “It’s so hard to pick just one, but I’m going with Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I’d read news coverage and nonfiction works about Katrina and many ways the system failed communities of color specifically in its aftermath, but Ward’s fiction brought the very human, very individualized world of the families most impacted by the storm’s path to light in ways that have stayed with me years after my initial read of the book.”

The cover of evicted by matthew desmond

Cover of Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Kristen: “I remember gasping, crying, and sitting in heartbroken sickness at various moments as Matthew Desmond shared stories of poverty-stricken Americans stuck in a system stacked against them in Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. It blew my understanding of poverty, the housing crisis, and welfare benefits wide open. Since reading it, I haven’t stopped thinking about what home means to people who are—over and over again—prevented from maintaining one.”

If you’re posting a photo of your entry on social media, don’t forget to use the official hashtag #24in48 so other readers can find you, and tag us so we can see! We’ll post the winners of this challenge in six hours (Hour 18), so make sure you check back to see if you won! You’ve also got 12 more hours to enter the Intro Survey

Reminder: This 24in48, we’re trying something new to get a geographic snapshot of all participants and log every book read over the weekend! Let us know where you’re reading from here, and track your books as you finish them here!

Hour 6: Marvelous Opening Lines (Challenge)

It’s all happening! We’re six hours into this thing, and if you’re following the official readathon timeclock it’s 6AM ET.

The sky is lightening, Rachel is wondering when Kristen & Kerry are going to finally wake up, and all of the ‘thonners who started right at Midnight/Hour 0 are taking a nap (we hope).

Whatever your status, we’re happy you’re here! Oh, and also….

🚨 IT’S TIME FOR OUR FIRST CHALLENGE 🚨

A gif with the cast of Brooklyn 99 raising their arms and celebrating while mouthing YES

The cast of Brooklyn 99 raising their arms and celebrating by yelling “Yes!”

We’re a huge fan of first lines here at 24in48 HQ; short, long, dramatic, soft and stunning. Whatever your flavor, a good first line slips its hook into your readerly brain and won’t let go.

Since it’s the beginning of the readathon, we want you to flip to the beginning of the books on your 24in48 TBR stack and share the best first line with us in the form below.

Here’s Kristen’s favorite from her stack:

“It’s rare to know in real time that what you are about to do will define the course of the rest of your life.” –Sarah McBride, Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and The Fight for Trans Equality

If you’re posting a photo of your first line on social media, don’t forget to use the official hashtag #24in48 so other readers can find you, and tag us so we can see! We’ll post the winners of this challenge in six hours (Hour 12), so make sure you check back after you entered to see if you won! You’ve also got until Hour 24 to enter the Intro Survey!

Reminder: This 24in48, we’re trying something new to get a geographic snapshot of all participants and log every book read over the weekend! Let us know where you’re reading from here, and track your books as you finish them here!