24in48: a weekend of all the books

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

24 in 48. Never heard of it? Neither had I. It’s a twice-yearly weekend readathon, where bookworms around the globe try to cram 24 hours’ reading in between midnight Friday and midnight Sunday. Unlike the relentless Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, you can stop to eat, sleep, walk the dog, or just rub your eyes clear of words – cheered on by other readers worldwide who have given themselves permission to read all weekend. I had to give it a go…

I had no plans this weekend, so it felt like fate when Jolien at The Fictional Reader casually mentioned the 24in48 readathon was happening. Aiming to spend literally half the weekend reading felt like a worthy goal, and wet weather on Saturday sealed the deal. I buckled up and got my Kindle charger out…

I kicked off my reading with Bright Ruin, the final book in Vic James’s Dark Gifts trilogy (review coming up next weekend) – I was about a third in, so I wanted to finish it before I got stuck into anything else. This kept me company as I travelled from Atlanta to Washington DC and got myself settled for the week.

After that it was an open slate. Yes, I’ve got ARCs all over, but I was treating this weekend as freebie reads – pure pleasure. I picked 3 books that have been on my TBR for YEARS, and polished off Aliette de Bodard’s Citadel of Weeping Pearls over lunch while I gave Twitter time to express an opinion (I love twitterpolls for picking between things I want to read).

Twitter decreed – narrowly! – that I really should have read Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence by now (I know, I know) and they were pretty disappointed in me for not having got to The Goblin Emperor yet either. Weekend sorted.

Reading all weekend isn’t something I get to do guilt-free very often – I usually have work or housework to do or errands to run (and besides, my beloved gets a bit snarky if I don’t talk to him at all). But I’m not at home this weekend, which meant I could do whatever I liked.

Still, by the time I fell asleep on Saturday, I knew 24 hours of reading wasn’t going to happen. It’s a lot of hours, okay? My old eyes get tired these days. But honestly, what’s in a number? It’s all about the joy of spending as much of a weekend as you can glued to your books.

I very much enjoyed Three Parts Dead (yes, I should have read it way back when, you were all right, ok?) and spent Sunday picking my way through the many, many syllables of The Goblin Emperor. Ah, fantasy names and archaic forms of address: I loved you so much more when I was 14. Luckily the characters are endearing, so I’m getting on with it.

Final score: 13 hours of reading, and about 850 pages read.

Oddly, it felt like I’d spent longer reading than I had, which I think says more about the lapsed state of my concentration and how quickly my eyes tire than anything else.

Would I do it again? Yes, definitely – although now I’ve got a real appreciation for how much reading 24 hours really is, I don’t think I’d ever seriously try to hit that target.

But what about exploring the fascinating American city I was staying in? Well, that was never going to happen. I’ve already spent 3 weeks here this year, and I almost never do tourist things during work trips – my weekends are about recharging after talking all week. I might make it to the movies, or to a museum with dinosaurs in it, but mostly it’s life admin and self-care. So maybe the only weird thing about this wonderful weekend of reading is that I haven’t done it more often on my work travels!

Now, maybe I can spend next weekend catching up on all the blog posts…

Many thanks to Rachel, Kristen and Kerry for organising the event – and for putting so much effort into challenges and motivation along the way!

Like the sound of it? The next 24in48 readathon will be January 26-27th, 2019. Fancy something more immediate? Check out the #booziebookathon this week (the booze is strictly optional!)