Re-Enchanted 2022

New Year is fast approaching, so it’s reflection time! And stats, and summaries, because let’s not be shy – we all know what we like most in those posts πŸ˜‰ We are always hoping for a better future, but in some aspects we at Re-E feel it’s time to face the music and admit that we won’t be fully coming back to the pre-pandemic world. Which might be, in the long run, not such a bad thing – but the reality at the moment makes the living that bit tougher ;). So here’s to you all, our fellow bloggers, with thanks for keeping faith in us. The blogging camraderie, our ongoing fascinating discussions, the knowledge that somewhere out there are people just like us, and totally not like us – which makes it all so rewarding and heartwarming – has over the years become a hugely important part of our lives. Thank you!!!

Ola: It’s been a crazy year, there’s no denying it. Covid rampage as a welcome gift from Poland, voyages around half of the world, and some tough career-changing decisions followed by incredibly challenging but super fun experiences were definitely the highlights of my year. I did manage to read a good amount of books, though – mostly because I took to manga with gusto, and read almost entire Naruto series, Fullmetal Alchemist, and half of Berserk. All in all, I read 120 books this year, which, considering the 5 months out of my life devoted to the programming bootcamp, I consider a win.

With that rather dramatic professional pivot I didn’t have much time for the blog, sadly – but I was (and am) super grateful to you guys, for sticking with us even when the number of posts dwindled to one or two per month. Now that I’m back, I hope to be able to write more πŸ™‚ but it looks like the various non-reviewing activities that have been relegated into the past will stay there for the forseable future. It’s going to be reviews and not much more!

Piotrek: Yes, 2022 is coming to an end, and it’s customary to make some summaries, and predictions… It’s been a year overshadowed by terrible events taking place to the east of where I live. I wrote about it, most of what I wrote was about it, and it shaped what I read and much of the time I could have spent writing had been spent reading news & being active on social media to spread the word. GoodReads show I read 106 books in 2022, 17 are related to Ukraine and war. I read 119 in 2021, but it’s 39,144 pages now and 36,299 in the previous year – I did read more serious stuff this year.

It all came at a cost of blog output reduced to almost zero. Sorry guys, I’ll try to do better next year, perhaps I’ll manage to balance all the areas of my life better πŸ™‚ I tried to at least follow your blogs and occasionally engage in conversations with R-E’s friends. Some of my favourite books read in 2022 were thanks to your recommendations, thanks!

Side note – why doesn’t justify work for me, when it worked so fine for Ola’s parts of the text? I just wasted 10 minutes trying… I hate WordPress more and more and it certainly lowers my motivation to write here… paragraphs written outside of WP aren’t justified, and this one, written directly here, also isn’t… I’ll ignore it, sorry for inferior aesthetic value πŸ˜‰

Now for some stats.

This year, eight of our blogging, has been a bit slower here at the Re-Enchantment, compared to the previous two – but still pretty decent considering the trends. Not sure if this is just us, but it seems there are fewer bloggers all around – only the hardened handful remained, still interested in books, games, popculture, recommendations and discussions. What are your thoughts on it, guys? Is it just the age that’s catching up with us and we’re going the way of Kohelet, proclaiming that the world is becoming worse as we’re getting older? πŸ˜‰ Or is it rather the reality of growing up and apart, interests waxing and waning, and people changing their hobbies? Either way, I’m glad we’re still here and I’m hoping we are going to stay here for good!

Our most popular post was once again Ola’s review of Mexican Gothic (on the podium for the third year in a row, with 280 views), and on the second place was another oldie, Piotrek’s review of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, with 231 views. Piotrek’s love letter to Honor Harrington is still going strong, coming third this year, just a couple of views ahead of our joint review of Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. The fifth spot goes ex equo to two posts by Ola, the review of non-fiction book by Andy Secher, Travels with Trilobites, and the review of the final book in Brian McClellan’s Fatrastan trilogy, Blood of Empire.

Our two most liked posts were Ola’s reviews of the aforementioned Secher’s paean to trilobites, with 61 likes, and of Barry Hughart’s ingenious take on China that never was, Bridge of Birds – with, fittingly, another 61 likes. The rest of the most popular posts was a similar mix of old and new – the review of Kate Wilhelm’s 1976 dystopian novel Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang garnered over 50 likes, as did the critical review of Abercrombie’s final installment in Age of Madness trilogy, The Wisdom of Crowds from 2021. Unsurprisingly, the most commented posts were the rare non-review ones: Ola’s semi-hiatus announcement, with 53 comments, the summary of the travel troubles in times of pandemic, with 45 comments, and the recap of favourite visual media of 2021, with 51 comments.

