Happy New Year!
I got a little introspective this morning when I realized that I was heading into my seventh (seventh!) year of blogging. I’m not quite sure what I imagined seven years of blogging would look like back when I started, but I could not have imagined how awesome these past six years have been. I don’t usually take the time to write long, chatty posts about myself, but I’ve been thinking a lot about where this blog has been, where I’m going in life, and how my blog fits into the future.
I was paging through my notebook where I keep my list of every book read I’ve read since 2010, and looking over my year in reading. In a lot of ways, my year in reading reflects what was happening in my life, and the surprises that came my way. I read 111 books in 2013 (up two from 2012, hooray!), and that’s not counting all of the wonderful picture books I discovered the past year. Of those books, 24 were middle grade. Five were nonfiction (a small number, but impressive considering I read one nonfiction book in 2012). Six were classics, which I suppose reflected that I am no longer in college and I’m not reading as much canonical literature as I once did (although I do hope that I still can make time to do so in 2014). Eighteen books were adult novels, and I took time to re-read eight books that I’ve read and loved before, with a new perspective. Nineteen of my books read were e-books. (Despite the constant advances in technology, I don’t think more than 20% of my reading has been e-books since I got an e-reader three years ago.)
During my three years in college, I used to have to carve out time to read the YA books I love. When I was accepted to a grad school that required you to read 10-15 YA, middle grade, and picture books per month, I thought I was in heaven. PERFECT. No more setting aside time to read things I loved. It would actually be my homework. Truly a nerdvana.
What I have instead found is that by being in grad school, I read far more widely than I did before. Part of this is due to what I refer to as the curse/blessing of being in school: I read everything with a critical eye. That’s cool. Except for when it’s not. Not only have I become a more discerning reader as far as the quality of my reading, but I’ve also read different and new-to-me genres and authors. “Read widely to become a good writer” was the advice given to me as a first semester student at my first grad residency, and I think I’ve now, at the end of the semester, taken that to heart. I was slow to explore at first, but now I’ve read a lot of middle grade. I ventured into picture books. But now it’s more than that. I’m carving out time to read other, non-YA things. And I am really enjoying it.
Obviously, that means less time to read YA and that translates into less YA to review. And this became starkly obvious to me when I realized that although I read two more books in 2013 than in 2012, I also blogged much, much less in 2013 than any other year since I began blogging. Ouch. I had a really difficult time keeping up with the blog during the semester, for obvious busy reasons, but also because I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my blog. For six years, this blog has been almost exclusively a YA book blog. I was almost exclusively a YA book reader. And now I’m not, and I’m wondering how my blog should reflect my changing tastes without losing, upsetting, or disappointing any readers.
I don’t want to let the blog go (and don’t worry, that’s not going to happen), but for about a year now I’ve been trying to keep the blog the same as it’s been for the past couple of years, and that’s just not working. As I become more serious about writing and my studies, I’m going to talk about a lot more than just YA releases. And unfortunately, posts may come a little more infrequently.
So, here is something that is as close to a New Year’s resolution that I will commit to: I want to try blogging four times a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and once on the weekend. We’ll see how it goes. I have a lot of exciting things coming up in 2014, including being a Cybils judge, two more semesters of school (including a thesis later this year!), more books to write, and more friends’ book releases to celebrate! It’ll be a great year, and I can’t wait to see what will happen!