2018 Wrap Up: On Books, Blogging & Exceeding all my Goals!

2018 Books and Blogging Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year where your inbox is being overwhelmed with blogging wrap up posts left right and centre. Why? Because December is a great time to reflect on goals both personal and bookish.*

*Also, analyzing your books and blogging stats is so damn satisfying.

So I’m sorry (but not sorry) that I will be joining the queue of bloggers discussing their books and blogging achievements of 2018! If you want to skip this post because you’re feeling oversaturated, I completely understand, but if not, I do hope you enjoy viewing what I’ve been up to, including the best books that I’ve read in 2018!

2018 has been a bit of a rollercoaster of a personal year. I lost two family members in Jan and Feb, and to be honest, 2018 never really recovered from that despite a lot of other amazing things such as mini breaks, theatre visits, gigs, etc.

But when it comes to books and blogging, 2018 was pretty incredible, and I’ve smashed a lot of my personal stats! I AM SO PROUD.

*Sidenote: I used Canva’s graphs feature for the first time for this post, and after I had completed everything I noticed that for some reason all my pie charts add up to 101%??? Don’t ask me why, just go with it! 

Book Stats

 

2018 Book Stats

I am jumping up and down with joy at these stats. Why? Because in 2018 I read more books than I have EVER managed to read before in a year!

Looking at my Goodreads, I always manage to read a couple more books every year, but in 2018 I wayyyyy exceeded that target, reading 57 books in comparison to last years 42. I know 57 books will seem like quite a small amount for a lot of bloggers, but to me it’s a mega achievement! Don’t mock the tortoise folks, they always win in the end.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I managed to read so much more. I do think my reading speed has increased this year, but also, I now have a job where I get proper lunch breaks and I use these to read, which means I get an extra 30 mins reading time most days! WINNING.

I also discovered 18 new authors which is kind of incredible!

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Types of Books Read

Types of Books read 2018

I’m actually quite surprised that the number of stand-alone books I read was more than the number of books in a series! :’D

I really feel like I read a lot of series in 2018, but also REALLY LONG SERIES. I read the entire Vampire Academy series and the Delirium Trilogy which were both on my backlist for starters! I also read the last 4 books in the Throne of Glass series, SO EMOTIONAL.

I read 3 books that were part of the Rory Gilmore Challenge; Little Women, The Return of the King, and Little Dorrit. Alas, this was a pretty poor attempt on my part, and I need to aim higher for 2019!

In total, I also did really well at tackling my backlist in 2018, clearing 17 books.
DO I GET A SMILEY STICKER?!?! 

I also feel so privileged to have received 7 ARCs this year, which again, probably seems like a small amount to some bloggers, but it’s the most I’ve ever received!

Books by Genre

Book Stats by type of book

I would say the genre’s percentage I read this year was typical of my average.

Fantasy is my first love, and I always read more of this than anything else! I’m actually kind of surprised that the number of contemporary books is so high!

I read 8 classics last year and 8 classics this year, so I was pretty consistent on this front, which is good because I really find classics so rewarding and I get a lot out of the experience!

I read two non-fiction books this year – a Psychology book and one about the Ghosts of Edinburgh my parents brought me. Last year I only read one non-fiction book, so that’s a 50% improvement, albeit a pretty sad one! 😀

Books by Star Rating

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These stats are also pretty typical of my reading pattern, despite reading many more books this year!

I don’t give out 5 stars lightly so they’re always quite a small percentage of my reading. My average rating is also always around 3. something each year, so I never think that reflects how well my reading has gone.

How I usually measure if I’ve had a good reading year is if the number of 4 stars outweigh the 3 stars, and I way surpassed that this year!

 

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Now for the section where you can get extra rec’s to take into the New Year!

Best Fantasy

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This novel was brilliantly creative, flipping the ‘chosen one trope’ into something highly amusing and new! It also mixed mental health with a fantasy plot line which I LOVED.

Best Contemporary

Simon vs the Homosapiens agenda

This book just made my heart explode with emotion and cuteness! I JUST WANT TO HUG THIS STORY CLOSE TO MY CHEST AND CARRY IT WITH ME EVERYWHERE FOREVER. If you can read this book without feeling emotional are you even human?

Best Classic

Little Dorrit Charles DickensLittle Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just can’t decide between these two! Both were solid 4 star reads for me! Little Dorrit was classic Dickens full of cheeky satire and quirky characters, but Little Women was so endearing and full of family values, and it gave me to push to start blogging again after a years break because I just needed to write about it.

