Competitiveness runs in my veins like blood runs in most people’s. So when I signed on to do the 24 in 48 Readathon, I knew it could quickly turn obsessive. And well, yes, it did, BUT I have successfully arrived on the other side with the full 24 hours completed as well as a marriage that is still intact! To my very understanding Husband Unit, thank you for letting me have my weekend of insanity. To everyone who may have seen me walking around glued to my phone or with one earbud in, this is what I was doing. If you’re interested in a play-by-play of my crazed mindset this weekend, I kept an ongoing post here; this is more of a general recap.

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For starters, it was so much fun. 11/10 would recommend. Despite my tendency to ramp things up to level 9000, this truly is a low stress event, and people participate for as little or as much as they want. I happened to have an entirely free weekend, but that’s definitely not a requirement.

Several social media platforms were exploding with the action, including Twitter, Instagram, Litsy, and the website itself. Don’t know about Litsy? It’s for iPhones; BookRiot has a great explanation of it here. I chose to participate mainly on Litsy, here, and other people’s blogs. I don’t actually use Twitter or Instagram, and I think trying to keep up with too many threads would ultimately detract from the time I spent reading. I wanted to be social, but not too social, ya know? It was fun to occasionally check out the Twitter hashtag #24in48 just to see what was happening from the sidelines. Answer – lots was happening.

If you’re thinking this might be something you’d like to try in the future, here’s a few tips from a noob who made it out alive.

  1. Don’t put off your reading. The hours spent not reading will fly by quicker than you think, and while you are reading, the stopwatch won’t advance as fast as you swear it should be.
  2. Set a timeline. While the host site runs from midnight to midnight EST, I made my 48 hours from 7 p.m. Friday through 7 p.m. Sunday CST because I knew I wouldn’t want to stay up late finishing before the work week.
  3. Find a way to track. I kept my iPhone’s stopwatch running while I read in print, and combined that with the audiobook time codes. Then, I found an online calculator to add it all up for me, because math was so not happening. Here are my final numbers; the 12 hour chunk is my iPhone stopwatch and the others are completed audiobook sections. See the bottom of my ongoing post if you’re interested in what titles I was reading.
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  4. AUDIOBOOKS AUDIOBOOKS AUDIOBOOKS
    I cannot say this enough! There is NO WAY I would’ve read for 24 hours in only print books. I don’t typically do audiobooks, but this weekend I had them on my phone for in the car, at the store, even while I was blogging (though listening and typing is a skill that takes about an hour to really get into). You can walk, stretch, play a laid back board game or computer game, cook, anything with an audiobook. Listening is waaaay easier than focused print reading when you’re trying to do it for several hours in a row.
  5. Variety! Sure, it’s fun to make a starting stack and say “I’m going to read these,” but the best thing to do is go with your mood at the time. Book not working for you? Shamelessly ditch it. If your reading drags at the beginning, imagine how bad it’ll drag in hours 17-24.
  6. Participate in the community! It doesn’t have to suck up all your time, but you’ll want a break from your reading every now and then anyway. My Litsy page was blowing up this weekend as the hosts had photo challenges and contests several times a day. All that hard work paid off, too, as I was (finally!) the winner of the second-to-last round! It was an Honest Book Title contest, where you post a book with what you deem a more appropriate title. I have to thank the Husband Unit for being the inspiration for my winning entry – you are my favorite! Here’s some screenshots of it within the Litsy app.
    File Jul 24, 10 12 49 PM   File Jul 24, 10 13 10 PM
  7. Don’t sleep. Just kidding – you should totally sleep. SLEEP. Also eat. I had time to meet friends for donuts, go to garage sales, attend church, smash a tiny piñata for our second anniversary; you can do your normal weekend things and still participate.

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my weekend of insanity and fun times! A readathon is a fabulous thing to be part of, even if you know you won’t meet the suggested hours. I’m not sure when the next 24 in 48 is, but I’d love to see you there!

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