48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

Well, I finished this month’s 48-Hour Book Challenge.

First off, I’m disappointed because my total time is 10 minutes less than last Spring, and I thought that was low. I should somehow avoid those naps! But this time I did less audiobook listening and more reading, so I got more pages read. This time I spent much more time on housekeeping details, but it’s all good.

Here are my totals:

Reading time: 13 hours, 15 minutes
I read 906 pages in that time. Only one was a complete book, but I finished four books, and hope to finish one more book for the Cybils before I go to sleep tonight. Counting the four books I finished, I read from sixteen different books. (This isn’t unusual. I like to read nonfiction a little bit at a time.)

Listening time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
That’s not enough to finish the audiobook I’m working on, but I’m 49% through it.

Reviewing time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
I wrote reviews of three of the books I finished.

Blogging time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
This is the start and end posts, plus two Sonderblessings posts.

Posting two reviews: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
I write the posts on this blog, then set them up for the main website, with links to reviews before and after.

Housekeeping details: 3 hours
This includes setting up the spreadsheet and details like that. The reason it’s so very long this time was first that it turned out the book I started Thursday night was in the wrong category. So I sent emails to the Cybils category chair of Young Adult Fiction and got that straightened out — it’s not Speculative Fiction at all. (My category.) Then last night, I got the list of finalist books for the Mathical Book Prize, and I went through my library catalog with every title to figure out how many I need to order and how many I can read from library books.

You’d think by now I’d know that I’ll never get as much done in 48 hours as I think I can! I suspect what spoiled me is in other years I’ve worked on children’s books, and I can read them in about half the time of a young adult book. I was looking back in my records, and only once did I ever get more than 30 hours in, but usually I do more like 27 hours. Maybe I’m getting old!

But it’s all good, and it’s definitely fun to try! And I read some good books this weekend!

Autumn 48-Hour Book Challenge Starting Line!

It dawned on me Tuesday, when I had Election Day off, that this coming weekend would be a perfect time to do a 48-Hour Book Challenge — because I’ve also got Veteran’s Day off Friday, giving me a long weekend. So tonight I paid my bills and went through mail and ordered a couple of things I wanted. And now my weekend should be clear for a Book Challenge!

I did my first 48-Hour Book Challenge years ago, the inspiration of Pam Coughlan, who then blogged as Mother Reader and later became my co-worker. The idea is to see how much time you can spend reading and blogging during a fixed space of 48 hours. Wow! It looks like it was 2009 the first time.

The reason this works is it makes reading a priority! You trick yourself into doing what you want to do and need to do because it’s what you’re supposed to do for these next 48 hours.

But since it’s not a group thing this time and I’m setting it up myself, this time I’m going to make it a reading and writing challenge. So I can spend time working on my book as well as blogging. (I have a book written about Psalms and I’ve almost finished the Book Proposal.) Besides that, I might even count email time this time — I’m way behind on emailing my friends these days. The catch, of course, is that means I won’t get as many books read.

And the reason I’m reading? I’m judging the first round of the Cybils in the category of Young Adult Speculative Fiction. We need to come up with seven finalists by Christmas, out of eighty books nominated, so that’s a lot of reading. (I won’t read all eighty, but I’d like to read, say, forty. We do want two of the seven judges to read every book.)

I’m off to a late start. I thought I’d start tonight because that way I’d have some of Saturday night left to do other things — but not so much. Anyway, I’ll see what I can do tonight before I fall asleep, and then it will be a reading day tomorrow! It’s supposed to rain and storm, so I won’t be tempted to break to take a walk. (I *am* going to be tempted to post pictures I’ve taken this month, which I’m also way behind about. But if I do, I will listen to audiobooks as I do it.)

The goal this time? Simply do better than last time, when my total time was 24 hours, 45 minutes, but my time reading was only 8 hours 10 minutes, with time listening 11 hours, 15 minutes. I finished 4 books, but only 2 of them were complete books. And I wrote 2,492 words.

