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Of Blogiversaries and Reading Trends

January 6, 2011

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I managed to forget about my fourth blogiversary (which occurred on Sunday)! I think I used up most of my blog benchmark excitement on my one thousandth post last month, so I’ll keep things (comparatively) brief. Here are four tips I’d give myself if I could go back in time to baby blogging Eva:

  1. Photographs make every post more special, and Flickr’s Creative Commons has millions to choose from.
  2. Ignore all generic advice to keep posts short. Just make sure to include enough paragraph breaks for things to stay readable!
  3. I know ARCs sound exciting, but remember you can get free books from the library too, with no strings attached.
  4. Be prepared for your reading horizons to expand exponentially: there are so many incredible books out there that you haven’t heard of yet. You’ll never again run out of titles you want to read. :)

I’m not always the best at sticking with projects, so it rather amazes me that I’ve been at this for so long. It’s definitely because of the community: y’all rock. I have the best readers in the world! And there are so many incredible blogs that make opening my feed reader a delight. Book blogging is such a rich area of the internet, and one that I hope to be a part of for many more years to come.

photo credit

Speaking of which, let’s talk about the year ahead, shall we? As I mentioned when I forswore challenges, I’m not overly interested in goals, per se. But I do like the idea of trends, more big-picture stuff. Trends I plan on continuing:

  • reading equal numbers of POC and white authors. Having done this for sixteen months now, it’s become much more automatic; I hope by the end of this year I don’t have to pay attention anymore.
  • reading ‘older’ books, which I began towards the end of 2010. By older, I don’t mean just classics (although I do love them): I mean books published in the 70s and 80s too. I’ll be aiming to ensure that my fiction stays balanced between older and newer books; book blogging really skewed my habits, and I’d like to get them back.
  • reading more deeply. By this I mean reading more of authors I’ve read previously, reading multiple books about a specific country, exploring a specific genre/topic, reading a publisher’s backlist, that kind of thing.
  • making full use of library! I’ll continue putting in holds and ILL requests, using the online branch (I already loved it for audiobooks; now I’ll have to give the ebooks a go as well), and otherwise taking advantage such a wonderful resource. None of this ‘read books you already own’ stuff for me! ;)

On to the few trends I’d like to introduce!

  • Geographically speaking, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at now with one exception: Europe! I’d definitely like to try out more authors from the Continent this year; my natural tendency towards British authors (I lived in England for seven years) has overshadowed things.
  • Also, I’m planning to seek out nonfiction authors who aren’t from the US or UK; while my fiction reads are relatively diverse, my nonfiction ones are not. This includes translated nonfiction, although I don’t say that specifically since authors from a variety of cultures write in English as well. I’ve read a fair amount of international memoirs, so I’m especially interested in non-memoir nonfiction. I imagine it might be difficult to find, but I love a good challenge!
  • Finally, as you might imagine, I definitely want to reread more this year. I’ve said that every year since I began blogging, so I’m getting specific: I’d like to reread 3 books a month.

So there you have it! The principles that will be guiding my reading in 2011: they’re nothing very new, mainly just affirmation that my current interests make me quite content. I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop. :D

97 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 6:22 am

    Congratulations! 4 years and 1000 posts is a great achievement!

  2. January 6, 2011 6:23 am

    Wonderful goals! I don’t get the “only read from my stacks thing” either. I’m planning on posting about it one day, but libraries NEED people to check out books (even if you don’t get around to reading them). Circulation statistics are essential in determining the size of libraries book budget, weeding (i.e. getting rid of titles), and even staff hours. That’s why I don’t feel badly going hog wild at the library, even if I know I won’t be able to get to every title.

    • January 9, 2011 9:31 am

      I hope you do that post sooner rather than later! :) My librarian told me that last year, and since then I’ve never felt bad about using the library like crazy. hehe

  3. January 6, 2011 6:42 am

    Congratulations Eva! My 4th is tomorrow !!!! I look forward to turning 5 with you :)

  4. January 6, 2011 6:45 am

    Happy belated blogiversary! I never notice mine either — I always think it’s at the very end of December, when really it’s closer to the middle.

    I admire your project of seeking out nonfiction from non-US/UK authors, and I agree that’s going to be a tricky one. I feel like not that much nonfiction gets imported from other countries, especially translated nonfiction. Will you count plays and poems? Cause I think that would dramatically increase your pool. :p

    • January 9, 2011 9:37 am

      I used to think mine was January 1st instead of the 2nd, lol.

