Tag Archives: blog anniversary

The End of an Era

This is where I’ve written 90% of my blog posts and other reviews over the last five and three-quarter years*:

A hand-me-down 17-year-old PC. No Internet connection. Hot drink. Glass of water. Stack of books. Music on. Generally, a cat on the top of the sofa behind me.

Tomorrow is moving day. I’ll say farewell to this place through the titles of some books I’m reading at the moment. We haven’t been here that long in the grand scheme of things, yet it’s the longest either of us has lived anywhere since our childhood homes. And even though we’re only moving around the corner, so we get to keep all our activities and acquaintances, it still feels like a wrench, mostly because of leaving our canalside garden, given our Devotion to our very own Empire of Wild. It’s a time of Transitions. The new house has yet to feel like a true Haven, but we’ll get there. We’re still Fledgling homeowners, but we’re looking forward to this Newbury Encore!

*I completely forgot that it was my seventh blog anniversary on 8 March! It’s unlike me to overlook something like that. I can only put it down to house-buying stress.

Sixth Blog Anniversary (& International Women’s Day)

Bookish Beck launched six years ago today. This is the 874th post, which means I’m producing 2.8 posts per week – a pleasing average.

My six most popular posts of all time, with the number of views, are:

Some new interest there in super-short novellas and in a Barbara Kingsolver event. Me daring to admit I don’t love Elena Ferrante has been quite a draw. My The Diary of a Bookseller review was in my most popular lists last year and the year before as well. The First Bad Man was one of the first reviews I ever published here and has always been among my top posts, for some reason. The Clock Dance review was in the top four at the time of my fourth anniversary, took a break last year, and is now back in the rankings.

It’s also International Women’s Day today. Six of my favorite books by women that I’ve read in the last few years are:



March by Geraldine Brooks

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver*

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively



Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott*

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas*


*These were rereads and I loved them even more the second time around.

Thanks to all who support my blog by commenting, retweeting, and so on. You’re stars!

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!

Fourth Blog Anniversary

I launched my blog four years ago today. Is that ages, or no time at all? Like I said last year, it feels like something I’ve been doing forever, and yet there are bloggers out there who are coming up on a decade or more of online writing about books.

By Incabell [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D.

This is my 542nd post, so the statistics tell me that I’ve been keeping up an average of just over 2.5 posts a week. Although I sometimes worry about overwhelming readers with ‘too many’ posts, I keep in mind that a) no one is obliged to read everything I post, b) a frequently updated blog is a thriving blog, and c) it only matters that it’s a manageable pace for me.

In the last year or so, I’ve gotten more involved in buddy reads and monthly challenges (things like Reading Ireland Month, 20 Books of Summer, R.I.P., Margaret Atwood Reading Month, and Novellas and Nonfiction in November); I’ve continued to take part in literary prize shadow panels and attend literary events when I can. I’ve hosted the Library Checkout for nearly a year and a half now and there are a few bloggers who join in occasionally (more are always welcome!). The posts I most enjoy putting together are write-ups of my travels, and seasonal and thematic roundups, which are generally good excuses to read backlist books from my own shelves instead of getting my head turned by new releases.


Some statistics from the past year:


My four most viewed posts were:

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler: Well…

Mixed Feelings about Elena Ferrante

Calypso by David Sedaris



I got the most likes in December 2018, and the most unique visitors and comments in August.


My four favorite posts I wrote in the past year were:

A Trip to Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town

Painful but Necessary: Culling Books, Etc.

Why We Sleep … And Why Can’t I Wake Up?

A President’s Day Reading Special (No Trump in Sight)



Thanks to everyone who has supported me this past year, and/or all four years, by visiting the site, commenting, re-tweeting, and so on. You’re the best!

Two Years and Counting

As of today I’ve been blogging for exactly two years.

By Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA (Candles) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

This is my 219th post – which I thought was pretty good going until I ‘met’ (via an online group) another blogger who had posted over 770 times in her first two years! She explained that the blog is a full-time gig for her. Still, it left me second-guessing my own achievement.

If I were to play the bibliotherapist and prescribe myself just one book from my Kindle backlog for today, it would be this one:

I am terrible about comparing myself to others on social media: number of likes, number of followers, level of engagement, etc. I so often think that other bloggers are involved in interesting projects or leading the way on various initiatives, whereas I’m just plodding along. It’s hard to ignore the quantitative indicators and just be content doing what I do.

Still, ideas keep coming, so I’ll roll with it.

Thank you to everyone who takes time out for my blog.

It’s the One-Year Anniversary!

Today marks one year exactly that I’ve had this blog. In that time I’ve posted 80 times, for an average of 6.67 posts per month. To start with I only managed 2 or 3 posts a month, but from July I picked up the pace and recently I’ve been trying to manage at least twice a week.

My most liked posts were Literary Tourism in Manchester, The Best Fiction of 2015: My Top 15, Final Stats for 2015, and my Early One Morning review.

The posts that generated the most discussion were: “How Many Books Is Too Many? (to be reading at once),” my review of The Novel Cure, and (tied for third) The Best Fiction of 2015 and my review of The Goldfinch.

My most ever views were on December 29th, when I published a list of My Favorite Nonfiction Reads of 2015.

So far I’ve had 3,018 visitors and 5,438 views.


I thought that at some point my ideas would dry up, but I currently have four posts in progress and a three-page Word file full of ideas for more, so as long as people are still interested, I’ll keep going.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me this past year by visiting the site, commenting, re-tweeting, and so on. You make it worthwhile!

Let me know how you like my redesign and new features, and if there’s anything else you’d like to see from this blog.