02 January 2014

Past and Future: Some Stats, Some Goals

copyright cbl for www.BethFishReads.comI always love to read everyone's end-of-the-year wrap-up posts. Most years I track my reading very closely but something happened in 2013; I kind of forgot to fill in my database. I even failed to add reviews to my review index here on the blog. Ooops!

Thus this is a quick-and-dirty wrap-up post, that's very light on details. Besides my few lame stats, I want to share some of my thoughts on how my blog has changed and what you can expect in the year to come.

And I promise to catch up on my review index and my recipe index just as soon as I find some of that mythical free time I've heard tales about.

Lame Stats

First and last reviews: My first review of 2013 was an audiobook for middle grade readers: Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff. My last single review was for the final entry in a beloved cozy mystery series: Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters, also an audiobook.

Audiobooks: I listened to more than 70 audiobooks in 2013 for a total of about 970 hours.

Print books: I have no idea how many I read.

Most comments: My 5-year blogoversary post received the most comments this year. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to stop by and say yay!

Changes, Goals, and the State of the Blog

Reviews: Slowly over the last few months, I've eased up on my self-imposed pressure to write detailed, analytical, critical reviews of every single book I read or listen to. This one change has made my life, both on and off line, less stressful. Although I'm still motivated to write full, formal reviews of many of the books I read, I love the freedom to write about books in a variety of styles.

My reviews currently take several forms: full (formal) review, Bullet Review, quick review as part of Today's Read, in-progress review as part of Thursday Tea, and short grouped reviews (when I need to catch up). If my stats are any indication, you all like the variety, and the shorter reviews are gaining in popularity.

Challenges: I have given up hosting all challenges expect for the perpetual Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge. The link-up page for all AEB titles can be found on the gateway post.

New Types of Posts: In 2013, I wrote my first product review (for a phone case), introduced new features (for example, Who's Birthday Is It?), and reviewed more movies than in other years. Although I don't write a personal blog (and don't want to), I'm considering making my Stacked-Up Book Thoughts a weekly feature and using it to share some thoughts on my reading life in general (kind of like the Sunday Salon meme, which is now closed to new members).

After a week of best-of posts, photos, and wrap-ups, you can expect a book review tomorrow and Weekend Cooking on Saturday, as the familiar rhythm of Beth Fish Reads returns for another year. Happy New Year to all of you!


Col (Col Reads) 1/2/14, 6:17 AM  

I love the bullet reviews -- they're kind of a book recommendation without giving much away, which I really appreciate. Thanks, and Happy 2014!

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice 1/2/14, 7:36 AM  

Seventy audiobooks? That's amazing! I don't have the patience to listen to one. Congrats!

rhapsodyinbooks 1/2/14, 7:40 AM  

Well I don't blame you for neglecting the indexing. It is a tedious boring job! :--)

Bryan G. Robinson 1/2/14, 7:41 AM  

You still can join The Sunday Salon. It's moved to Facebook. :-) If you want...

I'll send you an invite.

Unknown 1/2/14, 7:52 AM  

I have been toying with the idea of an occasional in progress review or something mid book. I did one this year and it got a lot of hits. Probably for longer books. Happy new year!

bermudaonion 1/2/14, 8:42 AM  

I've tried to use Good Reads to keep up with my stats but their number never match mine so I'm obviously doing something wrong there. I really want to create a spreadsheet to keep track of things better.

Happy New Year!

Amanda 1/2/14, 9:28 AM  

I do miss the Sunday Salon thing. :/ Ah well.

I just wanted to let you know that your comment a week or two ago on my sugar cookie picture got me thinking about blogging again. Ironic, no? But thank you. :)

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 1/2/14, 9:42 AM  

70 audios!! I meant to keep track of hours listened to but since I also read some of the books I listen to I haven't known how to track.

Happy new year! I hope 2014 continues to be a go with the flow type of year.

Meg @ write meg! 1/2/14, 9:48 AM  

Happy new year! That is a seriously impressive audio count. About a fourth of the books I managed to read in 2013 were audios, and I hope to up that number in 2014!

Tif Sweeney 1/2/14, 10:05 AM  

I am quite impressed with the number of audios you were able to finish. I just got back into audios this year and I'm very excited to discover new greats ... books and narrators ... this year!

Happy New Year!

Heather 1/2/14, 10:45 AM  

:O 70 audiobooks? That's more than one a week! I know you listen to some epic ones! I am so impressed. I love your bullet reviews. I may have to steal that idea for the books I want to review but am just not feeling it. Sometimes I really like a book but can't quite articulate why....

Kailana 1/2/14, 10:57 AM  

As long as I read a post and know if the person liked or disliked the book, that is all I am really looking for. I don't care what style is used as long as they get the point across. :)

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 1/2/14, 11:30 AM  

I like the shorter, less formal reviews too. I look forward to your audio review as I'm always looking for recommendation. I listened to 57 audios last year, that's half of my reading.

Michelle (my books. my life.) 1/2/14, 12:47 PM  

2013 seems to have changed us all. Good for you for adapting as you need to.

Carol 1/2/14, 1:08 PM  

I haven't done a wrap-up post yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to or not.

Daryl 1/2/14, 2:59 PM  

i may be the only blogger who hasnt ever done a wrap up post ... ummm .... i blather on enough the rest of the year

Unknown 1/2/14, 3:24 PM  

It has been an interesting year, and it is certainly liberating to free yourself from self-imposed pressures. I enjoy your writing, in all its forms! Looking forward to seeing you again in 2014!

Charlie (The Worm Hole) 1/2/14, 5:31 PM  

Happy new year, Beth! Wowed by that statistic of 70 audiobooks. I like the sound of the different review formats. Things change and going with the flow is best.

Nise' 1/2/14, 8:55 PM  

Way to go on the audios! My audio listening was up (by 2 books) from the previous year. Happy New Year!

Belle Wong 1/2/14, 9:01 PM  

Happy new year! I really appreciate your audio recommendations - it's wonderful being able to get a good idea what a narrator is like and how the book works in audio before deciding to invest my time in an audiobook. I'm looking forward to reading all your different posts this year!

Dana Tanaro Britt 1/2/14, 9:58 PM  

I think your new, flexible plan for your blog sounds great--fun variety yet the BethF stuff we know and love as well! xo

Sandy Nawrot 1/3/14, 6:48 AM  

You made me laugh when you said you had no idea how many print books you read. LOL I was the same way. I had to really roll up my sleeves and scrounge around for my number, and even then I didn't count the audios, although they are usually have my diet. Hey I love the bullet point reviews, and if they are less stressful, then it is a win win. As long as I get the point of how you felt about a book, then I'm happy. Happy New Year to you!

Literary Feline 1/6/14, 4:06 PM  

I'm searching for that mythical free time too. LOL

I think your plans for the future sound great, and I for one will be around to see what you have in store for us.

Laurie C 1/11/14, 10:42 AM  

I'm bad at keeping track of reading stats. Here it is the 11th of January and I haven't even tried to find the spreadsheet that I started in January 2013 but only kept up for a few weeks before forgetting about it. Here's to a happy, healthy 2014 and who cares about stats, anyway!

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