      I don’t consider plays or poems nonfiction, at least for the purposes of my goal. But I think I’ve read enough non US/UK nonfiction authors over the years to at least have an idea of where to start. Or, you know, I’ll just spend far too long researching to create an absurdly long list. ;)

  5. January 6, 2011 7:17 am

    Library abuse, yay! ;) I’m amazed I still have library privileges with the amount of books I check out.

    Happy belated blogoversary and good luck with your goals—and, yeah, like Jenny says, poetry might be a good way to up the nonfiction non-memoir international reading count.

    • January 9, 2011 9:38 am

      Lol: it’s crazy to me that poetry’s considered nonfiction! And I think libraries LOVE those of us who check out ridiculous numbers of books. I mean, isn’t that why they exist? :D

  6. January 6, 2011 7:26 am

    Loved all your thoughts, especially the ones about libraries…and rereading…and reading more deeply. Happy anniversary! I’m so glad I discovered your blog this year!

  7. January 6, 2011 7:27 am

    Congratulations Eva on reaching four. You are always so organised in how you want to read. I didn’t know about the Flickr pictures. Will definitely link up with that site.

  8. January 6, 2011 8:19 am

    Congratulations! Your blog and reading goals are truly inspiring.

  9. January 6, 2011 8:43 am

    Eva, congratulations on being a blogger for 4 years. That’s a long time! I enjoyed reading your thoughts about where your reading journey will take you this year.

    • January 9, 2011 9:39 am

      Thanks Kay! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

  10. January 6, 2011 8:46 am

    Happy blogiversary! Wishing you many more years of fun in this wonderful space you’ve created.

  11. January 6, 2011 8:53 am

    Happy blogiversary, and here’s to many more! I’m with you on the “reading older books” goal; a huge majority of my 2010 reads were published in 2008 or later, so even getting back to books published in the ’90s would be an improvement for me!

    • January 9, 2011 10:04 am

      I’m totally counting the ’90s as ‘older books’ too, lol. I really want to make the majority of my reads pre-2000 this year. It freaks me out how many super-recent books I read last year!

  12. January 6, 2011 9:12 am

    Excellent resolutions and congratulations on your anniversary!

  13. January 6, 2011 9:19 am

    Happy blogiversary, Eva! (Thanks for the link to Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

    • January 9, 2011 10:13 am

      I really love Creative Commons: there are some stunning images there and the whole open copyright thing is so nice.

  14. January 6, 2011 10:04 am

    Happy blogiversary, Eva! Loved that you took the time to look back on what you’ve accomplished and set some new blogging aims for yourself. Your posts always give me tons of food for thought.

  15. January 6, 2011 10:13 am

    Happy blogiversary Eva, I have no idea what we’d be without you!

    I’m always impressed you manage to think of things like read more diverse nonfiction. I’m just trying to read more nonfiction period! :) You’re my hero.

  16. January 6, 2011 10:24 am

    Happy blogiversary! I love reading your thoughts. I can count on you to have a unique perspective and introduce to lovely books I might not have heard of. Here’s to many more years of blogging!

  17. January 6, 2011 10:27 am

    Congrats on your 4th celebration. That seems like so any years and it’s great you continue to enjoy blogging (and reading, but really how could that ever end?). I’m going to take your photos idea to heart this year I think, just lazy about remembering to include them.

    • January 9, 2011 10:14 am

      Thanks Jodie! I really love adding photographs, so that’s why I wish I could tell baby blogger Eva about Flickr Creative Commons. I didn’t mean that everyone needs to! It is quite fun though. ;)

  18. January 6, 2011 10:39 am

    Let me know if you’d like some recommendations from Portugal. Our choice of translated literature is a bit limited outside Saramago, but there’s still good stuff out there!

    Ana over at “things mean a lot” already made a selection a while ago, I beleive, but I’d be happy to add to it.

    • January 9, 2011 10:16 am

      I’ll definitely take some Portugese recs! I actually have yet to read any Saramago; the only Portugese author I think I’ve read is Eca de Querios .

  19. January 6, 2011 10:47 am

    Congrats on four years, Eva! I like your idea of reading more deeply. Good luck on your goals and more years of blogging!

    • January 9, 2011 10:17 am

      Thanks Christina! I started reading more deeply last year, but I’d love to do even more of it this year. We’ll see how often I get distracted by shinies! ;)

  20. January 6, 2011 11:07 am

    Happy Blogiversary!!! I love the things you would tell baby blogging Eva =)I would definitely go back to tell myself that my reading horizons would expand to unknown proportions….isn’t it wonderful?!?

  21. January 6, 2011 11:38 am

    My 4th was on Sunday too! Yay us!

    Get goals, Eva!