Okay, I started at 11:10 pm (blogging counts). Ready, set, READ!

And I can’t resist: Here’s the youtube Theme Song for my 48-Hour Book Challenge that always makes me laugh:

48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

My 48-Hour Book Challenge is done, and my showing wasn’t as good as other times — too much sleeping and exceptions. And the 3000-piece puzzle on my table pulled me into more listening time than reading time, which isn’t nearly as efficient.

However — I did have a lovely time this weekend doing lots of reading! I really like the two audiobooks I’ve listened to this weekend — A Comb of Wishes (finished and reviewed) and These Wicked Walls (still a couple hours to go), so even if it wasn’t as efficient as reading, I enjoyed my time.

I did review all four books I finished (only four!), but haven’t gotten all the reviews posted yet. I did write two other reviews and have four more reviews I want to write, which I may do tonight. When it came to the end and I saw I hadn’t gotten much reading done, I wanted to do more of that.

Here are my stats for the last 48 hours:

8 hours, 10 minutes Reading
11 hours, 15 minutes Listening (I told you that puzzle snagged me.)
2 hours, 15 minutes writing reviews
50 minutes other blogging
2 hours, 15 minutes posting reviews (mostly while listening to audiobooks, not counted in above)

It all adds up to 24 hours, 45 minutes spent on books in the last 48 hours.

I finished 4 books, 2 of them from start to finish, but read parts of 13 books. I have several books I like to read a chapter per day, and worked on those. I read 719 pages in that time, which doesn’t count the audiobooks. I wrote 5 book reviews, including 3 of the books I finished. (I intentionally didn’t review one of the books. I enjoyed it, but would have pointed out too many flaws in a review — I think it’s better to just be quiet about it.) I wrote 2,492 words, posted 2 reviews on my website and 1 on the blog only. I posted 2 blog posts about ALA Annual Conference that were already written.

And there are much worse ways to spend a weekend! At this point, I may not be able to go to sleep without finishing up Within These Wicked Walls. And the puzzle is still calling!

48-Hour Book Challenge! 2022 Edition – Starting Line

Many years ago, my friend Pam, who blogged as Mother Reader started a tradition of a 48-Hour Book Challenge.

Since then, Pam moved on to other things (including working with me at the library!), but I have periodically brought back the idea and carried out my own personal 48-Hour Book Challenge.

Last week, Ms. Yingling of msyinglingreads.blogspot.com hosted a 48-Hour Middle Grade Marathon — and I fully intended to do it when I heard about it a couple weeks before — and then totally forgot until I saw people posting about it Saturday night.

But this weekend, I don’t have my regular gaming group meeting on Sunday, and Saturday is completely clear, and I have piles and piles of new books I want to read from ALA Annual Conference, plus 11 books I want to read for the mid-year voting for Capitol Choices (a DC area group of librarians that chooses 100 best kid’s books of the year) — and that’s only counting the ones I already have checked out.

So — I am going to do a 48-Hour Book Challenge! And I started at 8:05 pm tonight!

Here’s how it works: It’s measured by time. You take a 48-Hour period of time — In my case, it will be 8:05 pm Friday to 8:05 pm Sunday — and you see how much of that time you can spend reading.

Okay, it began with bloggers, and I am also going to count blogging. The thing that was holding me back: I currently have 199 book reviews sitting as drafts waiting to be posted. If I read more, I’ll get more behind.

So — I am going to count blogging time, too, including writing this post. And in fact, after every book I read, if I’m going to review it, I’m going to review it immediately, and post that review. (The first book I’m going to finish is a YA book I’ve already decided I won’t review because although I’m enjoying it, I have too many negative comments.)

But I would also like to make headway on my blog. So with every book I finish, I also plan to post an old review only on the blog, post a non-book-review post like these ones about ALA Annual Conference, and post another book review on Sonderbooks.com.

