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Farewell, 2012: The Year in Reviews

2012 booksI thought I’d write a post commemorating the year 2012 at The Book Stop.  It’s been 2 and a half years since I started this blog, and I wanted to think a little bit about what I’ve done this year and where the blog is going.

First, here’s what I read and reviewed:

  • Books read in 2012: 64
  • Books reviewed in 2012: 51

Books reviewed by genre:

  • Classic literature: 8
  • Contemporary fiction: 10
  • Fantasy, paranormal, steampunk: 11
  • Historical fiction: 14
  • Science fiction: 5
  • Nonfiction: 2

Cross-cutting categories:

  • Children/Young Adult: 8
  • Part of a Series: 12
  • Review requests, ARCs or NetGalleys: 14

Some things I’m proud of in the last year:

  • New followers: The Book Stop is a small blog and I’ve never expected otherwise.  But a steady stream of new followers this year made me very happy.  I know that followers aren’t necessarily readers.  But I’m still appreciative every time I get a new follower or a “like” or a comment.
  • Review requests: At the beginning of 2012 I received very few author requests.  But the more I review, the more requests I receive each month.  I can’t accept most of the requests, but I love reading and writing about new authors.  I try to choose carefully and I’m happy with most of the books I selected for review this year.
  • Challenges: I don’t sign up for a lot of challenges, so last year was a little bit of an experiment, and I think I did really well.  The challenges pushed me to read books I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I ended up reading most of what I committed to read.  On the flip side, I didn’t write posts about these challenge books nearly as much as I was supposed to.
  • Reading the classics: In 2012 I finished War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo, and North and South – all books I’ve struggled with in the past, and all three worth every minute.  Two books I started but didn’t make it through: Bleak House by Charles Dickens and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  Should I pick those back up in 2013?

Where do I want to take The Book Stop in 2013?

  • Mostly I just want to maintain.  I’ll be taking some grad school classes and that may eat into a lot of my time. I noticed this year that a lot of blogs I really enjoy sort of dropped out of blogging, which is a shame but I understand that real life intervenes.  I’m hoping to just keep up with my 1-2 reviews a week and write the kind of reviews I like to write.  And I’ll just hope you keep reading.
  •  I always want to be a better reader of others’ blogs.  I do believe that being a blogger means being a good blog-follower.  I have about 20 blogs I try to visit fairly recently but it’s not often enough!  There are just so many good blogs out there.
  •  In 2012 I didn’t do a lot of meme-ing.  I did two Literary Giveaways, the North and South Read-a-long, and a post for Armchair BEA.   For a few weeks I joined the Not A Mommy Blog hop but those aren’t book bloggers so it wasn’t a great fit.  Otherwise I mostly joined the “It’s Monday, What are You Reading” hop hosted by Book Journey – since that lets me talk about what I would have talked about anyway.  I’m always wondering whether I should do more or less of this stuff.  I like Top Ten Tuesday, for example, but it almost never fits into my schedule of when I want to post.  I like the Classics Club monthly prompts, but again, it’s all I can do to write about the things I want to write about.  I don’t need more ideas, just more time.  Thoughts?
  •  What bookish topics do you want to hear more about in 2013?  Right now I’m fascinated by the turmoil over false or paid-for reviews on Amazon and other sites.  Should reviews be validated in some way or just completely open (in which case, buyer beware!).  Is e-reading still an interesting topic?  What about the level of sex and violence in young adult fiction?  Is literary writing alive and well or barely breathing?  I would like The Book Stop to be a place where we think about what it means to read, and not just book reviews.

Wishing everyone a very happy 2013!

8 thoughts on “Farewell, 2012: The Year in Reviews

  1. I always enjoy visiting your blog, I like that you read classics and a mix of different genres. Hope 2013 is a successful year for the book stop 🙂

    As for bookish topics, I generally like to read reviews, although I am also interested in the other topics you mentioned.

    • I put a lot of time into review requests this year. Of the 14, I think 5 were NetGalley, 1 ARC, and the rest direct requests from email. I was super-excited about the ARC but then really disappointed by the book so maybe I won’t get any more of those. I love corresponding with actual authors (even when the books don’t turn out quite as well as you’d like them to). It keeps me from reading some of the books I really want to read, but I do like supporting new authors when I can – I don’t have the initiative (or maybe talent) to do what they’re doing so I really admire it.

  2. Your year in statistics looks similar to mine, although I do have to admit that you’ve read more classics than me…something I plan to fix in 2013 🙂

    As for what I like to read on your blog, I love your reviews and always read them (even if I don’t always comment – something else I’m planning on fixing for 2013!) and put a heck of a lot of the books that you review positively on my wish list. That said, I think the recent posts that you’ve written on ereading have been fantastic! Despite how long eReaders have been around, I still encounter people that sneer when I “admit” to owning one and it’s ridiculous. I adore my eReader and wouldn’t be without it and every time I read one of your posts about ereading, I’m pretty much cheering along in my head!

    I also agree with your point about not needing things to write about, just more time! I’ve participated in a few memes but just can’t commit to doing so regularly – I have to admit that I do them when I want to talk about books and post *something* but don’t have the brain power to come up with something more articulate than talking about what I’m reading…

    All in all, I hope 2013 is fabulous for you! I’m a huge fan of your blog and look forward to next year’s posts! Happy New Year 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the nice comments! You’re one of the bloggers I have the most in common with, reading-wise. I love your blog too!

      I try not to worry about the number of comments I get as long as I think people are reading. My friends and family read and never comment — still, comments are always welcome!

      Happy new year!

  3. Pingback: Countdown to 2014 #2: My Year in Reviews | The Book Stop

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