This little blog is one year old! And the post that started it all was a review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo on August 24th, 2014. It’s amazing how time flies. It feels like I’ve been blogging forever as well as for no time at all. I’ve learned so much this past year, about myself and my reading and writing habits, the publishing industry, and the book blogosphere. I’ve met some fantastic people over the interwebs, many of whom run their own terrific blogs. This is such an amazing community that I am thankful to be a part of.
All the thanks!
Most importantly, I would like to thank all of you who read my blog. Thank you to those of you who found me in the beginning for welcoming me into the blogging community. Thank you everyone who comments for being engaging readers and writers. Thank you to all my followers for hitting that Follow button! Here’s a (((GIANT HUG))) for everyone!
Thanks for all the comments, too! I try to reply to almost every comment as long as I can say something meaningful, even if it’s short. I absolutely love reading the thoughts you leave me. Each comment is like a lucky penny I find on the sidewalk. It brightens my day and makes me stop and think. Thank you for your supportive and informative words! A blog isn’t really a blog unless there’s a steady conversation going on. No one likes talking to an empty void.
And here’s a big thank you to all the other amazing bloggers out there who inspire me daily by talking about unique and important topics and broadening my horizons with books I didn’t know existed. Thanks for all the laughs and smiles and gorgeous book photography and well-written reviews and for being just awesome people.
Behind the scenes…
What are my most popular reviews ever? Here are the top five: (1) The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth, (2) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, (3) Alive by Scott Sigler, (4) The Prey by Tom Isbell, and (5) My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. Those five reviews were all published this year. Because WordPress is a poop and won’t let me combine stats from multiple years. But since the last third of 2014 was when my blog was only a minuscule speck in the blogosphere, I’m pretty sure those reviews are accurate in terms of popularity, but I can’t be 100% sure, and that bugs me.
What’s my most popular non-review post ever? It looks like it’s The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag! Also, all Top Ten Tuesday posts I do are extremely popular, no surprise there. The most popular one so far is Hyped Books I Haven’t Read (Yet).
Here are some search terms people have used to stumble upon this blog:
- “my heart and other black holes spoiler“, “falling into place by amy zhang spoilers” and “spoilers the orphan queen” — Whoa, you actually want to be spoiled? Tsk-tsk. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga really surprised me with how good it was. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang was good, too, but not as much my cup of tea. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows really disappointed me; it was just so typical of fantasies.
- “who is solana let the sky fall” — By the way, Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall series is seriously underrated and you should check it out.
- “is dr spencer black real” — Sorry, but Dr. Spencer Black is a fictional person. Author E.B. Hudspeth wrote and illustrated his super cool fictional biography, however.
- “maus 2 tomes” — I’d like to think someone was purposely looking for Tower of Tomes, but it’s more likely they were looking for tomes/books of Art Speigelman’s classic Maus.
- “is there going to be a 3rd bool in the alienated” and “alienated dualogy or trilogy?” — Sadly, Melissa Landers is not contracted to write a third book (or bool) for the Alienated series, but if sales of Alienated and Invaded skyrocket there’s a chance her publisher will let her write a third book. I do agree that the story seemed very unfinished and, actually, a bit unsatisfying in the end. I’d love that third book!
- “the leaning tower of tomes” — SOMEONE SEARCHED FOR ME SPECIFICALLY!!! 😀 *Happy dance.*
In a full year I have… Read 182 books. Published 164 review posts. Done 11 book tags. Been nominated for 6 blog awards. Posted 24 weekly wrap-ups. Made 12 Top Ten Tuesday posts. Made 5 Top 5 Wednesday posts. Eagerly Waited on Wednesday for 22 books. Yup, I’m pretty sporadic when it comes to TTT and T5W, but that’s something I keep hoping to make a regular thing (and then I don’t).
This blog has also gone through many makeovers in the past year. I was just never completely happy with any theme, although I made them work. The themes I can remember using are Comet, Penscratch, Sela, and Truly Minimal, but I may have used another one for a brief period. My current blog theme is Nucleare, which I really like; it’s been my favorite of all the themes so far. Unless something far better comes along, I’m confident this will be my blog theme for a good long while in the future. (And while this isn’t really interesting, but is a very big concern for me… I’m going to try to reformat all my past posts to conform to my current post layouts and templates for this blog theme. Because I’ve switched themes multiple times, formatting on older posts looks wonky — to me, at least. It’s just so time consuming, editing all those posts, but because I can’t stand inconsistency, I’m making a point to say that I want to reformat all my old posts by Christmas. Let’s see if I can make that happen!)
In my six month blogiversary post, I mentioned some blogging plans I had. Most of which I epicly failed at accomplishing. I’ve discontinued series wrap-up posts, simply because they seemed excessive and I pretty much sum up the series in general in the last book’s review. I’ve merged my monthly wrap-ups into the weekly wrap-ups, which I think suits me a lot better. One template, just add some extra categories once a month. Much more concise, I think. As I said above, I keep meaning to participate in Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday more regularly, and while I’m going to try harder this year, I’m going to be honest and say don’t get your hopes up, haha! I also talked in my six month blogiversary post about doing book-to-movie adaptation reviews, which I’m still considering. I just don’t watch movies very often because I’d rather spend that time reading! I talked about writing up more lists and continuing with my book cover color recommendations and 10 Under 10k series, which I might still do every now and then.
But what I’m mainly going to change about this blog in this new year of blogging is… adding discussion posts! I absolutely love reading discussion posts and watching discussion videos, but I haven’t had the big desire to make my own.. until now. Now I feel ready to tackle book topics and questions and arguments, and so I’m going to introduce “Monday Musings”. This may or may not become a weekly thing, it’s likely I’ll make it a monthly series, but I feel like I finally have enough to say about books that I can talk about them outside of reviews. 😉
I also want to get better at the social medias. Twitter still overwhelms me, so I’m not going to focus on it quite yet. But I want to start branding my Instagram account. I love Bookstagram, which is basically book porn. And I love photography and photo editing (believe it or not, I absolutely love editing images!). I’m going to try really hard to make my Instagram account something I’m proud of, and not something I’m embarrassed to have because it’s been dead for so long. (Did you notice I took my Instagram widget off my blog sidebar? Yup, that’s how embarrassed I am of my account. Hoping to change that!)
And lastly, I want to involve myself in the community more. When I was still a pretty new blog, I was the comment queen. I found so many great blogs to stalk and leave thoughtful comments on. But that was exhausting to keep up after a few months. Now I’ve found about a dozen blogs that I love and read every day, which I actively comment on, but I do miss finding new people to discus books with. So I’m setting myself a goal to leave a comment on a blog I am not subscribed to at least once a week. That way I don’t get stuck in my little bubble of the dozen bloggers I follow and who follow me (as marvelous as it is), and continue to see new and different content and connect with new and different people.
I think those three main goals are pretty doable: Monday Musings, Instagram, and immersing myself in the book blogging community a little more. I’m focusing on specific projects instead of saying DO ALL THE THINGS BETTER, MALLORY. 😉
Words cannot express how fortunate I am to have real actual people caring about my bookish opinions. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to check out what I’m reading. What started off as a place where I could dump all my bookish thoughts has now grown into a lovely home for all my bookish opinions, which are hopefully presented a bit more thoughtfully now.
I am proud of this blog and I’m not afraid to say it. I love The Leaning Tower of Tomes and I’m looking forward to how it’s going to change and grow over time. A massive thank you to everyone who’s read, commented, liked, and followed this blog. You’re awesome. Keep being awesome.
If your blogiversary is this month, too, anytime in August, let me know so I can celebrate with you! 😀