2015: A Year in Review

NYEThis has been an enjoyable, busy, and strange year both on the blog and not. Through book club, Book Bingo, review requests, and book events I read so many great books and discovered many great authors. With mere hours left on the 2015 clock, I read my last Book Bingo book which was also my 80th book of the year. Having met both my Goodreads Reading Challenge and my Book Bingo was a great feeling. I look forward to starting new challenges for both of them.

In January this year I celebrated my two-year blogiversary which was amazing. I gave away so many great books to people all over the world which was pretty great, especially when they email me and tell me how much they love the book and what it means to them. I also attended numerous writers festivals and book events where I got to meet some of my favourite authors for the first time (or for the third or fourth time), adding their books to my signed book collection.

A highlight of the year was my month dedicated to the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Northern Lights. Rereading those books and getting to share it with you all was amazing, and it allowed me to immerse myself in everything about that series I adore. I participated in NaNo again, which resulted in a few quiet weeks on the blog. Though writing every day and focusing on making a word count makes November fly by and the holiday season hit pretty hard, hence the prolonged scarcity of posts and reviews.

I did learn a few things this year though. This is my third year writing this blog and each one has been different from the other. I’ve had overseas holidays, university, family commitments, and varying levels of busy that take up my time. I am (slowly) learning how to pace myself and what reviews I take in, I am learning that perhaps November and December should be intentionally quieter months to prevent guilt over an unattended blog. I am also learning that as much as I think I can take in dozens of reviews at a time, I just can’t. So next year I am prepared for a tighter system and more structure, more so than what I attempted to do this year at any rate.

Despite how neglected and behind I became towards the end of the year, the more I think about this year the more I realise how fun it was. In some ways the year seems so much longer than it was too. Books I read in June or May feel like a lifetime ago, and events early in the year feel so distant. Quite a surreal experience but good in a way, it makes you realise how much you have actually achieved this year, especially when it doesn’t feel like much.

One of the big changes late in the year was that I got myself a job; in a field I wanted and trained for no less. At the beginning of December I got a job as a librarian which was fantastic. Working in a library has been a dream of mine, so to actually be able to work with books and interact with people who read books is pretty exciting. It is scary and intimidating at times but having visited libraries my whole life it also feels familiar. So that is going to really kick off more next year so I’ll see where it takes me!

Thankfully this end of year wrap up hasn’t become too reflective. It is different than the last two years and that is ok. Rereading those I realise how different I am now, how different the blog is and sometimes you don’t need to be overly reflective. It was a fun year, exciting things happened and I achieved a few new things. I really enjoyed doing my first Book Bingo, it widened my reading and made me read things I may not have picked up. I look forward to doing another next year. Even outside Bingo my reading took a new direction; I took chances on books and read uncomfortable things, I also reacquainted myself with book I’ve loved.

As I enter my fourth year (oh my gosh!) it will be interesting to see what comes up and what 2016 has in store. April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death so prepare yourself for a lot of Shakespeare. As anyone who has been on Facebook or Twitter when it is Shakespeare Week knows I have a thing for Shakespeare. No doubt I will be attending the NWF and SWF again, hopefully being introduced to a myriad of new authors once more. Other than that I welcome whatever the New Year brings and with my insights, experience, and lessons learnt hope to give you a blog that is better than what it was the previous year.

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