*Pump up music*
*Pre-game stretches*
*Books and chocolate assembled, add another 6-pack of Coke Zero to the fridge*

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IT IS TIIIIIIIIME!!! That twice-a-year weekend of weekends, the 24 in 48 Readathon! (Reading 24 hours within a 48-hour period, not 24 books as I am frequently asked.) This is my 5th time (what?!?) and I’m feeling pretty pumped about it. Let’s see how long that energy keeps up.

Friday, July 20

5:30pm

It’s a well-documented fact that the number one enemy of 24 in 48 is hygiene. Nothing throws off my reading groove like having to stop for such mundane activities as showering, so obviously I’ve decided to not bathe for 48 hours.

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Just kidding. But after 4 prior ‘thons, I have finally learned to nullify the problem before I even begin reading and shower as soon as I get home from work. 10 points to me for A+ problem solving.

7pm

I’ve got my ultra-perfect t-shirt on, a fabulous gift from one of my sisters-in-law. Soft and cozy and perfect for being a couch potato I mean dedicated reader.

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I’m doing the late Friday to late Sunday time frame that has been successful for me in the past, still sticking to a strict 48 hours while also avoiding a late night right before the work week. Spot on at 7pm I launch into the audiobook of The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, a book I read circa 2016ish and am in dire need of a refresher for before I see the author speak at the end of the month. It’s also time to start the National Parks puzzle I got in March and have been saving for this!

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7:30pm

The Mom Unit and Dad Unit stop by. Yes, it interrupts my reading. Yes, I pause my audiobook. The Dad Unit, aka The Puzzle King, wins points for finding some puzzle piece matches and the Mom Unit brings some garage sale goodies so I guess I can handle the interruption.

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10:25pm

Uhhh this puzzle did not take me as long as I expected it to. 500 pieces is apparently not enough to last a whole ‘thon.

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Upon hearing me lamenting for the puzzle finishing faster than expected, the ever-helpful Husband Unit offers this: “You could clean.”

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12:55am

Technically we have moved on to Day 2 but this is still pre-sleep. I finish up the fifth disc of The Wrath and the Dawn, and even though I’m not super tired this is probably as decent time as any to get some sleep, considering past experience tells me I’ll be pulling another late nighter tomorrow.

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Hours so far: 5 hours, 50 minutes

Saturday, July 21

7:30am

I normally couldn’t wake up naturally and well-rested at this hour if my life depended on it, but this is the Readathon, when 6 hours of sleep apparently feels like 10 and going back for another hour or two of snoozes seems like a big waste of reading time. I know my tailbone will get tired of the couch soon enough so I do a little sneaky reading of Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram in bed since the sun has come up enough that I don’t even need a light.

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8:30am

The need for sustenance drives me out of bed. And since I am an adult, I of course select a bag of Cheez-its for breakfast. These early morning times are good for cozying up in the recliner with a print book, when I’m not yet feeling the need to audiobook multitask, so I keep on with Darius.

10am

I hear the telltale rustling that signifies the Husband Unit’s awakening. Luckily he hasn’t forgotten what I’m doing today, and luckily there’s a new Hardcore History podcast for him to listen to so that affords me a solid four hours uninterrupted. Time to switch back to the audiobook, and I’m deriving a certain amount of humor from the fact that both these books feature a cultural focus on fancy tea. (The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights; Darius the Great is Not Okay is about a half-Iranian boy who visits Iran for the first time.)

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1:30pm

Guuuuuasbhasldbhalskdf it’s time to drag myself out of the house for some food. A change of scenery for meals is a good idea to keep cabin fever from sinking in, even if I spend every minute silently willing the Husband Unit to eat faster so I can get back home to the books.

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He makes another stunning suggestion that I do yard work while audiobooking. I deliver another stunning refusal.

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I could probably stand to start a load of laundry, though, since that can be accomplished INDOORS where the AIR CONDITIONING is. Plus, my audiobook is on my laptop, which is not exactly practical for yard work.