All in all, for such a turbulent year it was a surprisingly good one reading- and blogging-wise. There are more changes on the horizon, but hopefully mostly related to our personal lives – so stay tuned for the favourite media of 2022 recap that will be coming here soon(ish) ;)!

Piotrek: It’s so nice someone still reads my old stuff, as there’s not enough new… I don’t have much to add to this post, as our blog was kept alive by Ola in 2022, but I’ll have more to say when we summarize our 2022 favourites, there’s been a lot of great stuff! But that won’t happen this week, so I’ll take this last chance to wish you all wonderful 2023! May it be a great one, with wars ending, economy getting back on feet and all of us healthy & reading great books πŸ™‚

Happy New Year from Re-Enchantment of the World!!

43 thoughts on “Re-Enchanted 2022

  1. Congrats on keeping your numbers up considering how you both took a pretty serious hiatus. Seems like you have a good core of followers πŸ˜‰

    As for the question of less bloggers. Absolutely. But I think it’s a thing of more people going to other social sites that have video or truncated word space (like twitter) and thus they can get more emotional payout without having to pay in nearly so much as one does to be a blogger. In many ways, blogging is feeling like Booklikes all over again.

    In regards to justifying, I don’t even notice it anymore. I got used to left justified in ’08 when I bought an ereader that I stopped noticing it. So when WP made their boneheaded move, it didn’t affect me. BUT. It is something so basic that them removing the option to do that easily makes you wonder what kind of special idiots they are.

    Thanks for the warning at the beginning that things won’t be returning to pre-covid levels at your blog. I would much rather know that right up front instead of having raised expectations that aren’t met πŸ™‚

    See you both in your next post…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. piotrek

      Thanks!

      I think I’m going to complain about WP each time, there’s always a reason to πŸ˜‰ Justified text looks better, but it’s not worth all the effort… I see in the final versions some of my paragraphs are ok, but why not all? I did exact same thing with each of them… whatever…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yeah, we’ve made some good online friends over the years, didn’t we, Bookstooge! πŸ˜„

      You might be right about that payoff, and the time invested. Looks like we bookworms might be a dying breed after all! πŸ˜‰

      As for WP, I’m wondering if the whole hassle isn’t a part of their staggered deployment of some features – I remember having to deal with block editor waay before others were forced to use it. But now I seem to have less trouble with WP than I used to (shh, don’t tell them!)

      We’ll definitely try to return to form, Booky, but it might not get where it was, both in terms of our own input and in terms of visiting and commenting on every post on the blogs we follow. Although, to be fair, I believe the last two years were our most active ones, blogging-wise – so actually the pandemic was not too bad for that sort of activity πŸ˜‰

      A very Happy New Year to you and Mrs Bookstooge!!! πŸŽ‰πŸ₯³πŸŽŠ

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I think you guys have quality output, so I guess most regular readers are willing to stick around. That said, I’d like a bit more content too, but no pressure obviously πŸ™‚

      Very much agreed on the blogging dwindle. My stats are a bit better than last year, but not a lot, but my likes are way way down, and those reflect the core bloggers participation way better, those that bothered to sign up with wordpress in the first place.

      What’s that justifying thing? I really don’t know what you guys are talking about. Using the classic editor and having made that mental switch, WordPress works just fine for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy New Year! I’ve definitely noticed a huge drop-off in active blogging. Many friends have either stopped completely or barely blog at all. I still love it so I won’t be stopping anytime soon.

    Re: justify. I’m still not using block editing (I have a plug in to stop it) so I can’t speak to that, but I can still do control/alt/j to justify when it doesn’t work. But maybe block won’t let you?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. piotrek

      Thanks, I’ll try that next time, if I remember to πŸ™‚ but ctrl+a and clicking on “justify”, for each paragraph, should be enough (it wasn’t)

      Like

    2. Happy New Year to you too, Tammy! 🎊πŸ₯³

      I’m super glad to hear you have no intention of stopping your blogging, I’d miss your posts a lot! But yeah, seems like we’ve become the old guard in terms of blogging 🀣

      Like

  3. Life, eh, gets in the way of all that virtual living through books and so on. I have to admit that being retired (but not yet tired) has distinct advantages literature-wise, so I hope that even if this prospect’s way in the future for you both that you manage to keep up your pursuit of books and, whenever possible, share with us your thoughts on them. Most of us will still be here for you!

