Fifth Blog Anniversary

Bookish Beck launched five years ago today. I can hardly remember what it was like not to have a blog. I started it in the wake of my brother-in-law’s death, as a kind of seize-the-day gesture and as a replacement venue for Bookkaholic, a now-defunct web magazine where I used to post most of my book-related thoughts and reviews.

This is post #696, working out to two and two-thirds posts per week – which seems just right to me. In the past few years, I’ve gotten more involved in buddy reads and blog challenges; I continue to take part in literary prize shadow panels and attend events when I can. I’ve hosted #TheLibraryCheckout for nearly 2.5 years now, and my current project is organizing a #NotTheWellcomePrize blog tour for this April, while the official Prize is on hiatus.

I meant to do a blog redesign in time for this fifth anniversary – I’ve barely changed the site’s appearance since I started it, and things like my menu headings and About page need some attention – but didn’t get a chance, so expect that to be unveiled within the next few weeks.

Incabell / CC0

 

In the meantime, here are some fun stats:

 

My five most popular posts of all time:

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (1,683 views)

Barbara Kingsolver in Conversation about Unsheltered (1,670)

Review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July (1,605)

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (1,257)

Mixed Feelings about Elena Ferrante (1,187)

 

Most views on one day (304): August 13, 2018

 

The five posts that generated the most engagement (by number of comments):

Painful but Necessary: Culling Books, Etc. 50
Book Triage 48
These Days 45
Fourth Blog Anniversary 44
My Bibliotherapy Appointment at the School of Life 44

 

Five personal favorites:

Omnibuses, Built-in Bookmarks, Deckle Edge: Book Traits I Love/Loathe (May 2017)

Welcome to the Fold, Little Book: How I Tend to My Secondhand Purchases (January 2018)

Biography of the Month: Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig [a review in verse] (January 2018)

A Trip to Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town (April 2018)

Nonfiction November: Being the ‘Expert’ on Women’s Religious Memoirs (November 2018)

 

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over this last half-decade by visiting the site, commenting, re-tweeting, inviting me to participate in blog challenges, joining me for shadow panels, and so on. You’re the best!

46 responses

  1. James Ashley Shea | Reply

    Oh, my goodness! Reading all those will keep me busy. Did you know that people used to refer to England as Blighty?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know people (mostly Americans) who still use that term in jest 🙂

      Like

  2. Congratulations! Really interesting to see which posts were the most popular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was surprised that the Kingsolver talk was so popular, and that my (not particularly favourable) July review was one of my most read ever!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Many happy returns, Bookish Beck! It’s a pleasure following you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susan! The same goes for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy blogversary Rebecca – I enjoy your blog very much so here’s to many more years to come 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carolyn Anthony | Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS, Beck! I enjoy your blog immensely. You have plenty of variety, and raw honesty. That’s refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on the 5th Blogoversary! I can’t imagine my reading/blogging life without you, so keep on blogging please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alison, that’s so kind!

      Like

  7. You’re part of the establishment now, as if you weren’t before! I read everything you post, so you will keep doing it won’t you? Congratulations and here’s to many years to come. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no plans to stop! 😀 It’s too much fun. If it ever stops being fun, that will be another matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Alison, that’s so kind!

    Like

  9. Ooh congrats on 5 years! Amazing milestone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I can hardly believe it’s been that long, and yet I also feel like I’ve been blogging forever. Time’s a paradox.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations!
    I like your Library check out post best of all although it usually means more books added to the toppling TBR mountain. I need to go back and re-read your book cull post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, glad you enjoy them! I just wish I could get more people to take part in the meme.

      This was my culling post from 2017; I haven’t been terribly successful as the Goodreads TBR is back up to 6162!
      https://bookishbeck.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/culling-my-goodreads-tbr/

      Like

    2. I agree, I love the library check out. Though it always makes me feel inadequate. Currently I have six books out at the library and that’s quite a high total for me. Fascinated by your stats. I have no idea how to collect stats more than a year old from WP (No, it’s OK, don’t tell me. I’m not one for data).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dashboard –> Site Stats

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy blogiversary!! I always enjoy reading your posts and wish you many more happy years of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on the birthday. I like the way you’ve reflected on the last five years. The stats about posts always being up some surprises don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was definitely surprised about which posts were most read.