3-4pm

This happens once every ‘thon: I’m in the middle of an audiobook, eyes getting kind of droopy, I’ll think to myself, “I’ll just lay back and listen while lying down…”

Husband Unit: “It doesn’t count if you’re sleeping.”
Me: “I’m here!” (Very eloquent, I know.)
Husband Unit: “You didn’t hear the doorbell.”

At this point, I blather something incoherent and shoo him away because I’m LISTENING to my BOOK obviously.

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4:30pm

The last CD of the The Wrath and the Dawn finishes up, making one full book done! I liked listening to it better than I remember reading it in print, which I think is mostly because I can tune out the chapters following the character (ahem Tariq) whose story I don’t particularly care for. Moving on to Flame in the Mist, also by Renee Ahdieh, which I have also read in print but it’s been a year and I need a refresher since the sequel is now out.

5:30pm

The folks running the ‘thon do photo challenges throughout the weekend, and the most current one was to show how your bedside table books are organized. In short, my bedside table is a HOT MESS but controlled clutter is kind of my style. There’s actually quite an art form to arranging the random towers so that I have enough room both getting out of bed and getting in the closet, while also keeping them short enough so that they don’t lose structural integrity.

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9:30pm

I’m at the stage where it’s just a steady chug ahead, things have settled down after a quick dinner at home and I’ve basically taken over the living room for however long I decide to stay up. The couch is my home, and I should get a sponsorship from both Coke and Pepsi for how many bottles of each I’ve consumed. At this point, I’ve hit 18 hours total, which is on track with my pacing from January’s ‘thon, when I hit 20 hours at right around midnight, though the dreaded time-suck of showering hasn’t been taken care of yet.

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11:20pm

Officially crossed the 20 hour mark, starting to feel the sleepies set in, but…maybe…just…a…bit…more…

12am Sunday

Succumbing to the need to shower has the added advantage of making me feel refreshed and ready to take on another hour or so. I like to keep my required ‘thon reading on Sundays minimal, since I know I have church in the morning and my gal pal group Bachelorette watching in the afternoon. Yes, the former is more important than the latter even though I stuck them in the same sentence.

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The Husband Unit possess the enviable ability to sleep literally anywhere (I once left him outside for 10 minutes tops in the middle of a sunny May afternoon and came back to find him lying on the sidewalk. Not even the fluffy grass ten inches away. The. Sidewalk.) so he says I can keep the bedroom light on and read in bed while he commences the snoozes.

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1:30am

Oooooookay I read for a little longer than I anticipated. BUT I ended up finishing Darius the Great is Not Okay, and it was FABULOUS. Which explains the 1:30am thing. But for real I’m going to sleep now.

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Hours so far: 21 hours, 31 minutes

Sunday July 22

1:00pm

I really don’t have much required time left today, so the morning is pretty chill. The Husband Unit drives to church and lunch and Dillon’s so I can read in the car and pick up a few minutes. My audiobooks are synched to my laptop, so I start an ebook of Bright Ruin by Vic James, the 3rd book in the Dark Gifts trilogy, which is a wildfire ride of power struggles, betrayal, manipulation and modern-day magic.

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2:00pm

I reluctantly put up Bright Ruin and switch back to the audiobook of Flame in the Mist, since I need to do stuff like update this post.

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2:16pm

So I did a quick bit of math just to see how far along I was (LOL who am I kidding I use this time adding calculator) and LO AND BEHOLD WHAT DO I SEE???

24 hours, 9 minutes, 18 seconds

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That kind of snuck up on me, to be honest. And since I’m reading Flame in the Mist in anticipation of seeing the author at the end of the month, I actually do want to finish it, and since I only have 40 minutes until my gal pal time with Bachelorette Becca and her bevy of men, I’m going to keep the audiobook rolling until then.

7:00pm

Between a little bit more of the audiobook and some ebook reading, by the time my 48-hour window is up at 7pm, I have wrapped up with…

  • The Wrath and The Dawn (complete): 10 hrs, 45 min
  • Flame in the Mist (partial): 8 hrs, 11 min, 50 sec
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay (complete): 4 hrs, 8 min, 50 sec
  • Bright Ruin (partial): 1 hr, 41 min, 57 sec

24 hours, 47 minutes, 37 seconds

Cool cool. Well, this has been fun, let’s do it again in six months!

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