This year, I now listen to eaudiobooks, so I can do chores like cooking, dishes, laundry and such while listening to books and count that time. I’m afraid I also have a 3000-piece puzzle up on my table, and there will be some time given to that this weekend, while listening. But my queue of audiobooks I want to listen to is piling up, too, so that will be fine.

Of course, I won’t get nearly as many books read as when I don’t have these side goals, but I’m happy about my plan.

Why do a 48-Hour Book Challenge? Well, the lovely part is that it tricks my brain into making reading my priority for 48 hours. I have to get my reading done!

I won’t lose sleep for it, and won’t set my alarm or skip my walk, and I will go to church Sunday — but otherwise my plan is to really put in some good reading time this weekend. And yay! See how I’ve tricked myself into making fun a priority?

Anyone is welcome to join me, though I’m posting this so late I doubt I’ll get any takers. But if you do decide to join me, just post in the comments when you’re starting. You could always do a 24-hour Book Challenge, right? And I’m thinking writers could do it, too — count time working on your book!

The key is it’s what you want it to be. You might think I don’t need to do it since I live alone, but it gives me permission to have a luxurious reading weekend. If you do live with someone, you can also use this to give yourself permission to do the same.

So, off I go to finish a book! (I only have about 50 pages left.) And to embark on 48 hours of happy reading and blogging.

And please forgive me, but I always watch this video and laugh and laugh when I start a 48-Hour Book Challenge:

There’s no one here to interrupt me, but I’m also not going to interrupt myself!

Happy Reading!

48-Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

In the last 48 Hours, between 7 pm Monday and 7 pm Wednesday, I spent 27 hours and 15 minutes reading, reviewing, posting reviews, and blogging.

I was hoping for 30 hours — but today I lost a little bit of urgency when I realized that my week off will continue and there’s nothing to prevent me spending the time the same way! So I took a little longer on my walk by my lake, taking pictures of irises.

Today I focused more on dipping into various nonfiction books I’d started than reading whole novels. In fact, I’m a little stunned that I only finished ONE book from start to finish — Emily’s Quest, by L. M. Montgomery. But I did finish four other books that I’d already started and wrote reviews of them. I also got more than halfway through a children’s novel that I started today.

But most of the time was reading a chapter or two from nonfiction books. Besides the five books I finished, I read parts of eighteen other books. So yeah, maybe I’m overdoing the reading a little bit of books each day thing (and no wonder it takes me a long time to make much headway), but they were all books I really enjoyed reading, and that was in keeping with my theme of taking a personal spiritual retreat this week.

My stats for the 48 hours:
13 hours, 30 minutes were spent reading
2 hours, 50 minutes were spent listening to audiobooks
2 hours, 30 minutes were spent writing four reviews
4 hours, 25 minutes were spent posting five reviews (so I’m not further behind!)
1 hour, 55 minutes were spent with other blogging (starting line & midpoint posts & Sonderquotes)
2 hours, and 5 minutes were spent keeping track in spreadsheets (Oh dear, that seems excessive.)

In those 13 and a half hours, I got 954 pages read.
In the 4 hours, 25 minutes I spent reviewing and blogging, I wrote 2,921 words.

And the important thing? I had a lovely time doing it. And — I think I set some nice habits for the rest of my week off. Having this going on helped me spend a little less time on Twitter in the morning. And it reminded me that I *like* reading and reviewing and blogging.

All in all, it was again a lovely way to refresh my reading batteries.

48-Hour Book Challenge: Midpoint Check-in

It’s past 7:00 on Tuesday night, so I have come halfway through my 48-Hour Book Challenge, and I’m fighting off the realization I always get during these events that I can’t actually get infinitely many books read in an infinite amount of time.

But the report so far is that I’ve finished reading (or listening to) four books, all of which I’d already started: one children’s novel, one audiobook, and two nonfiction books which I’d been reading a little bit at a time.

