Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Reading and Blogging in Review

I am not quite done reading for the year, but I've now officially surpassed my Goodreads challenge goal of 500, so it seems like a good time to look back over my reading and blogging for the year. 

As I have done since 2012, I counted every book I read this year, including board books and picture books I read with the girls. I always inflate my Goodreads goal to make room for all those short children's titles, and at the end of the year, I count everything up by category. Here are my 2018 stats: 

  • Adult: 107 (21%)
    • 52 mystery
    • 30 nonfiction
    • 12 romance
    • 5 chick lit 
    • 5 literary fiction 
    • 2 science fiction
    • 1 fantasy
  • Young Adult: 21 (4%)
    • 10 romance
    • 10 contemporary realistic fiction 
    • 1 literary fiction (Little Women)
  • Middle Grade 100 (20%)
    • 53 realistic fiction 
    • 15 mystery 
    • 14 fantasy
    • 13 historical fiction
    • 2 horror
    • 2 nonfiction 
    • 2 science fiction
  • Chapter Books: 15 (3%)
  • Easy Readers: 11 (3%)
  • Picture Books: 205 (41%)
  • Board Books: 41 (8%)
The most interesting number here is the one for adult books. Back in 2013, the last year I worked in the library, I read only 18 adult books. That number was even lower during 2014 (7) and 2015 (12). In 2016, I read 37 and last year, I almost doubled that number and read 71. But I have never, in all the years I've been keeping track of my reading, read more than 100 adult books, so this was a surprising milestone. 

Besides this overarching reading goal, I had some other more specific goals I was working on this year. Here is how things turned out with those:
  • Read fewer books. This was definitely a success. I made an effort not to read books just for the sake of increasing my number of books read, and I was also much more selective about ARCs and more willing to mark books as "did not finish."
  • Review more books overall, but fewer books on the blog. I posted 72 reviews on the blog this year, down from 87 last year. I also posted at least 50 additional reviews to Goodreads, so I think I did fairly well.
  • Review books in a more timely manner. I did well with this in the first half of the year, but not as well in the second half. I need to establish designated times for writing blog posts because otherwise I'll spend all my free time just reading.
  • Branch out from book reviews. This happened a little bit, but not enough. I abandoned the Blog All About It and Book Blog Discussion challenges halfway through the year, and I wish I hadn't. Again, this problem ties into the need for designated times for blogging and not just reading.
  • Post blog posts to Facebook regularly. Shortly after I set this goal, I changed my mind and decided that Facebook, with its ever-changing algorithm, just isn't worth all the time and effort it takes to keep it updated all the time. I spent all my social media energy on Instagram instead and enjoyed it much more.
  • Host a #bookstagram challenge. I hosted a picture book challenge in July and another month-long Christmas challenge. Neither was wildly successful, but I have decided to move my Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge to Instagram for the coming year. I have a few followers who said they would participate, and that's more than ever linked up when then challenge was on the blog.
  • Complete reading and blogging challenges.I signed up for 12 challenges. Here is the final status for each one:
    • A to Z Challenge - Complete
    • Alphabet Soup - Completed 
    • Author Love - Completed
    • Blog All About It - Did not complete
    • Book Blog Discussion - Did not complete
    • Cloak and Dagger - Completed, but fell behind in linking up
    • Craving for Cozies - Completed
    • Family Tree - Completed
    • Library Love - Completed
    • Linz the Bookworm - Did not complete
    • Old School Kidlit - Completed
    • Writing Reviews - Completed
  • Keep a bullet journal. .I did this really well during the winter, but slowly lost interest in the nicer weather. It became clear that what I really want is a reading journal. My mom got me a little pocket-sized one for Christmas so I'll be trying that this year.
  • Stop getting the news from social media. I unfollowed all news outlets at the start of the year (except the newspaper of the town where I grew up and the local weather) and never looked back. I had far fewer "someone's wrong on the Internet" moments and still stayed decently informed of current events. 
Overall, I'm pleased with how things went this year, though I think there is room for improvement, and I'll be setting some new goals to help with that which I'll share in a post sometime next week. Also look for my list of my top 25 reads of the year, which will be posted on New Year's Day. 

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