      Like

  13. Goodness, congratulations on your blogiversary! I must have been following you almost from the start, how lovely. You do post just the right number of posts, and pretty consistently (unlike me with my feast and famine approach) and I appreciate how you always respond to comments with a Like or a reply. My most read posts are one on some lost keys I found in the neighbourhood (I think I did a picture and linked to it on metafilter), one about my Iris Murdoch project (hooray) and one about being sad when a farm discontinued making cheese I liked. Sadly, one very popular post was welcoming our last two cats into my office life. Very weirdly, my most popular review is one of John Galsworthy’s “The White Monkey” for which I do get hits still every day (why??). So there we go. Here’s to another lovely five years, and to maybe finally meeting you one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so lucky to have a set of regular readers and commenters.

      My, those are some unusual choices! At least one of them is IM-related. I’ve wondered if there’s some sort of algorithm that means when my blog pops up on a search it directs people to the Miranda July review? I can’t otherwise think why that review would be so popular; it’s not like the book made that much of a splash.

      I’d like to think we could meet up in London or Oxford someday. Annabel and I were saying recently that a big blogger meetup is surely overdue.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations!! Five years – goodness me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Not quite as long as you’ve been blogging, I think?

      Like

      1. I’ve been casually book blogging since 2013 (!!), so I suppose that’s right – but you’re definitely way more consistent.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Since you were barely out of your teens, amirite? 😉 Your thoughts on upcoming books are much valued — anything you can manage to post is great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’d have just turned twenty-one then, I think. How time flies!! (And thank you – you’re much too kind. I really love your roundups and the variety of your posts – a real treat every time there’s a new one in my WordPress reader!)

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy 5th! Congrats–and here’s to many, many more blogging years, I hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Happy blog birthday! Congrats on 5 years 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Katie! How long have you been blogging? Your site looks so professional, I’d wager longer than I have 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, thank you! I’ll have been blogging for 9 years in December and I did eventually splurge on having a professional create a theme for me. I’m enjoying your new theme; the white on blue plus your font choice feel very bookish to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy blog-birthday. Always interesting to see which posts prove ‘popular’ – I wrote a post about the controversial ending of a book when I first started my blog and I still get dozens of hits every month, years later (the power of SEO?!).
    I look forward to many more posts from you, particularly all of the nonfiction titles that you entice me to read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kate! I think the popularity of “Mixed Feelings about Elena Ferrante” is probably down to SEO.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Woot! Many happy returns! And it looks like you have gotten to the cleaning and tidying and making things fresh with a new template after all. How curious, which posts are popular and which have the most comments. Do you have any idea what was behind the highest number of visits on that particular date?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still doing some more tidying, going back through each post one by one to remove dead links and unnecessary images (my media library is nearly full), add any tags or headings I might have forgotten or created later on, etc.

      Let’s see, on that date with the most number of visits, I posted reviews of two of my books of summer, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt and The Invisible Bridge. I’d published several other reviews in the week or two before, as well. Could be just a fluke!

      Hope you’re keeping well and finding some appropriate reading for the times.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. That kind of tidying is every bit as endless as tidying IRL. Although thankfully there are widgets that make some parts of it easier (like managing the tags and the broken links and all of that kind of stuff). In the end, there’s still a lot of straight-out click-load-change over and over again. But that’s a nice kind of work to do in stressful times. Thank you, you too!

    Like

    1. I don’t know of any shortcuts, so I’ve just been going through one by one. I do 1-2 pages of posts per day and it hasn’t been too onerous. It’s also fun to look back at the kinds of posts I used to do. There are books I completely forgot I reviewed.

      Like

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