This past weekend (January 21 & 22) I participated in the 24in48 Readathon. It’s an event I’ve skirted around the edges of for a while, dipped my toes into once before (I think I lasted all of 1 or 2 hours that time), and finally dove into this time around. “What is the 24in48 Readathon?” you may be asking. Well, it’s a readathon hosted by Rachel, who created it as a way to read for a 24 hour stretch, but in a way that allows for work, sleep, and all the other aspects of life that I can never seem to get away from. As she explains, “[b]eginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like. And that’s it. The format never changes but it’s always an adventure.”
The holy grail of participating is completing a full 24 hours worth of reading during the 2 days. I will get there, one of these times, but this weekend was not that time. I knew I had to work when I signed up, and I ended up with some family commitments added to my schedule, so I was shooting for logging just a handful of hours by the time Sunday night rolled around. I wanted to get more reading time in than I normally would have gotten, and I’d chalk it up to a successful readathon. As it turned out, I ended up with 8 hours of reading time logged, and I was really happy with that because it was 3-4 more hours than I was thinking were going to happen.
So how did I make 8 hours happen? Part of those family commitments I mentioned earlier required spending 3 hours in the car, which was a perfect way to get in some solid audiobook listening. I was able to finish up the final 10% of Heartless by Marissa Meyer and get through the first 50% of Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts. I was also able to read on my iPad for about an hour in bed before calling it a night, which allowed me to get through 10% of The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian. The remaining 4 hours were logged on Sunday evening from the comfort of my reading nook, where I made my way through 177 pages of Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn.
I really enjoyed participating in this readathon. Rachel has done a great job of making it a very interactive experience, with posting happening all over social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Litsy. And not only is Rachel posting on all of the 24in48 accounts, but participants are posting all over on their accounts, too, using #24in48. It’s fun to jump online at any point throughout the weekend and see all of the progress that is being made by everyone. Rachel has also worked giveaways into the readathon. Everyone who signs up to participate is automatically entered into a raffle for door prizes (I won a door prize and I totally geeked out!), and there are periodic “challenges” posted and winners are drawn from those who submit an entry (for example, list the 5 literary guests you’d invite to dinner).
The next readathon is scheduled for the weekend of July 22-23 and I plan to be there with bells on! My goal is to increase my reading time to at least 16 hours, doubling what I accomplished this past weekend. (I’d love to say I’m going to hit a full 24 hours, but it never fails that I end up with scheduling conflicts. . . and I have a tendency to fall asleep with my face in my books. So, I’m being realistic.) The only complaint I have from this experience is a personal issue: my ability to distract myself from my books. The hubs came upstairs to keep me company and turned on the football game. . . so I watched that, and then realized I was reading, and then watched it some more, and then realized I was reading. And jumping online to see how other participants were faring never failed to turn into a solid 45 minutes of scrolling through Instagram before realizing I was infringing on my own reading time. But then I’d jump over to Litsy “just for a sec” and lose another 45 minutes. *sigh* I’m going to have to keep my electronic devices in a different room for the July ‘thon and only allow myself to access them after set lengths of time, or I’ll end up wasting all of my reading time scrolling through everyone else’s progress and won’t be making any of my own.
If anyone is thinking about participating, mark the weekend of July 22 & 23 on your calendar, and go follow the 24in48 Readathon pages. As it draws near, there will be a sign-up form for you to fill out and you’ll see people starting to post their readathon reading piles to social media (half the fun is checking out what everyone else is reading). I’ve already got the weekend marked off in my planner, so I hope to see you there!