Today marks seven years since I first posted on 746 Books with that very naïve goal of not buying any books until I’d read all 746 in my possession!
So, first things first. It’s another year done and how far on am I in that crazy challenge? Well, 2020 has probably been one of my best years yet! I started the year at Book No 502 and my most recent review was of Book No 447, so a whopping 55 books ticked off that long, long list!
By this time next year, I’d dearly love to make it to the halfway point in my challenge, which would be Book No 373. That means reading 74 books from the 746 during 2021. It’s a tall order and given the fact that I’m still buying a few books here and there again AND am using Netgalley AND have to read certain new books for work, it means that progress is destined to remain slow. If I at least got into the 300s by next December, I’d count that as a win!
I have done quite well with my reading this year – I set myself a Goodreads Challenge of 100, but have currently read 126 which is pretty good going for me and definitely reflects the fact that I’ve had a lot more free time this year thanks to that little irritation that has been Covid.
My personal challenges have been really great this year. Despite a little emotional wobble during Reading Ireland Month I managed to persevere and my 20 Books of Summer mojo remained intact as I completed that challenge for the second year running. This year I had great fun hosting the inaugural Novellas in November with Rebecca and hope that we can host again in 2021.
This is the point where I usually look back at my WordPress stats and see how I’ve been doing and that’s where things get interesting this year.
I’m not a big stat-watcher to be fair but last year I was delighted to have 28,000 viewers to my blog. This year, to date, I’ve got almost 70,000. So what’s going on there then? Well, I have been posting quite a bit more this year, but the real answer is evident when you look at the post that received the most views…
During Reading Ireland Month this year, I used the last week of the challenge to share some of my favourite poems by Irish poets and on 26 March I shared the gorgeous Everything Is Going to Be Alright by Derek Mahon. So far, so normal, until during lockdown, on 18 May, Andrew Scott decided to release a video of himself reading Derek’s poem. Look what happened to my stats after that!
This was the biggest amount of views I have ever received in my 7 years of blogging! Views to the post stayed steady over the rest of the summer, but when Derek Mahon died on October 1 and then Paul Mescal (Connell from Normal People) also decided to post a video of himself reading the poem a few days later, my stats soared again.
My search terms this year are full of every kind of iteration of the title of that poem that you can think of – Everything Will Be OK, Everything is Alright, Everything Will be Alright, Everything Will be Fine and even Hot Priest Poem…I kid you not.
I’ve never had this kind of post in all my time blogging and as much as I like to think that people are visiting me for my wonderful content and snappy personality, a lot of this blogging lark is really down to luck, timing and everyone’s general love for Andrew Scott!
Have any of you had this kind of post before?
Still, all in all, despite the madness of the real world, this has been a great blogging year for me. My blog has allowed me to stay connected to the world of books and in a year when I wasn’t able to use my creativity to plan events for work, I was able to get satisfaction from creating for my blog.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has viewed, read, liked, commented, tweeted, retweeted, reposted and generally supported me along the way this last year. The bookish blogging community is such a friendly one and I genuinely love the little half hour I take every evening as my twins are falling asleep to read and interact with all your wonderful blogs.
Here’s to 2021! Let’s face it, it can’t get any worse…can it?!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!