Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Forward and Back on the Blogging Thing

For me, 2010 will definitely be remembered as the year I discovered blogging. Back in April, when I started Col Reads, my idea was pretty simple: I wanted a place for my reviews for the What's in a Name 3 Challenge. But clicking on a just a few links to read reviews turned into a far more interesting proposition, as I found other book bloggers with similar interests and tastes. Now reading book blogs and participating in memes is part of my weekly routine, and for the most part it's been very rewarding -- especially meeting so many wonderful, bookish people.

With 2011 looming, I took a little break last week to enjoy time with my family and friends. I've also been thinking about what I wanted to do with this little piece of internet real estate in the coming year. Here are some plans:

More and shorter reviews: Some books deserve a long review -- others, not so much. I'm going to try for pithy this year, rather than comprehensive.

More creativity: I think I'm going to work on the look of the blog. Sounds like a summer project, but it's on my mind.

More adventure: I've joined a number of challenges that will push me to read from different literary traditions. Some of the best books I read in 2010 were not ones I would have picked up on my own. But Bellezza's Japanese Literature Challenge introduced me to Kitchen. Amy's Scandinavian Challenge introduced me to The Summer Book. I'm looking forward to more of those "a-ha" moments this year.

Less pressure: This is for fun. I have a day job. If blogging becomes a chore, why do it?

With all that in mind, here's the current Challenge Line-up (complete book plans are in the Reading Challenges tab). I'll probably add a few more as the year goes on. Looks like a lot, but I'm only doing a few books in each!


  1. I did both the South Asian and the GLBT challenges last year and really loved reading the books for them. I am also doing the What's in a Name challenge this year. Your goals are great for 2011, especially the part about having fun. Happy New Year!

  2. Isn't it funny how the book blog bite just gets bigger? All of a sudden, it can become almost an unwieldy beast. Still, I, too love it: the people, the genres, the exposure to so much more than I was on my own. Meeting you in 2010 was definitely a highlight for me. I won't be joining as many challenges as you are, so far only the Myth one is one we have in common, but I'll look forward to your pithy or comprehensive reviews either way! Happy New Year, Col.

  3. Helen -- I saw some of your reviews for the Challenges. I'm really looking forward to participating this year.

    Bellezza -- I can truly say that meeting you was a highlight for me too! I look forward to your reviews and insights (and your adorable students) in 2011!

  4. Hey Col, happy new year and I hope you have a good year blogging. It's hard to let go of the blogging bug, I agree, but sometimes life takes over! And that's a good thing too.

  5. Looks like some great challenges for 2011! I'm so excited I came across your blog recently - I also started blogging in 2010 (May) and have absolutely enjoyed it thus far! Playing around with the look of the blog has also been a fun process and I really like checking out the Templates available on Blogger - you will have a lot of fun picking and previewing how it looks! Enjoy!

  6. Thanks for signing up for my Dewey Decimal Challenge! My only goal for the year was to make my reading time count. Reading books for review was starting to feel like work, so I stopped. I need to follow your lead and start only saying what needs to be said in blog posts. I have a bad habit of thinking a post looks to short and then adding filler.

    Good luck with all your challenges and goals!

  7. Judith -- thanks for letting me guest blog this year!

    CaaBC -- I didn't realize you began your blog this year too. I enjoy it reading it!

    Jen -- Thanks for hosting the Dewey Decimal Challenge! I love reading non-fiction, and actually finished the whole What's in a Name 3 Challenge with non-fiction last year.


I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col