Ready, Set, Read! 48 Hour Book Challenge Starting Line

Ever since I read about the 48 Hour Book Challenge last year, when the lovely Annie Cardi participated, I have been eagerly anticipating the return of the annual event so I could finally participate myself. And it’s finally here! This very weekend! Starting this very day!

The idea? Set aside 48 hours dedicated to reading. Within those 48 hours, the goal is to read between 12-48 of them.

Despite having some exciting and time-consuming plans in the next forty-eight hours that require my nose to be very distinctly outside the pages of a book, I still wanted to commit to participating. One, because life has been so busy lately that I’ve been desperately craving a reading binge, and this official event gives me the perfect excuse to burrow with a stack of books I’ve been eyeing for months without any interruptions. Two, because I find that after reading a lot–really providing fuel for my brain–I suddenly feel the urge to write a TON of whatever WIP is on my desk. And who wouldn’t be interested in stimulating an inspired jump start on that current novel-in-progress?

I’ll admit that I’ve been so nerdy about this challenge, that I’ve actually surprised myself (have I surprised any of you? No, probably not). I’ve been planning it for a few weeks now, in a giddy, obsessed, can’t stop talking about it to everyone sort of way, the way I can only remember replicating when I was planning my sweet sixteen birthday party way back when (it was a tea party on the last day of summer, with antique tea cups I picked up at flea markets, and it was awesome).

Ultimately, I decided upon a theme for my reading material: Under-reviewed books. These are books that have less than 2,000 reviews (sometimes much much less) on Goodreads as of this post and could use a little extra love, attention, and buzz, which I’m only too happy to provide! I decided on this for a couple of reasons:

1. I never write book reviews on the blog, and writing a short review of each book I read is a requirement of the challenge. I don’t write reviews as a general rule mostly because I personally don’t like writing them (though I love reading other people’s! Keep those reviews coming, folks!) So if I was going to make an exception to the rule and post reviews, I really wanted to make them special, important, and valuable book reviews, to both readers and authors alike. In my opinion, we don’t need to publicize yet another general review of The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, at this point. At least, you don’t need mine for any particular reason.

2. I mentioned to my boyfriend a few weeks ago that there are so many books in the world and so little time, that I’ve recently installed a policy where I almost strictly read books that were personally (and highly) recommended to me by a friend who I trust with taste similar to my own or books that have been read by thousands of other readers, resulting in an extremely high rating on Goodreads. His response? “That’s kind of sad. Don’t you want to be a person who discovers amazing books nobody else has heard of yet?” I was instantly struck with such a deep sense of shame because YES I DO! I WANT to read AMAZING books whether other people have heard of them or not! Discovering a book and then recommending it to everyone I can think of is part of the great fun of reading; at least, it used to be for me. What happened to the good old days when I would pursue the library shelves for hours and pick out about ten random book that tickled my fancy, read them all, and then repeat the process two weeks later? Now, I go to the library with an edited list of titles decided upon way in advance and I don’t even glance at other lonely and chock-full-of-potential books on the shelf. This is wrong, and I want to change that.

One additional rule I set for myself for this challenge:

To be included in my list of options, I had to already own the book or, for a limited exception, a way of acquiring it for free. This is mostly because I spend too much money on books as it is and I don’t need to buy more. Especially because I currently have about one hundred books piled about my condo that I have not read yet and want to. This seemed like as good a point as any to start chipping through the pile, instead of adding to it. The only exception I made was for the audiobook–long car rides cannot be wasted on a weekend as important as this were every minute is critical potential reading time!–that I’m borrowing from my local library.

I know my list is improbably long and it would be physically impossible to read all of these books even if I didn’t sleep or shower for 48 hours, but I thought it was good to bring all of these books to the top of my to-read pile, to give them a little attention, and to give myself a wide selection to choose from each time  I finish a book, depending upon my mood. If you’re interested in what I curated for myself, I made a mini list on Goodreads called 48-hours Too Few Reviews.

If you’re interested in joining, there’s still time! Go join!

And on that note, I’m going to get busy reading…right now!


Published by hannahkarena

author & book publishing person.

15 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Read! 48 Hour Book Challenge Starting Line

  1. So glad you’re taking part! I had such a blast last year. I haven’t planned joining this year because I’ve got stuff going on Saturday during the day, but maybe I can devote the rest of my time to reading and make a last-minute entry. Either way, looking forward to seeing your progress. 🙂


  2. I LOVE your chosen theme!
    I hate that, so frequently, only the newest of new, hotter-than-hot books are given attention on book review blogs. Overlooked novels (recently published or not) need to be given a chance at a vibrant, storied life, too!

    I’ll be looking forward to your reviews!

    Here’s my starting line post if you’d like to swing by:

    And I agree that Annie Cardi is lovely! I met her as part of a YA panel I was moderating in Barrington, RI recently. I found her to be incredibly warm and super-talented! The threads of her novel were so skillfully woven, the characters were likable, and the emotions were instantly recognizable — and when they weren’t, they still felt very believable and real. It was a great read!


  3. Good luck! I think I might take a spin on your idea and read some of the free Kindle books I’ve downloaded in the past and never gotten around to.


  4. I’ve never heard of this challenge before – it sounds like a lot of fun! I won’t have time to participate this year, but maybe next year…Anyway, if you’re looking for more things to add to your TBR list, my friends and I are doing a 13-week event on our blogs where we recommend five books a week, mostly of the lesser-known variety. It’s going to be a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see which books everyone picks!


  5. This is always a good chance to work through a TBR pile. I don’t post my reviews during the weekend, but the challenge does get me ahead for the summer so I can occasionally do other things beside read for the rest of June and July. Glad you are excited about participating.


  6. That’s a good plan! I don’t worry about the reviews so much, since they are very speed-written. But as a writer, you probably have higher standards.


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