Biggest Surprise

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

This installment of the Throne of Glass series followed the perspective of my least favourite character, Chaol, and I was kind of dreading reading it. Yet, I utterly adored it and shipped the romance like crazy and it ended up being a 5 star read, hurrah!

Best Book of the Entire Year

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

For once, this was actually a really easy question for me to answer! I absolutely ADORED Only Love Can Break Your Heart. I confess, this book wasn’t even on my radar until I received it as an ARC, so I am indebted to the publisher for sending it to me! This book SLAYED MY HEART. It squidged and bruised and punched it, and then turned it into joy confetti. This author deserves ALL THE STARS for this story about romance, expectations, grief, and family.

Honourable Mentions

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★★★★★ Rules of Summer | Successors Promise

★★★★☆ Kingdom of Ash | Delirium | The Loneliest Girl in the Universe | 11.22.63

 

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2018 Blogging Stats

2018 has also been an incredibly good blogging year for me.

For those who are new to Blogs of a Bookaholic, I’ve been doing the blogging thing since 2011, but in April 2017 I took a break which turned into an unplanned hiatus that ended up being a whole year.

At points, I didn’t think I was going to come back to this space because the creativity and drive just wasn’t there, and it felt like mourning an old friend. But in March 2018 I returned with a fresh perspective and a new take on blogging.

Since returning and implementing changes to make this a much more positive space, I can honestly say I have completely fallen in love with blogging and the book community again, and I think my blog is better for it!

Since March 2018, I’ve written 28 posts, discovered SO MANY new and amazing bloggers, and even attended a book blogger event! I’ve also made my space more creative and fun, changing up my post styles and adding my own images and graphics, and I’ve managed to do it all without stressing about how often I’m posting or looking too much at the stats. I’m kind of proud of myself. 😀 😀

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Types of Blog Post I Wrote in 2018

Post Types 2018

I think I’m probably in the minority of book bloggers having the most common post as book reviews.

This tends to be because discussions and lists get more engagement, but I love writing book reviews the most, it’s what got me started and it’s what keeps me here!

I also wrote quite a few list post this year which I really enjoyed doing, and they were some of my most popular posts! I also started doing monthly wrap-ups that have been great fun!

I barely wrote any discussion posts this year which makes me sad, as they’re one of my favourite post types to read! I’m going to try and remedy this in 2019!

Let me know if there are any post types you’d like to see me write more of in 2019!

 

My Top 3 Posts in 2018

  1. The Rory Gilmore Book Challenge (This always gets the most reviews as a graphic I made for it went mini-viral on Pinterest)
  2. The 30 Day Book Challenge
  3. Review: Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott (I’m guessing this is because of the adapted mini-series that came out this year?!)

 

Goals for 2019

Because I wasn’t blogging last year, I don’t actually have any 2018 goals to review! Mentally, I do remember thinking I wanted to tackle my backlist of books though, which I have certainly done successfully! As this is all my book muddled brain can remember, let’s move straight on to my 2019 goals!

Bookish

  1. I’d like to try and beat my record for my number of books read in a year, surpassing my total of 57 and reaching 60 would be amazing!
  2. Read 5 books from the Rory Gilmore Challenge. (I slacked big time on this challenge this year!)
  3. I want to try and read more diverse fantasy books. I’ve already started doing this over the last couple of months but I want to continue supporting diversity because everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in literature, and the more of it we read, the more will get published!
  4. Continue to blast through by backlist books! I’d like to try and read at least 12 backlist books in 2019.

Blogging

  1. I’d like to continue blogging all the way to next year. Might seem like a strange one, but you can never take this for granted folks, you never know what the world will throw at you!
  2. I’d like to try and write more discussion posts because I didn’t write many this year and I think they’re some of the most interesting posts you can do!
  3. This is a bit of an ambitious one… but I’d love to try and reach 500 follows on my bookstagram. I only have 160 at the moment but hey, I’m going to aim high for once!! I love this platform and the creativity it inspires, and it would be great to have more people to talk to on there!

 

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So that’s a wrap on 2018! I hope you enjoyed this post, I certainly enjoyed writing it and playing with the graphics. 😀 Thumbs up if you made it to the end! Alas, I was hoping to do several different wrap-up posts that time and life did not allow for, so this post ended up being rather long!

Did you have a good bookish year? Have you set any book or blogging goals? 
What are you up to for New Years Eve?
Wishing you all a wonderful year of health and happiness in 2019!

