Thursday, June 16, 2016

Midyear Thoughts

As we move from sweater and boots to suntan lotion and swimsuits, I suddenly realize that we are halfway through this year. It seemed like a good time to take a look at what has been happening on the blog in the past six months and what I hope will happen in the second half of 2016!

What's Happened So Far:

I Read More Than I Reviewed
When I started blogging, I thought I had to write about every single book that I read. After all, I started this blog so I could remember the stories I loved years later. As of today, I have read 57 books this year. I've only reviewed 33 of them. Now it is true that most of the books I reviewed in January were ones I read in 2015. It's also true that I have several books that I have already read and plan to review in the next few weeks. But I've definitely learned that I don't need to review every book. Sometimes I just don't have anything new to add to the conversation. If the thought of writing instead of starting a new book makes me grumpy, it's time to move on!

My Goodreads Ratings are Crazy High
There's a good reason for that. I stopped reading books I wasn't enjoying. That means that almost every book gets three or more stars when I mark them finished on Goodreads. It also means that my reviews on my blog will almost always be positive. Life is too short to read books you don't like!

Changes with the Little Readers
D used to love to write reviews for the books he picked up from the library. These days, as he is completing the last days of second grade, he is less eager to talk about the books he is reading. The exception, though, is that D loves to read on our Kindle. If I get some books for review from Netgalley, he is more than willing to read them and will sometimes review them too!

Thoughts for the Rest of 2016:

Blog Design
I would love to have a new blog design. I don't know too much about designing though, so I guess I either need to teach myself or start researching some good designers!

Blogger Meet-Up
I haven't been able to go to BEA yet, but I would love to meet up with some fellow book bloggers who live in New Jersey, or even New York or Pennsylvania. Any takers?

Different Kinds of Posts
I rather enjoy writing book reviews. I want to remember what I liked or didn't like about the books I read. But I realize that book reviews are usually duds as conversation starters. There isn't much to say other than "I really liked this too!" or "I'm excited to read this book soon." But when you write a post that invites discussion, like this one about your love for a series fizzling out or why we read short stories, you might find that people have a lot to say!

What have you learned so far in 2016, book bloggers? What are you looking forward to in the rest of this year?


  1. I'm with you on not slogging through books you don't like. Life is too short for that. (And I don't post about every book I read either; I tend to review the really good ones and the ones that just seem to write the review themselves.)

    1. Yes! I want to review the books I desperately want everyone else to read. The rest? Oh well!

  2. I totally agree that life is too short to read books you don't like and to write reviews you're not feeling. I missed reviewing a couple really good books this year and I'm trying not to fret about it, but it's hard! I'm also with you on wanting to add more non-book-review posts to the blog. I have such a hard time coming up with topics, though!

    1. I usually have a hard time coming up with topics too. I am trying to just mock up a post when I actually have an idea, since they escape my brain pretty quickly!

  3. This is an excellent post and I agree with just about everything you said. Good job, Lindsey! I read way more than I review, I've decided to shorten most of my reviews that I do write, and save the full length ones for the books that: really piqued my interest, were unique, a conversation starter, etc. Otherwise blogging is more of a chore for me.

    I also grade pretty high compared to most folks on GR. I don't grade on my own blog except with NG requested titles. Usually 3-5, with most at 4. Same reason, the poor choices (for me) get weeded out & the so-so books don't inspire me to talk about them.

    I love this!

    1. I sometimes wonder if people view mostly positive reviews as a reader being too nice or not differentiating between books. It's not that I don't think there are badly written books (or that negative reviews are important), it's just that I'm not going to spend my time writing about them!

  4. I love this post, Lindsey - it's really interesting to see your reflections of the year so far, as well as learn what more you hope to do.

    I can relate on the reading ratings front - I DNF a good number of the books I pick up and so the majority of what I have to say is positive. So far this year just one book on my Goodreads is rated at two stars... The rest is 3+.

    I look forward to more conversation inviting posts from you - I'll be on the lookout! Drawing discussions from readers is always so much fun.

    1. I think I've only ever rated one book with one star on GR. I have some two stars, but I'm trying to DNF them because they are obviously not working!