Reading and blogging in 2018

1. Blog

What a year it has been! Both the Re-Enchantment blog and my reading habits  have evolved. On the blog – a year of two-shots, discussions with old & new friends, at home (and in commute 😉 ) one of re-reads, non-fiction and a bit of classics. I was so busy working on my project to read more of these that I feel I should actually read more fantasy next year! Maybe it is time to finally get to Erikson? But I will also continue with this-wordly stuff 😉

My favourite Christmas present – fourth book in this wonderful Polish edition of Le Guin, this time – almost 1200 pages with Gifts, Voices, Powers, Always Coming Home and Changing Planes. They are really going for the whole set, I think 🙂

Starting with blog – it was a solid year for us. I only have WordPress stats, and Ola says it’s around the same numbers again on LinkedIn, but we’re at 5,780 views today, with 53 published posts. It’s not much more than 2016, our second best year, but then we had 103 posts – weren’t we diligent 😉 Even in 2017 we managed to write 72 posts, so there is a worrying trend, but I think an average of one post per week is sustainable, even with our other current commitments. All the posts – since Re-E’s start – have a total of 288,910 words together, that would be quite a long novel!

I certainly cut down on long reviews, they are very time-consuming for me and I’ll try to write more, but we’ll see. Ola is better with them, but the category that actually increased this year is two-shots. We’ve discussed them recently, they are definitely most fun to write, and they mirror discussions we used to have years before we even thought about blogging, and that we continue to have about the media we consume and world in general. Now, where the physical distance between us increased to around 17,500 km, we need the help of technology to talk anyway.

Completely new type of posts – non-fiction. Just a few, for now, but I like them a lot. A reader who understands history and politics will also get more out of genre fiction, I assure you! Just as all the sad, non-fic-only readers would really benefit from reading some secondary world novels…

Several most popular posts still take most of the views, and top 5 from February stays unchanged, but an average new post gets a bit wider audience than used to be the case in previous years.

The biggest change on Re-Enchantment is in the comment sections! We used to stay below 200 comments, and now we’re on 656 (and similar amount of likes). Will we manage to get 10 more before the clock strikes 12 on Monday? My sincere thanks, again, to everybody who decided to say a few words, or just mark their presence here 🙂

I’ve also spent much more time reading other blogs, showing my appreciation with likes and comments, although certainly not as often as I should have – but there’s so much to do and so little time! Also, I read them mostly on phone, and while it’s easy to send a like, I need a real keyboard to write a solid comment. Does it make me old-fashioned? At 35 I sometimes feel a bit old 😉

What’s in the future for our Re-E? A bit of nostalgia, more two-shots and non-fiction, a new post on most weeks, and hopefully many inspiring discussions with all of you!

2. Reading

Now, some reflections on Piotr’s Year in Books. Goodreads shows 131 items on my list, for a total of 35,005 pages. I’m a bit surprised myself. I aimed for around a hundred titles, but when you look into details the situation becomes clearer. I rate everything I read, and that includes audiobooks, comics, short books I read my nieces, and even some HP fanfics. In the spreadsheet where only serious titles get, I have 110 items and that includes graphic novels. Still, I definitely read more this year, in parts because of long commute and less gaming.

But what have I read, exactly?

I’ve revisited worlds of Ursula Le Guin, Joan Aiken and J.K. Rowling – the last one I read aloud to my little niece. She’s only five, so just the first two, with the third one to follow some time in 2019. The new editions, illustrated by Jim Kay, are just perfect for the first encounter with Harry Potter, before the movies limit young reader’s imagination! I wish he worked faster, only three were published so far…

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But the most positions on my list are occupied by Sir Terry. From Mort in March, when I decided to continue with my re-read, to The Last Hero just a few days ago, I’ve re-read (mostly in audio) 26 Discworld novels, and now I’m in the process of reading The Carpet People, for the first time. Pratchett was already a genius at seventeen! I’m definitely going to continue, and expect to have even more fun with Discworld in 2019, as I’ve never read some of the newer books.

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Another recurring guest has been Garth Ennis, and his Punisher MAX. Seven volumes read, a few more ahead of me, it’s a perfect companion to Netflix’s series and the Punisher for me.

