I have been mulling over this post for a while now. This has been a very busy month with starting a new job and the commute and time logging that it demands. While I have been too tired to actually sit down and write a post, many mental drafts have been written and discarded. What do I say to round up this year?
I started this blog in January of 2010, and have been updating it semi-regularly since March. I’ve only just crossed 50 posts, which is quite a small number relatively. But I’m doing this for myself, so I won’t put undue pressure on myself and take away the fun. And while I have had fun, I’m also learning a lot.
I have tried a few things on the blog and have more or less figured out what works and what doesn’t at this point in time.
- I’ve learnt to stop feeling guilty because I am reading a book that I feel like rather than one I should be reading for a review. I make sure that I post reviews as close to release date as possible for the new releases. For the rest of it, it’s okay, unless I’ve agreed to a certain date.
- I’ve decided to not participate in blogger follows for the time being. It just hasn’t worked for me on many levels. I’m also not going to participate in other blogging memes in the near future.
- Since many of the blogs on my blogroll and in my RSS reader are from these Follow memes, many of them talk about books that are not my taste. While these are good bloggers who write well, I will never read 99% of the books that they review and feature. So I’ve decided to pare down that list drastically. I will now be hunting more organically for blogs to follow.
- And my blogroll will get an update early in January as well.
- I liked doing the Crime Fiction Month this year. I’ll most probably repeat that next year as well, hopefully with many more reviews.
I pick up almost anything to read, but the true test of a book I enjoyed is one that stayed with me. I’ve become more aware of what I like, making it easier for me to pick the books I’ll read. The best way for me to tell is to actually start reading. By the time I get 10-20 pages in, I can tell if I’ll like it, love it or struggle to complete because I agreed to review it. And this broadly is my reading plan for 2011.
- I plan to read some non-fiction – especially memoirs and biographies. I’ve come across a few that sound really interesting and I’ve decided to start with Cleopatra: A Life (as soon as it becomes affordably available in India).
- Some of the reading challenges I’m participating in will also decide part of what I read and review. So there are going to be many South Asian authors, classics from the Guardian Challenge on my reading list. I plan to join the TwentyEleven challenge (sign up post soon) and expect to read some good books for that as well.
- I’m intrigued by audiobooks and realize have not listened to any since I was a kid. So I hope to get my hands on some audiobooks this year and use my driving time to catch up on my “reading.”
More bookish things that have happened this year:
- I’ve ordered my Kindle and had a friend send it to me through her friend. It’s on it’s way to me! My NetGalley review copies will find a great new home. I wonder if I’ll take to it for reading other books as well. Excited nevertheless!
- When I left my old job, my colleagues gave me some wonderful gifts. One is a bookshelf that I’ve started filling up. The other is a Landmark gift card that I’m waiting to use. I’ll wait a bit since I’ve just ordered a bunch of books from Flipkart and my TBR pile is looking quite big and healthy.
At the end of one year of Stargazerpuj’s Book Blog, I haven’t got a large number of followers, traffic that crashes servers, or publishers banging on my doors.
But I have got a fair number of interested readers and I’ve met some cool bloggers and readers. Some publishers and publicists who have started sending me review copies, some through review sites and some directly. Seeing a review copy or ARC in my list of books to be read is rather thrilling.
I am enjoying the books I’m reading and the creative outlet this writing gives me. I believe that writing for myself has also made me a better writer.
Here’s to a great reading and book reviewing year in 2011.