  22. January 6, 2011 11:55 am

    Happy 4th, Eva. I love your goals. I, like you, want to read more European literature. About literary nonfiction: have your read The Black Jacobins by CLR James. The author was Trinidadian and the book is about the Haitian Salve Revolt. It one of my favorite literary nonfiction books.

    • January 9, 2011 10:42 am

      Thank you Kinna! I haven’t read the James book, but it’s going straight on my wishlist. After Kingdom of This World (and Hopkinson’s Salt Roads), I really wanted to read a nonfiction book about the Haiti revolt. You rock. :D

  23. January 6, 2011 12:24 pm

    Happy blogiversary! I’m with you on 4 (from the first list). I think if I wasn’t blogging I’d still have a lot of books in mind but it probably wouldn’t be so diverse. I love the idea of consciously reading more deeply, especially regarding more books about certain places. I’ve also not read many books between classics and new releases, it’ll be interesting reading your blog to find recommendations!

    • January 9, 2011 10:44 am

      I think I’m going to start mentioning the year a book was published, both for my own info and for anyone interested in reading late 20th century works! :)

  24. January 6, 2011 12:41 pm

    Belated congratulations on your blogiversary. Four year huh? That is a long long time. But you do have one of the best book blogs around and by now I don’t think we could do without you.

  25. January 6, 2011 12:59 pm

    4 years is amazing! That’s like a hundred years at anything else.

  26. January 6, 2011 1:58 pm

    Happy 4 years Eva! What a remarkable achievement. You’ve done so much in those years too. Great plans for this year and all the best with them :)

  27. ana permalink
    January 6, 2011 4:16 pm

    Well done!! What an inspiration you are, Eva. Managing CFS, I am heartened by your efforts, your vibrancy and your contagious bookish [and other] enthusiasms. Thank you so much for all you do. Blessings for 2011.

    • January 9, 2011 10:48 am

      Thank you Ana. :) I often feel like I’m floundering about w my fibro, so your comment really brightened my day.

  28. January 6, 2011 5:27 pm

    Happy Blogiversary, Eva!

  29. January 6, 2011 6:00 pm

    Hooray Eva! I’m glad you’ve stuck with it and I’m glad I discovered your blog in the recent past! I also received a nook for Christmas and will be starting my first library book on it later today!!

    • January 9, 2011 10:51 am

      Woohoo for Nooks: we’re taking over! ;)

  30. January 6, 2011 7:15 pm

    Happy blogiversary! I’m sure you are going to accomplish your goals.

  31. January 6, 2011 8:40 pm

    My 4 years just passed too and I completely forgot about it :p I don’t even know if I’m going to do a post at this point, lol. Can’t believe we’re in our 5th year now of book blogging!! Crazy! It doesn’t even feel like a project anymore…it’s just become a part of who I am. I absolutely love your four tips to yourself :) They’re fantastic. Happy blogiversary to you, Eva :)

    • January 9, 2011 10:54 am

      You should TOTALLY do a post: then we can all say how much we love you & how happy we are you have a blog, etc. ;)

      And I agree: blogging is definitely part of my identity at this point. It’s insane that we’re in our fifth year!!!

  32. January 6, 2011 8:41 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! My blogiversary came and went without fanfare, but I’m like you, suprised that I’ve kept at this blogging thing for so long. I totally understand not sticking with projects so much, I’m the same way – congrats on keeping it up so long and I hope you keep it up much longer! You’re a shining star in my feed reader! :)

    • January 9, 2011 10:55 am

      You should do a belated post! And what a sweet compliment Megan! I remember when we were both baby bloggers. :D

  33. January 6, 2011 8:46 pm

    Congratulations, and here’s to many more posts :)

  34. January 6, 2011 9:04 pm

    I totally love how you said this – “I know ARCs sound exciting, but remember you can get free books from the library too, with no strings attached.” It’s definitely something I’m plugging into my grey matter, so that I can get to those books I’ve been meaning to read for years! Good luck with the resolutions(?) !

    • January 9, 2011 10:56 am

      Thanks Aths! I know some bloggers do really well w ARCs, but I’ve found for my personally the library works far better. :)

  35. January 6, 2011 9:05 pm

    Congratulations Eva! You do put some great photos in your blog posts. I’ll have to check out the Creative Commons some time and see what might be useful there for my own blog. Thanks!

    • January 9, 2011 10:57 am

      Thanks Christy! Yeah: Creative Commons is the source of most of the pretty photos I include in posts. I think it’s magical that people just want a link in return!

