I summed up my reading stats for 2009 on Friday. Today I'm jumping on the bandwagon (or the lily pad) and am talking about what's ahead for 2010.
New on the Blog
The biggest immediate change is that I've deleted my blogroll. If you recall, last September I asked for your input in Blogroll: Use It or Lose It? I stewed over what to do and reread all your comments several times. Then I tried several options on my test blog. For now, I've decided to just do without a blogroll.
If you were on my blogroll, you are now in my blog reader, so never fear, you haven't gotten rid of me yet.
I am thinking of adding a top commenter widget, but I haven't found one that will work nicely in my narrow sidebars. If you have suggestions, please let me know.
I found a fun widget that counts my posts and the number of comments I've gotten. You'll find that in my sidebar now.
Challenges and Lessons Learned
You all know what I think about challenges, because I told you last October (see Reading Attitudes: Challenge or Fun?). Nothing has changed there, and I've signed up for a ton more challenges, listed in my sidebar. I plan to have fun and do the best I can.
I did learn some lessons about hosting challenges. I have not been a good hostess for the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge. There are 148 reviews linked up, and I've read only a few. When I decided to host the What's in a Name? 3 challenge this year, I thought about what I did wrong.
- I've learned that it is better to have a separate blog for a challenge rather than have people link back to a single page on my main blog. Yeah, I lose out on all that great link love, but a separate blog means that I can organize the challenge more easily.
- I should have had a separate Mr. Linky and separate page for each book in the Sookie series and another Mr. Linky for the wrap-up post. With the big long list of links, it's impossible to track anyone's progress and to see who has finished.
- I also learned that it's better to offer just one prize to challenge participants. Most people sign up for a challenge for fun, not the prize. I committed to 4 prizes for Sookie, but only one for WIAN3. It's a much saner way to go.
- The good news is that I learned it is tons of fun to host a challenge. I have discovered a lot of good blogs through Sookie and now I'm discovering a lot of good books (and blogs) through WIAN3. I wouldn't hesitate to host again.
Since Book Blogger Appreciation Week and the Fall Read-a-Thon, my blog reader has grown in leaps and bounds. And now that I've removed my blogroll, it just grew again.
I have my blogs organized in alphabetical order so I can find what I want to read quickly. The only problem with an A to Z listing is that sometimes I don't make it much past the Ms. So this year, I'm going to alternate or change up my reading. Some days I'm going to start from the bottom and work my way up; other days, I may start in the middle.
I am also going to restrict myself a bit. I plan to read blogs in the morning before I start work, and then scattered throughout the day when I need a break, and then again in the evening before we watch a movie. What this means is that I might not get to you every day, but I will get to your blog more than once a week, and I will read pretty much everything.
Although I announced that I was joining the 2010 Read & Review Challenge, I've changed my mind. I plan on reviewing everything I read anyway, but I've decided to do without the stress or pressure of a challenge.
Continuing review styles:
- Full (long) reviews for most books I read.
- Highlights of my print book on Tuesdays and my audiobook on Thursdays.
- Short reviews of books read before I started blogging.
- Reviews of unfinished books.
- Mini reviews. What books will get mini reviews? Books that I've waited too long to review so I've lost the emotional connection or I can't remember the details, cozy mysteries and other light books that don't require a lot of analysis, and books that have been well reviewed or that are well known so I can focus on just my opinion.
- Spoiler reviews. What do I mean by this? I am always very, very careful not to give away anything important about a book when I review it. Sometimes, however, I have strong opinions about the plot or the ending or the main character's decisions, and I can't say anything without giving away the story. How can I discuss, for example, a daughter's reaction to her father's death without first spoiling the book by letting everyone know that the father dies? If I feel the need to write this type of review, it will be clearly marked so you can skip it if you want to.
I'm not much for making resolutions that I must follow no matter what. On the other hand, I like to have some idea of where I'm headed, so I do like to have some goals in mind.
- I'd like to continue to keep up with writing my reviews.
- I hope to better balance my pleasure reading with my review copy/ARC reading.
- I have Literary Road Trip posts planned into February and hope to keep this project going indefinitely.
- I love Wordless Wednesday, and I will continue to post a weekly photograph.
- I am having a lot of fun with Weekend Cooking, and I have some good movies, biographies, culinary mysteries, recipes, and cookbook reviews planned for 2010. I encourage you to participate whenever the mood hits.
- I have a couple author interviews and guest posts planned for January, and I am looking forward to more throughout the year.
- I am looking forward to BEA and hope to attend more events if my work time and finances allow.
- I may have to work on publicists to get authors to speak at Penn State or to appear at the State College Barnes & Nobles (the only non-university bookstore in a college town, sad eh?). I live close enough so that I could go to readings or signings and do some face-to-face interviews. Publicists? Are you listening?