Blogiversary — where do we go from here?

The road ahead1Reaching our one year blogiversary seemed like a good time to reflect on what we want to do with the blog. So far the focus has been on children’s, middle grade and young adult (YA) books. At age 11 (when the blog started) my daughter was (and still is) at that in-between age where some middle grade books were too young for her, but others were perfect. YA books are even trickier, as they cover such a range of ages and genres. The idea of adding parent guides to our reviews came from this. We haven’t covered very many children’s books but it has been nice to reflect on some favourites from time to time (see here for example). The other aspect to consider is the wider world of blogging. How much time can we realistically spend on the blog (and on social media), and how much time do we want to spend on it? So, this is what we have decided…

How hard is it to change your blog design?

FaviconI have recently finished a redesign of our blog (for now). It was coming up to a year since we started the blog and I thought it was time for a change. I’ve played around with the design quite a lot over the  past year but this time I decided to go with a brand new WordPress theme and it’s been quite a steep learning curve…

Blogging breaks and Bowie

BowieWe’ve been a bit quiet on the blog recently…no particular reason, just life (work, school, Christmas…). I’d got nicely into the swing of blogging last year but then when the thought of writing a blog post filled me with more of a sense of duty than enjoyment I thought it was time to take a short break. After all, blogging should be enjoyable, and not a chore.

The subjective nature of reading and reviews

typewriter1All readers are reviewers whether they commit those thoughts to writing or not, they may simply share their thoughts on a book with friends, family or colleagues, or just keep them to themselves. My suspicion is that it is the books that are positively reviewed just by ‘word of mouth’ that are the most successful, more formal positive reviews are just the icing on the cake, and there are many books that have been slated by reviewers that go on to be best sellers. But once a reader writes down their thoughts and blogs them, or posts a review on Amazon or Goodreads, they are putting their views out into the open, and subject to, in effect, a ‘review’ of their review. I’ve been thinking about this recently because I reviewed some books I didn’t enjoy (not here, this blog is for books we love) and it felt really very uncomfortable. I wondered why that was, and at first thought it was because the vast majority of the time I just won’t finish a book I’m not enjoying so I don’t feel in a position to review it, internally or otherwise. If I can’t finish a book it just wasn’t to my taste, or I wasn’t in the right mood for it at the time, and that’s that, I don’t really give it much more thought. Then I thought about the subjective nature of reviews, in fact the subjectivity of anything we might have an opinion on in our lives, the baggage of life experiences we bring to reading that influence our views.

Welcome to our blog. We are a mum and daughter who love books, and love reading books together. So, we thought we would share our thoughts on some of our favourite books. We’d like to hear what you think too, and any suggestions of new books for us to read.

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