Happy first birthday to The Book Stop! I created the blog last May 18, but then we went on a vacation to Oregon and my first review was posted June 3rd. So I’m calling Memorial Day weekend the blog’s official birthday. My husband actually took me out for a special dinner to celebrate, which is just how cool he is.
I’m planning a few giveaways and fun posts for the next week, so stay tuned. But first I wanted to look at the last year. Lately, a lot of bloggers have been thinking about how we blog: how often we post, what we review, how many of those posts are memes, etc. So here are a few stats:
Of the 118 posts in the last year:
- 55 were book reviews
- 26 were in response to memes
- 13 related to E-readers
- 23 were uncategorized — meaning not a formal book review but not a response to any meme. For example, a recent post on Big Al’s Books & Pals and his argument with an author that went viral.
If that doesn’t add up, there’s a small amount of overlap in these categories. I thought my percentage of formal reviews would be higher. Still, I’m pretty happy with my “review-to-other” ratio, and posting at least one review a week seems to meet my goal for the blog, although I hope to do more.
Of the reviews, I called 26 “Highly Recommended”. At first that seemed high. Am I being selective enough when I use that tag? But this isn’t a random sample of books. These are books I read because I already love the authors, or because bloggers have highly recommended them. What do you think?
Last year I read 23 authors who were new to me, mostly through the recommendations of other bloggers. Some examples: Christopher Moore, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Wilkie Collins, Brandon Sanderson, and L.M. Montgomery. I feel pretty good about this stat; if I read only those authors I already know, I’m not growing as a reader.
I read 20 books that went unreviewed. Why? Generally there are three reasons I choose not to review a book. First, I run out of time, most often when I read a bunch of books while sick or on vacation. I’m just not going to get to all of them. Sometimes it’s because it’s a much-beloved book, and I didn’t feel I had something to add (or just didn’t feel as strongly about it as others do). A couple of examples: Mistborn, The Shadow of the Wind. Third, it’s part of a series, and I’ve already reviewed other books in the series and a review of this book wouldn’t add much.
I tagged15 books as literary, although it can be difficult to determine between “contemporary fiction” and “literature” so I may need to play with those categories. I tagged 24 books as “part of a series” — which tends to mean non-literary, except, I would argue, in the case of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. Should I read more literature? Absolutely. But I think I’m not going to worry about it either.
It would be interesting to look at how many authors of color or of different nationalities I read, but I’d have to guess at some of that. I read a lot of British authors and it’s always good to expand.
I would love to say I have X number of followers, but WordPress doesn’t work that way. I’m also trying NOT to measure the success of this blog by hits and subscriptions (though I greatly appreciate them!) It can be depressing sometimes not to have the number of followers that other blogs have, but I can only try to be a better “follower” myself.
So where is The Book Stop heading in the next year?
I hope to write a little more creatively, read more poetry, and expand the topics I write about. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction, and I feel like that’s a good vehicle to explore issues I won’t cover by reading fantasy novels (much as I love them).
I haven’t had a giveaway, interviewed a fellow blogger, received a reviewer copy of a book, or published a review on another site or publication (although I may have one coming in the near future). So those are things I want to explore.
Now that I’ve gone on and on, what do YOU think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these questions:
1) What makes you like a blog or decide to follow it?
2) What was the last book you read because a blogger recommended it? How was it?
3) If you’re a frequent commenter, how important is it that the blogger reply to those comments? How often do you go back to a post you’ve commented on to look at the reply?
4) How often do you check the blogs you follow? As they post, once a week, etc?
5) And finally, do you have any favorite blogs that are not book blogs? Name one you recommend.
Hope you have a very happy Memorial Day weekend!