Masterpiece: Elise Broach
Children's Literacy Round-Up: June 8

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge: The Finish Line

48hbc As of 1:40 pm this afternoon, I finished MotherReader's 4th Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge. What a great experience!I read 8 books cover to cover, finished a 9th (in which I had 120 pages remaining at the start of the challenge) and read the first 95 pages of a 10th. I also finished one audiobook (though I'm not counting that time in the challenge) and started another. My total time spent was ... drumroll, please ... 29 hours. Quite a bit more than I expected - I was shooting for 24 out of the 48 hours. 

Here's how I managed to spend so much time:

  • Mheir was away for the weekend. With no kids, and no social commitments for the weekend, and some food preparation ahead of time, I really didn't have anything that I had to do besides read, blog, eat, and sleep. Not sure if you all want to know to this level of detail, but I showered right before my 48 hours started, and right after it ended, and not in between. Same with exercising. I didn't make my bed, or read the paper.
  • Each day, I took a few five minute breaks here and there to get the mail and things, and a half hour break fo dinner, but that was pretty much it. (I did not stop the clock for bathroom breaks, but the bathroom was about 10 feet away from the couch where I was reading, so those were very quick.) The only thing I didn't cut back on was sleep time. I'd read in bed until I fell asleep, like usual, but I was asleep by midnight each night.
  • The audiobook allowance (a new rule this year, I think) helped a lot. I would listen to a book while preparing my meals, eating lunch, brushing my teeth, etc.
  • The fact that a bit of social networking time counted helped a lot, too. It made for a change of pace from reading, and a bit of social interaction. I really appreciated the people who commented on my blog and Facebook page - I didn't feel like I was in it alone (in fact, a friend who was with Mheir was following along on Facebook, and reporting to him). 

Here's the detail of my time spent:

  • Reading: 20 hours, 45 minutes to read 2434 pages (113 pages/hour)
  • Reviewing: 5 hours, 50 minutes
  • Social Networking (reading other blogs, responding to comments on blog and Facebook): 1 hour, 24 minutes
  • Audiobooks: 1 hour, 13 minutes (Note, I had another 24 minutes from finishing my previous audiobook, but I decided not the count that once I read the rules a bit more carefully, and saw that only one audiobook could be counted).


  • You have to be pretty compulsive to read for 29 out of 48 hours. I enjoyed it, but I sure wouldn't want to do it every weekend. I missed watching baseball, exercising, and of course spending time with Mheir. I got the tiniest bit tired of reading near the end, when I was trying to make sure I could finish that one last book. But for the most part, the breaks to read other blogs and listen to an audiobook while walking around made this a pace that I could keep up.
  • One important key for me for a challenge like this is reading relatively short books (200-300 pages). It's helpful to keep me going to have that sense of accomplishment of finishing another book. I tried starting a longer book, but had to put that one off until later. Of course not everyone would feel this way. Also, of course, the better the book, the faster the reading goes.
  • This challenge reminded me that it really doesn't take that much time to read and review a children's or young adult book. Setting aside 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon is enough to read and review an average-length children's book (for me, anyway). Sometimes when I'm busy I let myself get behind in my reviewing, but there's really no excuse, when it can be done so quickly.
  • As with previous challenges, this also helped me to tighten up my reviewing time a bit, which I think will help me to get more reviews done in the future.
  • I really liked the increased sense of community this year.
  • I pledged $3/hour to the Bridget Zinn fund, which means that I owe $87. I'll get that taken care of tonight.

I doubt I'll ever match this total time again (circumstances were in my favor this year). But it was a great experience! Now, I'm ready to watch a movie, I think. And then, you know I'll be doing some reading before I go to sleep.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.