2012 has been a strange year for me - full of ups and downs. Between working through some family issues and a number of health issues, including a major breast cancer scare, having time to devote to reading has been rather sporadic. Some months I read five books; others, I was lucky to finish two. So I fell far short of my goal of 50 books – only 36. One of my other goals was to read more of the books I already own and not take on as many new releases for review. I’m not sure how well I really accomplished that except to say that it was evenly split. There are still a number of books I received during the year that need to be reviewed and I expect to continue to be a little more selective about the ones I say “yes” to.
After stubbornly refusing to buy an e-reader, in October I finally caved, primarily for two reasons. I really wanted to read Games of Thrones but since most of my reading is done during my work commute or on an airplane, I didn’t want to lug a huge book around with me. The other reason is the switch to e-books from publishers for review copies. In some instances actual printed ARCs were not available and so I was missing out on some that I really did want to read. I splurged a little and got the Kindle Fire which I absolutely love – it goes with me everywhere! Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks??
Blogging has also been somewhat inconsistent throughout the year especially on the review front the last several months. I am dreadfully behind and despite good intentions to get caught up, it just hasn’t happened. I’m still trying though…
Getting new releases for review has allowed me to use my book allowance for collecting out of print books and I’ve managed to acquire quite a few gems this year, including some that are very hard to come by and often exorbitantly expensive. But the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun! I only broke my “not more than a new hardback” rule once – for a pretty good copy of Eleanor Fairburn’s Winter Rose. I justified it to myself that it didn’t break my new secondary rule: “not more than two new hardbacks”!
Although these older books don’t always stand up well compared to some of today’s better offerings, they are often fun to read and let’s be honest - I buy a lot of them for the covers! But there are some really good ones as well. So, what were my favorite books of the year?
The Lion of Alnwick by Carol Wensby Scott. The first in a trilogy about the Percy family, this was by far the best book I read this year and one of those OOPs (it’s also in my review backlog pile).
Other favorites were Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham, Voice of the Falconer by David Blixt, The Love Knot by Elizabeth Chadwick, The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot, The Purple Shroud by Stella Duffy and Harold of the English by Brenda Honeyman (another OOP also languishing on the backlog pile).
For 2013, I’m going to stick with a goal of reading 50 books and make a real effort for more than half of them to be books I already own. The Kindle may make that a little harder, so we’ll see how that goes.
As far as the blog goes in 2013, besides doing a better job of posting my reviews in a timely fashion (really – cross my heart…), I plan to get back to my Photo Friday feature and hope to do an overhaul of the blog’s design at some point during the year. The bookmark giveaways will continue and I plan to start giving away an ARC a month (although sometimes they will be the actual finished book). I also plan to revive the (mostly) daily posting of covers of old, out of print books on my facebook page - please "like" us there if you're interested.
There is one thing I've been debating with myself about. The last few years when I’ve turned down a request to review a historical fiction book, I’ve usual offered the author an opportunity to do a guest post and/or giveaway as a way to help them get some exposure for their book. I’m debating whether to continue this practice or not. On one hand, it does help me have some content to post, especially if I don’t have much to post myself at that time. On the other hand though, it is my blog and shouldn’t the content reflect me and my interests? If I’m not interested enough in the book to read it myself, should I really be “advertising” it? Anyone have any thoughts??
Well, I guess that’s another year done. I’ll be travelling quite a bit over the coming holiday period (through the first of the year) so there won’t be much going on for the next few weeks. Although I may try to get some of those reviews done on the 10 hour (one way) car trip …
Happy Holidays and may your lives be filled with love and peace.