Bum. Bum. Bum. Another book bites the dust! My third 24 in 48 Readathon has come and gone, taking with it the excitement of connecting with other readers, the stress of a heavily scratched audiobook CD, and the half-crazed mania that rears its head whenever my sense of perfectionism meets a deadline and a lack of sleep. Every time has proven to be a little bit different, and while I wouldn’t say reading for this length of time necessarily gets easier, I learn a little more each time about how to better prepare for it.

First things first, YES I did finish the full 24 hours! For the sportscaster highlights written as I shambled my way through the weekend, pop on over here. I promise there are plenty of gifs, especially toward the end when my brain was more interested in seeing what the internet could curate for me rather than constructing a coherent sentence under my own power.

Here’s the short and sweet hours/minutes/seconds version of what I read:

Bringing the grand total to…

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Thank you, online time calculator.

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Some things I learned this weekend that will definitely be helpful for my future 24 in 48 participation:

  • Set your own time frame. I’ve always moved my 48 hours to be early Friday evening – early Saturday evening rather than the official midnight time bracket, and this ‘thon was the best yet. Starting at 6:30pm CST Friday allowed me to get over 5 hours done that evening, allowing me to…
  • Frontload the reading as much as possible. The final hours are always the hardest, so I think it’s best to leave as little as possible for Saturday. Thanks to my start time and my open schedule, I went to sleep on Saturday with 20 hours under my belt. Granted, it was 1am, but 4 hours was easy peasy to fit in on Sunday before 6:30pm. I do adhere to a strict 48 hour limit, but shifting it up a little makes it far more feasible for me to complete the full 24.
  • Tell your close friends/families what you’re doing. Then remind them again, and again, and again. If there are people in your life that are anything like my (dearly beloved) Husband Unit, they will forget that you have requested an entire weekend of privacy up until it’s upon them.
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    That was this weekend???

    But by telling them once or twice or eighteen thousand times, you’ve reserved the right to claim the moral high ground when you bluntly but lovingly inform them..
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  • Have waaaaaay more books on hand than you think you will need. Participants like to talk about what they’re planning to read, but I’ve realized that what I think I will read and what I actually read during a readathon are entirely different lists. I tend to bypass my beloved fantasy books for graphic novels and quick, contemporary YA. This is because 75% of my hours are audiobooks, and I prefer to not have to track with fantasy/sci-fi action sequences outside of a print book. When it comes to a readathon, I personally gravitate toward funny, lighter reads, but it’s always good to have a variety on hand for whatever your mood calls for.
  • Take a break when you need to. I caught a little catnap early Saturday afternoon, which felt like throwing in the towel at the time, but in reality it totally refreshed me so I could push on into the dark hours of the night. I’m a proponent of popping in an audiobook and closing my eyes, and if some light dozing happens, it happens.

    A lot of people will take a walk with an audiobook for an energizing change of scenery, but it was 100+ blazing degrees this weekend, so that was out of the question for me.

As always, 24 in 48 was a ton of fun, and I’ll totally be doing it again in six months! Follow their social media channels if you want a heads up for when sign-ups start; you lose nothing by registering and can win prizes without committing to the full 24 hours. We’ll be huddled under blankets instead of sitting in front of fans, but it’ll still be a good time. Mark your calendar for the next set of dates!

January 27-28, 2018

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