Late last night I got back from Book Expo America and I am dying to talk all about it. But somehow BEA was moved a week later this year, and bumps right up against the 48 Hour Book Challenge which starts tomorrow. So let's put a pin in my BEA trip, which I can say was both quick and satisfying, and get ready for the big event. The official starting line post will go up first thing tomorrow morning and you should sign in when you are ready to begin your 48 hour period over the June 8-10 weekend. Check the FAQ's and the rules and this special Thursday Three of reasons to participate in the 48 Hour Book Challenge.
1. Permissive Reading
I'm guessing that the book blogger crowd doesn't have a huge problem making time to read. However, there's still something that puts it on the back burner even for the most passionate of us. Reading is something we do when the jobs are done. If you're a librarian, it's unlikely to be part of your job schedule and frowned upon at the desk. Surely, everyone knows about the ability of booksellers and librarians to place hands on a book and absorb the knowledge and nuance within to further advance our reader advisory skills? No? Then when does this reading get done? On your own time, around a million other responsibilities. Even jobs that basically require book knowledge don't prioritize reading. So here's one weekend that does. You have MotherReader's permission to read like crazy during the 48 Hour Book Challenge.
2. Community Involvement
Reading books, writing reviews may be a solitary pursuit, but book blogging is not. Without community, we can feel like we're shouting titles into the wind. That's not to say that only book bloggers are reading book blogs. Having been to events where librarians refer to me by my blog name, I know that my words get out there. I'd love to have more of those casual readers become part of the conversation in the comments, but I can understand that they may come to a book blog to read, not relate. And that's okay. But I also know from years of doing this, that it's harder to keep blogging without feedback and connection. The Blogging Blahs is a virus that kills blogs, and the inoculation is sadly simple. Comment. Connect. Contribute. Ask not what the community can do for you, but what you can do for the community. And in doing so, you'll find your own support system and BFF's - blogging buddies forever. There are lots of ways to start or restart, and I'll suggest now and I'll suggest the 48 Hour Book Challenge.
3. Giving Back
A few years into the 48HBC, people suggested connecting the informal readathon to charity. I was reluctant to name one, because I couldn't choose just one of the great causes out there in books, reading, and literacy. But this time I saw the promotion for Book People Unite and I wanted to pledge to Unite as, you know, Book People. But what did that mean? Was sharing the video, however charming, enough? Not when it hit me that it's about numbers. Standing up together to make an impact. Certainly dollars are part of the numbers, but I don't want anyone to get caught up on some required pledge amount to participate in the 48HBC. That's one reason that I choose Reading is Fundamental, because you donate money directly to their site no involvement - NO JUDGMENT - from me. Pledge $.25 an hour, planning on about a twenty hour readathon, and it's five dollars to RIF. One hundred participants do that and it's $500 dollars. If some want to pledge more or get sponsors, than it's even more support for an organization that has been firmly, proactively, and consistently part of the kidlitosphere community and, you know, literacy. I hope that making the 48HBC more of an "official" readathon hasn't turned off participants who may already feel tapped for financial requests from a struggling corner of the charity sector. But if other causes get the attention with their celebrity names, showy events, and political savvy, we have to know that we can make an impact if we do it together. You can start tomorrow with the 48 Hour Book Challenge.