    As for blog traffic, I’ve found that even though ‘likes’ and comments are down since the lockdown years (perhaps because I’m posting roughly every three instead of two days) viewings aren’t appreciably down while visitors have risen. I suspect that’s because a couple of past posts, a discussion about The Subtle Knife and a dismissive review of a pseudohistorical title, have both had traction due to being mentioned on certain fan sites.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the attitude, Chris! You make me look forward to my own retirement! 🀣

      Oh yeah, there’s that factor of unpredictability – you never know which post will gain some traction and why. Some years back we’ve had a post about Astrid Lindgren that was raking up thousands of views because it was linked to some Swedish website 🀣 This year was surprisingly good for us considering the prolonged breaks we’ve had to take from blogging, so I’m not complaining – I just noticed there seems to be fewer bloggers I used to know around these days…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice nice nice. You guys had a good year notwithstanding. I should write a similar post. You can never predict which posts will do well, but there are some strange ones in my top list of the year.
    All the discussion about the block author, it doesn’t give me any trouble. I simple write my blog in my notes app and then copy paste the text and that works fine. And no danger of losing text.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Jeroen!

      I’d be very interested in reading a similar post of yours!

      Yeah, it was a surprisingly good year blogging-wise. It was a challenging but super rewarding year personally, but I must admit I’m quite tired by it πŸ˜… I’m looking forward to getting away from it all and finally getting some well-deserved rest while camping far away from civilization πŸ˜„

      Like

        1. I’ll be reading it soon! Saw some of the stats already, super impressive!

          Yep, going camping tomorrow, into one of the most wild parts of North Island, Te Urewera.

          I’ll start job hunting in Jan, but before that I’ll be working on my pet project for a bit, to show off to potential employers – it’s something I’d love to finish at some point, an app my friends called lovingly “antisocial Goodreads” 🀣 I’ll be making a post about it at some point, I hope, to get some feedback on potential features and stuff 😁

          Liked by 2 people

  5. I totally get how changes in other parts of life affect blogging. I’ve had a couple slumps throughout the year. Since it’s a hobby, it’s best to just do what you can when you can and not stress it.
    Hope you both have a great new year.
    And I need to copy you, Ola, and just run through those Fullmetal Alchemist books. I love the animes and still need to complete the manga.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You too, Zezee, hope you’ll have a very happy New Year (and the entire new year 2023)!

      Yay for Fullmetal Alchemist! I haven’t watched the anime, but I adore the manga, and I have only two volumes left… Not sure what manga I’m going to read next!

      Like

  6. Happy New Year to you both!!!!
    Yes, changes in the way we can approach our shared interest are indeed physiological: real life does tend to intrude on them, but as long as we can find even a small amount of space to dedicate to those interests, it’s always a win – and the joy in sharing with like-minded people remains always the same, no matter how much time we can spend on that.

    As far as the text justification is concerned, I use the downward-pointing arrow that appears when you click on the text block, the one that spells “more” when hovering with the mouse. In the drop-down menu there is the justification option, and that works for me, even though I have to repeat the process with every block of text in the post. I hope that can be useful…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: My Blog in 2022 – Stats and everything | A Sky of Books and Movies

  8. Happy New Year!
    I’ve definitely noticed a slow-down in the amount of blog traffic recently but can’t imagine moving elsewhere at the moment.
    It looks like you’ve had a good year of reading and I hope 2023 is just as good πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As someone who has been less active blogging in 2023, I am not surprised that the same goes for other people. Being able to socialise again have probably taken focus away from blogging. Having said that, it’s my impression there has always been a steady flow of bloggers coming and going. If you want to have a constant amount of people to interact with, you need constantly to connect with new people. Anyway, I don’t think blogging will die completely anytime soon. Best wishes for 2023!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. piotrek

      You are right, that’s why I try not to neglect our friends even when I don;t have time to write much myself… with various degrees of success. Thanks for being around, happy 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, stargazer, and the same to you!!
      Yep, there certainly is a flow to blogging activity, but I noticed more ebb last year πŸ˜‰ I guess I grew comfortable in my circle of bloggers and I’m not reaching out as much – which is why I’m a bit sad people I grew to like and know a bit disappear from blogging ;).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Since the pandemic, I did feel like blogging did die with each passing month. I mostly associated it with the rise of Instagram as a platform for book-related influencers. I imagine a lot of people search for ways to be popular quick and without too much writing involved.

    I’m glad to hear R-E will live once more as I really do enjoy your posts and love the various exchanges we have here and there. It’s always nice to get reccs from the best in the game, right? πŸ˜€

    I hope 2023 will turn out to be a good year and that we’ll continue to exchange about everything and anything. Take care, guys! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lashaan! 😊 Super happy to have you with us!!
      Happy New Year to you too! Good luck with your PhD, and see you out there, in the wilderness of the blogosphere πŸ˜€

      Like

  11. Pingback: The year that was 2022 on Wordholicanonymous | Wordaholicanonymous

  12. Really want to get to Mexican Gothic this year! Hope we all feel revived in some way in 2023 and can meet the ongoing challenges. It’s been a tough couple of twelvemonths all around.

    Like

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