  36. January 7, 2011 8:12 am

    Happy 4th blogiversary! Your 2011 goals sound great. I especially hope you’ll find many new favorites among the European authors! :)

    • January 9, 2011 10:57 am

      Thank you Tiina! I’ll be using you as a source for European authors. :D

  37. January 7, 2011 12:50 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I’m not great at sticking with hobbies for a long time either, so I’ve been very surprised that I’m still blogging along happily in my third year. It’s definitely the book blogging community!

    Best of luck with all of your reading this year!

    • January 9, 2011 10:58 am

      It’s funny how stickable it is as a hobby, isn’t it?! Definitely addictive. ;)

  38. January 7, 2011 6:07 pm

    I love the phrase “read more deeply” and your description of what it means to you. A great goal!

    • January 9, 2011 10:58 am

      Thanks Erin! I did a whole post on reading deeply sometime last year; I was too lazy to find it and link up, lol.

  39. Mome Rath permalink
    January 7, 2011 8:57 pm

    Wow — those are some great goals, Eva! Congratulations on your 4th anniversary and your 100th post — I hope this year finds you healthy and inspired by your reading and blogging! I can understand why you’ll have a challenge finding large quantities of international non-fiction beyond the US and the UK; that said, I have no doubt if there is quality writing that you’ll be able to find it. Have fun reading this year, and I look forward to seeing more of your reading lists.

    • January 9, 2011 10:59 am

      Thank you Mome Rath! I hope this year sees the return of my health too. :D And I’ve got a couple reading lists in the works!

  40. January 8, 2011 6:24 am

    Happy blogoversary!! Great goals or trends or thoughts (or whatever you want to call them). Love your thoughts to baby blogger Eva!

    So funny about your rereading vow because I was thinking just the other day that I *don’t* want to reread. I did the four Hobbit/LOTR last year and the four Dance to the Music of Time books. Yes, loved them still and still got more out of them but I think of all those hours I could have been reading something new. Such a dilemma.

    • January 9, 2011 10:59 am

      Thanks Candace! And you’re right: I’m probably being silly playing with semantics. I should just call them goals, shouldn’t I? ;)

      That is funny we have the opposite views on rereading!

  41. January 8, 2011 9:06 am

    Happy Blogiversary!

  42. January 8, 2011 9:53 am

    Happy blogiversary! I’m especially happy when older blogs (funny how 4 is old in the blogging world) keep going and just getting better all the time.

    • January 9, 2011 11:00 am

      Aww: thank you Jeanne! And it’s hilarious that 4 yrs is old for a blog!

  43. January 8, 2011 2:26 pm

    Congratulations on four years!

    All of your continuing and new trends sound good, although, I think my favorite is using the library! My local library has traditionally been my primary source of books, and if it weren’t for the books I’ve had piling up unread on my own shelves, I’d be using it right now…. I’d like to try to read more continental European authors as well, so I’ll be interested to see what you come across.

    • January 9, 2011 11:00 am

      Thanks Amanda! I’ve always been a library girl too: best thing ever. :D

  44. Jillian permalink
    January 8, 2011 6:10 pm

    Four years is crazy awesome! Congrats!

  45. January 8, 2011 11:10 pm

    Happy Four Year Blogiversary! Looking forward to following you in the years ahead!!

  46. January 9, 2011 9:52 am

    Happy Bloggiversary Eva! Hope you’ll reach all of your reading goals :)

  47. January 9, 2011 9:57 pm

    Happy Blogiversary to you Eva. Sounds like you have some wonderful things planned for your readers! I look forward to reading your blog as you enter your 5th year.

  48. January 10, 2011 8:28 am

    Happy 4th birthday to your blog! I like your idea about trends, Eva. I think for all of us who are excited about reading, it’s difficult not to plan a little;P

  49. January 13, 2011 7:32 am

    Happy very belated blogoversary! I like your reminders to your earlier blogging self! And good trend-goals. I find myself paying much more attention to where my books are coming from too.

  50. January 16, 2011 8:25 am

    Happy Bloggiversary, Eva! :D You’re still one of my favourite blogs to read and every year it gets better and better.

    I wish I had some European writers to recommend to you (being British) but I actually tend to lean towards American writers … and, in particular (thanks to my upcoming travels) South American writers lately so I can’t be of any help, sorry.

    People here do go crazy for Irene Nemirovsky if you haven’t already read anything by her – She was a novelist who died in Auschwitz aged 39 (in spite of the fact that she’d converted to Catholicism). A lot of her work was published posthumously. People love them because they were written about and during the war so it really lets her readers know what she went through.

    I’d recommend giving her a go (I’ve got quite a few of her books on my TBR at the moment). Sorry if I’ve just drivveled on about an author you’ve already read. Heh. :P


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