This has seemed like a good day for dipping into a large number of books, though it’s a little less satisfying to report. But in the last 24 hours, I have ended up spending 15 hours reading, blogging, reviewing, and posting reviews. (That’s good. I like to try to hit 30 hours in my 48-Hour Book Challenges. It all depends on how long I sleep.)

And this time, I’m trying to focus less on getting a large amount read and more on getting what I finish reviewed. But also to enjoy the process. Because what could be better than a day spent reading?

48-Hour Book Challenge Starting Line

Huzzah! It’s time for my 48-Hour Book Challenge!

The goal: To take a period of 48 Hours and spend as much time as possible Reading and Reviewing. My participation in these started years ago because of Mother Reader, and it’s her logo I’m using. I’m much less organized and don’t have prizes and haven’t gotten hundreds of other bloggers to sign up — but I’m doing it!

I just looked back at my own blog posts in the 48-Hour Book Challenge category, and the first year I did one was 2009. Wow!

This year, I’m planning to spend a bigger proportion of time writing reviews and posting reviews than I usually do, because I currently have 113 reviews waiting to be posted, and if I read and review more books, I’ll just get farther behind.

Also, because I’m starting a Personal Spiritual Retreat at the same time, I’m hoping to read more nonfiction than I usually do. It’s not quite as fun as binge-reading fiction, but I’d like to do some thinking and reflection during this time, too.

Oh, and it’s always fun to include a video of my personal 48-Hour Book Challenge Theme Song!

Seriously, what I love about the 48-Hour Book Challenge is that it makes reading something that I’m not going to interrupt for other activities. (I’ll use audiobooks to get me through the awkward necessity of doing things like preparing food.) It flips a switch in my brain and tells me that I *should* be reading, rather than making “too much reading” be something I feel guilty about.

Anyway, my start time tonight was 7 pm. So for the next 48 hours, until Wednesday night at 7 pm — don’t interrupt me, I will be reading!

Invitation to a 48-Hour Book Challenge

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but some number of years ago, my friend Pam Coughlan, who recently became my co-worker, would run a 48-Hour Book Challenge from her blog, motherreader.com.

Pam did a fantastic job with the 48-Hour Book Challenge. She had a start line and finish line. She had prizes. She had a place for you to post. The logo for the challenge I put on this post is totally hers.

Well, she stopped blogging, but for the years that she sponsored the 48-Hour Book Challenge, I liked it so much that I kept doing my own personal ones.

And — I’m taking this next week off. But because of Covid-19, I cancelled my reservation in southern Virginia and my plans to hike to waterfalls. So I will be home — and I’ve decided to use Monday and Tuesday for this year’s 48-Hour Book Challenge.

I have already dropped the ball on inviting other people to join me. Who’s going to clear 48 hours so quickly? But in case you like the idea and want to try it in the next week or so — tell me about it in the comments and if you have a blog, put a link.

Here are the rules: For 48 straight hours, you spend as much time as you can reading and blogging. That’s it. But you keep track of your stats and post your results.

I have to admit, it’s more fun when I spend more of the time reading and less time blogging. But I am already way, way behind on getting reviews posted, so I am going to try to write a review of every book I finish reading and also to post multiple reviews — I don’t want to get further behind.

Oh, and it’s allowed to tide yourself over times when it’s hard to read by listening to audiobooks. I have one loaded to Libby on my phone that I need to listen to. That’s probably what I’ll do while fixing lunch and dinner.

So it will be fun if someone can join me. But whether or not — I hereby declare that I can’t do extra activities on Monday and Tuesday. I need to read!

48-Hour Book Challenge: Independence Weekend Finish Line

There! I’ve just spent the last 48 hours trying to focus on reading, writing and reviewing, in a 48-hour Book Challenge.

I did not get as much done as I would have liked to. That never happens. But I did have a completely lovely time. And I did get more accomplished than I would have if I had just treated it as an ordinary two days off.

