A Blogversary and the year when Everything Is Going to be Alright!

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?!

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

The 746

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

68 Comments Leave a comment

  1. A very happy blogversary to you, Cathy, I’m always pleased when a post from you pops into my Reader! I hope your Derek Mahon post helped those who were clearly seeking consolation. I’m so sorry to hear that he died in October. Like you, reading, blogging and chatting with blogger pals has kept me sane this year, plus being able to get out for walks. I’m daring to hope for an easier 2021 for the world.


  2. Happy blogbirthday! Here’s to many more, and good progress with the 746. I’ve not had quite that reaction with a single post, but my review of Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell from 2 years ago continues to get loads of views every day still so it has continuity! All the best for 2021.


  3. Ack! Never say “It can’t get any worse” because next thing you know it will be raining spider snakes with acid breath! I love when there is a random jump in stats. This year, I had a book review of How to Be Fine, and then a few months later it jumped massively in stats. I wonder if the authors found and shared the review, because all the referers were Facebook and Twitter, which I don’t mess with. Happy 2020, Cathy, and here’s to excellent reading in 2021! 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄


  4. Wow! I didn’t realize the significance of your blog’s name until you just described it here. That is quite an undertaking. I’d never survive the reading of all the books I own. Haha! I get way too many review copies that pull me away from my shelves. I’ve been blogging for almost 13 years now and I haven’t gotten any better as reading what I currently own.


  5. Happy Blogiversary, Cathy! You are a constant inspiration to the book-blogging world and a wonderful advocate for Irish literature! Keep up the good work – you’ll be able to change your name to Cathy0 one of these days. 😀


  6. Congratulations on your blog anniversary and on getting on so well with the 746!

    On my old blog, I wrote some posts about Catelyn and Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, and when the series screened the Red Wedding episode, my hits skyrocketed 🙂 I think all the new visitors would have been very disappointed, as my posts were much more concerned with feminism than what happened next in the books!


  7. If my stats had jumped like that you’d find me still on the floor trying to recover 🙂

    Well done on progressing with your 746 challenge. I’m curious about your numbering. I assume you made a list by adding every unread book into a table but are they in any particular order. I have a similar list but I can sort alphabetically by book name or by date of purchase so I’m not sure what would constitute book number 10 for example….


  8. Happy Blogversary! We started out in the same year (me in October) and I remember finding your blog for the first time and being very intrigued by your project. I’m so glad you’re still going strong 🙂 And I’m also glad the hot priest is bringing you so much blogging success, haha! By far my most-read post is my recipe for Kinder Bueno brownies. Apparently, lots of people search for that and I show up high up in Google. It’s not even close to being my best recipe, but I’m glad people are enjoying it, haha 🙂 Here’s to seven more years for the both of us!


  9. Happy blogiversary Cathy!
    Thanks for 20 Books of Summer (Winter) and Novellas in Nov, I look forward to both in 2021 – they’re already on my calendar.
    In 2018, I had a post that I wrote in 2016, also about a poet, the Nobel award winning Nelly Sachs, that suddenly went ballistic. It turns out, she was featured as the google birthday image for the day. It was a very curious experience.


  10. No, I’ve never had anything like this happen! I’ve had a few posts that would continue to see decent views over the years, due to students trying to grab something for an essay, or people looking for the dirty bits of books (judging by the search terms) but never on this scale. Very cool. And you had a great year, even without that bump! I basically withdrew from the world in March/April/May so good on you for continuing with Reading Ireland. I’m trying to be a lot more active next year, both hosting and participating in events… we’ll see how that goes. You are an inspiration for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First off, happy blog anniversary! And you’re doing great with your TBR! I really admire your goal here, I wish I could do it (I mean I could but I probably would stress myself out trying to stick to it LOL). Secondly, wow, those views! I’ve never had a post go like that but I do have one from way back when, an author spotlight I wrote about Melanie Rawn, that gets regular hits even though this was several years ago just from people searching for her name. Also, I had a couple of reviews get pretty high views this year and can’t figure out why, so someone must have shared them somewhere–that’s always a nice surprise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy blogiversary! I had my biggest stats spike for a pic of some keys I found on my road and didn’t have anywhere else to put the picture … I also have loads of hits still on my business blog on how to make your comments boxes in World stop being tiny, and on my book one I get constant hits on slightly odd books, like a random Chetan Bhagat novel! I love your blog and it’s one I always try to at least click Like on, and now we are so ringfenced by people not allowing us to the countries, I love my international blogging community for giving me somewhere to reach to and visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Isn’t it nuts when something like that happens? I remember we were abroad in Spain with minimal email and all of a sudden I started getting emails that my stats were booming and I had no clue what was going on. When we finally got home and I could look into it, Paulo Coehlo had shared my review of one his works and that created the biggest skew of any of my stats. It’s still the “best day” and “best month”. I’m not sure it’s the most viewed post anymore because it was early on in my blogging, but either way I totally get you with this one!

    Happy New Year AND blogiversery!

    Liked by 1 person

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