Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Wrap-up Post & Happy New Year

I launched my blogging life on April 24th of this year. I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into. Oh, I was "aware" that there was such a thing as blogging, but I hadn't really given it much thought. Then a dear friend of mine mentioned that he had a blog and that I ought to check out his daughter's. I checked out both and they were really interesting. His focused more on pictures and his thoughts connected to the pictures and hers was all about writing. I started looking around and discovered blogs about books. That's when I decided that a blog would be a great way to track my reading and to record my thoughts on the books that I read. And everything just exploded after challenges, memes, give-aways, review copies, and, most of all, the truly wonderful people that I've found out here in the blogosphere. It's been a terrific experience. I've learned a lot (although, NOT how to control my addiction to reading challenges) and I've even taken the plunge and will be sponsoring my own reading challenge for 2011.

Here's a run-down of my first year of blogging.

I joined (and finished!) eight reading challenges.

1. The 2010 100+ Reading Challenge (sponsored by Home Girl's Book Blog). I hit 100 books on July 12 and finished the year with 203. This means (having joined the Outdo Yourself Challenge for 2011) that I will be shooting for 219 books in the coming year.
2. The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge (sponsored by Home Girl's Book Blog). I signed up for "Stepping It Up" (read 75 books from the library). I made that on November 28. I thought I might make it to 100, but that's not going to happen.
3. The Birth Year Reading Challenge (sponsored by Hotchpot Cafe). In this one you set your own goal--as many books from the year of your birth as you wanted. There were 64 books listed for my year on Wikipedia and I arbitrarily decided to go for 22. Challenge completed on September 12. This was my favorite challenge. It was really fun to see what books had been published the year I was born.
4. Everything Old Is New Again Challenge (sponsored by books i done read). I managed a Masters level (reading half of the reading list she provided) by November 14.
5. The Really Old Classics Challenge. I was very reserved on this one...only signing up for the required one book. If you count the three separate books that made up my edition of The Divine Comedy plus Gilgamesh, then I made the "Classicist" category with four books. I'm not greedy, though. I'm just proud that I managed those really old books (not my thing, usually). Finished on October 25.
6. The 2010 Fall Into Reading Challenge (sponsored by A Chick Who Reads). This one required participants to read books in twelve predetermined categories. Challenge complete on October 13.
7. The Daphne Du Maurier Challenge (sponsored by Chrisbookarama). This one had several challenge categories. I fulfilled both "Dreaming of Manderley" and "Dame Daphne" by October 10.
8. The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (sponsored by True Book Addict). I participated at the Mistletoe level and completed the challenge on December 11.

In the fall I joined Heather (Age 30+... A Lifetime of Books) and Jill (Fizzy Thoughts) in their Dueling Monsters Round Two (Mr. Hyde vs. Dorian Gray)--reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray. The goal was to decide who was the bigger baddie. I wound up choosing Dorian as the bigger bad guy.

There were also a few read-a-thons, although I didn't do particularly well with them. Didn't get near the reading in that I would have liked. We'll see if I can do any better in the coming year. The Take Time to Relax & The Holiday Read-a-Thons both were set up to include a charitable donation based on the number of books/pages read. I sent a sizable donation to the Salvation Army to spend on Children's Christmas projects. Other read-a-thons were The Fall Catch-up Read-a-Thon and the Once Upon Read-a-Thon. And one final read-a-thon for 2010: the Out With A Bang Read-a-Thon that ran from Dec 29-31 (update coming--tomorrow).

I, who in my real life never win anything, managed to win several give-aways out in the blogosphere. From CMash Loves to Read, I'd So Rather Be Reading, Bibliosue, and Reading Angel. Great books and an awesome t-shirt!

And last, but not least, I dipped my toes into the waters of review copies. Receiving my first two requests and enjoying the books immensely.

A big thank you to all my followers and those who comment on my posts. It's nice to see that there are those of you out there who are interested in what I do here. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and will have a blessed New Year.


Carol said...

What a year!

All the best for 2011!

Happy Blogging, Happy reading


Red said...

Wow, congrats on making it through all of those reading challenges! I am thoroughly impressed

fredamans said...

Happy New Year!

Julie said...

We started book blogging in the same month! Woot! Although a few of the challenges I signed up for last year were not completed, I entered into quite a few year-long challenges THIS year in an effort to organize and to pare down my TBR piles; one is the Outdo Yourself Challenge as well!