I had intended to do a one-year-on post, but last night I was far too busy ploughing through the final chapters of Doomsday Book to switch on the computer, much less write anything. I started this blog with the one aim of slowing my headlong rush through book after book, and at the same time increasing the amount of thought I gave to what I read. And it worked: at last count I’ve read only 127 books this year, well down on last year’s staggering 179. By year’s end that will be the lowest recorded reading total since the 128 of 2004. (Though I don’t think that’s due only to the blog; I read several truly enormous books this year - The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, Cross Stitch, Dragonfly in Amber, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - as well as spending a lot of time crocheting an afghan.)
What I hadn’t foreseen was the welcome feeling of not being the only one with a passion for everything with pages and a TBR pile that’s barely under control. I like the writing, and the reading of other people’s blogs, and the myriad opportunities to add to my already considerable Wanted list. And challenges! I also discovered the joy of committing - and over-committing - to reading challenges. (Speaking of which: cross your fingers that I can finish my challenge reading by the end of the month.)
I’ve learnt a lot, too. Like not spacing out challenge books over the whole length of that challenge, thereby ending up with a succession of end-of-challenge rushes. And the importance of keeping up-to-date with my blog reading; and with my backing-up in case the next thing to die in my computer is something more serious than just the motherboard. I also know now to never, ever get behind on reviews before Christmas. I’m going to be spending much of what remains of this month chained to the computer, catching up. I like to think that I would have been done by now - mostly - if my mother hadn’t decided to give everyone handpainted candles this year. Handpainted by me, that is. And the designs turned out to be, as my designs invariably are, triumphs of artistic ambition over time management. Then I felt obliged to do something equally time-consuming for her, so ... five days, nineteen posts, plus memes and reviews for books not yet finished. Wish me luck.
I already have plans in mind for my second year of blogging. Successful and timely completion of all challenges; keeping on top of reviews and learning to write faster; more networking; and perhaps the running of a challenge of my own if I can find something that someone else hasn’t thought of first. And I WILL compile an online catalogue of all my books so that if the roof ever does come off in a storm I’ll know what needs to be replaced. But surely even I couldn’t be that unlucky....