Iain M. Banks joined the ranks of my favourite writers, his Culture being the future humanity of my dreams, an he just goes so well with Yuval Noah Harari, whose views on the history and future of our species I mostly share.

Single favourite previously unread novel? Mythago Woods by Robert Holdstock. Ola might be right it’s a bit Mary-Sue’ish, but it’s still a masterpiece!

Big chunk of my 2018 reading has to do with Polish history and politics. It’s not the place for this kind of rants but, in short, with each year I become more and more disillusioned with both. Let’s just get rid of the nations as political entities 🙂

I’ve promised some Polish cartoons, so another preview, one day I’ll prepare a comprehensive post.

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The little guy says “I’m proud of being Polish”. “Why?” “Because Poles are a proud nation”.

I just love Marek Raczkowski, author of this one. It’s from Przekrój, a beautifully designed quarterly. Raczkowski is one of the cartoonists that go beyond the political scandals of the moment, and is able to comment on very complex issues in a few masterfully targeted panels. Personally, I value him as much as the best New Yorker cartoonists.

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Happy 2019, everybody!!

16 thoughts on “Reading and blogging in 2018

  1. I’m definitely glad you two have stuck around. Also glad to hear you’re finding a rhythm that works for posting. If you do decide to stop posting, please put it off until 2020. I need ’19 to recover from several of the good people who just up and disappeared in ’18.

    Nonfiction, bah! At least SFF lets my mind roam free. NF shackles me to this filthy ball with the twisted and perverse ideas of the NF author 😉
    I mean, look at you, already decrying nationalism. Of course, I doubt we’ll ever see the end of Nationalism, so I’m not too worried. But I don’t want you to worry about it, you know?

    You mention LinkedIn. How does that work?

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’ve found our pace, I think, and there’s no risk of stopping 🙂

      TBH, my sociological approach sometimes kills the joy I could have was I able to see books I read without the lenses of various theories… but I consider it a good bargain, all things considered 🙂

      LinkedIn – Ola linked the blog (or just links each posts? I’m not sure) and posts are visible within LinkedIn. Unless someone clicks a link, they can read the entire text without leaving LinkedIn, and so WordPress doesn’t “see” the visitor.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! We don’t plan to stop blogging in the foreseeable future, that’s for sure 🙂 And we’re happy to stick around 😀
      As a non-FB, non-Twitter person I linked the blog to my LinkedIn account and the posts are showing up in my feed as they are posted here. It’s basically a link and I can see the stats of each post – but only for the LinkedIn users. They don’t show up in the WP stats, but it’s usually more or less a hundred views per post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog in the last year or so, I can’t remember how but it was a delight to find intelligent discussion laced with humour in many of the areas I like to delve into. Two-handers, reviews, non-fiction, off-topic—it’s all good, even when I have no real idea what you’re both talking about! Here’s to 2019, in whatever direction you boldly choose to go in… 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 3 more days before season 2 of The Punisher hits Netflix over here! Can’t wait to see where things will go next. So much blood and chaos to be expected! 😀

    It’s nice to see you two find a rhythm and schedule that works well with whatever else you both do besides blogging and reading. I’m also glad to have encountered you both and made you both regular bloggers I check out too. Your content is always thought-provoking and extremely insightful. Definitely hope some day I’ll be able to write like you two. I got 10 years to achieve it, I guess. 😛 Don’t tell you both write like you do today, 10 years ago though… 😮

    Hope 2019 will prove to a beautiful year for beautiful books/shows/movies as well! By the way, I love your collection. You pick your editions wisely! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks, Lashaan!

      Our current rythm and schedule work well for both of us and hopefully won’t change this year – we’ve managed to keep it this year despite some major changes in our lives, especially my move to the other side of the world 😉

      Yeah, a decade more or less cuts it 😉 We’re definitely in a different place than we’ve been 10 years ago, and though I can’t speak for Piotrek, I’m happy with where I am 🙂

      Best New Year wishes to you too – hope the world takes a turn for better this year, and that there still will be a lot of time for reading and watching great stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

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