For time, I managed to spend 27 hours and 15 minutes reading, writing, and reviewing.

That was broken down this way:
12 hours, 55 minutes reading
5 hours, 35 minutes writing reviews
4 hours, 35 minutes blogging about ALA Annual conference
2 hours, 15 minutes posting reviews
1 hour, 30 minutes emailing (I decided to count that as writing to keep from feeling isolated.)
And 25 minutes housekeeping (making my spreadsheet) and organizing book piles.

Here’s what I accomplished:
I completely read four books, finished two more that I’d already begun, and read parts of five other books, for a total of 1,313 pages read.

I wrote reviews of eleven books, completely catching up on reviews I wanted to write. (This was a goal that I did accomplish. I didn’t want to get further behind on writing reviews.)

I posted only two reviews and two Sonderquotes posts. (Had hoped to do more.)

I posted two blog posts about the Challenge itself (counting this one) and two blog posts about ALA Annual Conference. (Had hoped to at least finish ALA Annual Conference.)

All that adds up to 8,311 words written.

But best of all, I had a whole lot of fun. And I convinced myself that as I begin a new phase of life — post-Newbery and attending a new church — I do want to put a focus on reading, writing and reviewing.

And that is where my joy lies.

Now I’ve got two days left of my 4-day weekend to try to do my normal weekend things — which hopefully include a little reading, writing, and reviewing!

Independence Day 48-Hour Book Challenge

It’s time for a 48-Hour Book Challenge, Independence Day Edition!

But Sondy, you may ask, why are you doing a book challenge when you’re no longer on the Newbery committee and no longer need to spend every spare minute reading books?

Well, when I was talking with friends at ALA Annual Conference about my Newbery experience, I realized that what I miss most is being able to make reading my top priority. I miss having an excuse to set aside everything else and read.

I’m also frustrated because when I don’t make reading a priority — books just aren’t getting read as quickly! There were so many books I wanted to get to after the Newbery was done — and they’re languishing, still unread. (Also, books for adults are just so darn long!)

And then I thought, well, why don’t I make reading a priority, anyway?

Another thing that happened during ALA Annual Conference was that I received the Allie Beth Martin Award from the Public Library Association for “extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books and distinguished ability to share that knowledge.” That was nice validation for my website, Sonderbooks.com, full of book reviews, which I’ve been writing since 2001. During my last month reading for the Newbery, I actually posted one review almost every day — because I wanted to catch up on posting all my pre-2018 reviews. But since then? So few have gotten posted.

Now something got set aside during the Newbery, and it’s that I’ve always wanted to be a published writer. But of course I wasn’t going to try while I was on the Newbery committee because of conflict of interest. Now it’s time to embrace writing again. Beginning with my blog and writing up my time at ALA Annual Conference. But I have two other blog series going that I want to continue and that have been languishing — A Universalist Looks at the New Testament, about Christian Universalism, and Transcending: They’ll Know Us By Our Love, about the Bible and transgender people. I’d love for either one or both of these series to eventually become a book, but for now I have a lot more to write on the blog.

So there you have it, in my post-Newbery life, I want a fresh focus on Reading, Writing, and Reviewing.

I am therefore adjusting the rules of the 48-Hour Book Challenge. Instead of just counting reading time, I will also count time writing and reviewing. In fact, my plan is to alternate an hour of each one. The challenge comes in to see how much of the next 48 hours I can fill with Reading, Writing, and Reviewing. I’ll also keep track of pages read, books completed, words written, and reviews posted.

Oh, the other factor is I’m almost disappointed I don’t ever go to the Capitol Fourth on the National Mall, because my boycotting it today loses any meaning. But I am boycotting it today. Being given Friday off as well as Independence Day makes this the perfect time to set aside 48 hours for a Book Blitz!

I began at 11:15 on July 4th. I will finish at 11:15 am on Saturday. Here goes!