Becky the Bookaholic

 

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28 thoughts on “2018 Wrap Up: On Books, Blogging & Exceeding all my Goals!

  1. Happy new year Becky! I’m sorry 2018 started out in such a bad way for you, it must’ve been hard. Reading and blogging wise, you did amazing! You should try joining the discussion challenge by It Started At Midnight, it helped me writing discussions so much 😀

    • Thanks, Tasya, Happy New Year to you as well! I hope you had a lovely evening. 🙂
      It was a pretty tough start, not gunna lie!
      Oooh, I’ve not heard about this discussion challenge! Thank you for the tip, I will definitely be looking that up. 😀
      Wishing you a fabulous 2019!

  2. Wowser, 57 books! I managed 22 this year, which seems right for me. I’ll be studying this for a while and will think of more to say.

    As one of your long time followers on here, I’m glad you came back. I missed your endless enthusiasm and love of life. It always cheers me to come here and see the treasures you’ve found and share.

    • I know, I can’t believe it! I’ve always joked over the years about how I am the slowest reader and in 2018 it was suddenly like my processing speed improved! I do also read almost every day, though.

      THIS MAKES ME HAPPY. Thanks, Tony, it’s good to be back! And I’m glad you’ve still been enjoying despite the slight format changes. 🙂

      Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!

  3. Congrats on all your successes this year!💛I hope 2019 is amazing for you, happy new year!

    Also, ahh, Simon Vs. was SO amazing, somehow I didn’t put it on my top 10 list and I am regretting that decision so much right now?? It deserved a spot, what was I thinking. I’m also so glad you loved Little Women, because SAME. Oh, and yay for returning to blogging- I didn’t follow you prior to your comeback, but all the same I’m so excited you returned so I could get to know you and read your lovely blog!

    • Thank you, Olivia!
      Ohh noooo, that’s so annoying! I swear that’s such a normal thing when it comes to wrap-ups though, I ALWAYS think of something I’ve missed out too late! Simon is the definitely the most loveable and adorable snowflake I got to know in 2018. 😀 So happy to come across someone else who loved Little Women! It was such a quaint and endearing story.

      Awh thank you so much, this is the NICEST COMMENT. I have been so glad to get to know you and come across your wonderful blog this year as well (or I guess now, technically last year)! 😀 😀 Looking forward to reading many more of your posts!

      Wishing you a happy and positive 2019 full of great books and awesome adventures!

  4. I love all these stat posts bloggers are doing ! I had my best reading year this year with a combined 63 books when I usually clock in at 40 books. I read The Rest of Us Just Live Here on audio in 2017 and it is such a good a unique book. I want to read more fantasy in 2019 since my reading has been overwhelmingly contemporary.

    • Hi Kat! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the wrap-up posts going around. I think it’s absolutely incredible that you read 63 books! So glad you also really enjoyed Rest of Us.

      Hearing that you’re going to be trying to read more fantasy this year really excites me. Let me know if you need any recs! 😀

  5. Yass, beating 55 is a huge achievement for us tortoise folks! I see so many bloggers crossing 100, and it was refreshing to see that you’re like me, Becky! ❤️

    And I totally agree with what you said about classics. They take some time to read, but you always get something out of them!

    Here’s to an even better reading and blogging year! ❤️🥂

    • Hahaa, indeed! People should not mock! We know what we’re doing. 😉 100+ just seems so unattainable to me, I mean, do these people EAT and SLEEP?!?! Brb, in awe over here in the corner, lol.
      Glad to find a fellow blogger who is both a YA and classics fan. 😀
      Absolutely! Wishing you a fab 2019 full of reading!

  6. What a lovely wrap up! Also, your pie charts and graphics are so pretty! I too was shocked by how much I adored Tower of Dawn. Reading 57 books is such a great accomplishment! I hope you’re able to read many more in 2019! ❤️

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kelly, even if it was VERY long (I am a blabbermouth when it comes to books). I spent such a long time playing with the graphics I can’t even :’D They probably took me twice as long as writing the actual post. And yay for loving Tower of Dawn! I’m so glad it worked out so well, I couldn’t have handled that many pages otherwise. xD

      Wishing you a year of amazing reads!

  7. I know I’ve said this before but I am SO GLAD you’re back!! Looking forward to all of your amazing 2019 content! Also, I still love writing and reading reviews and they probably make up a majority of what I post too. Though it’s not the most “popular” content, I figure that’s what got most of us into blogging in the first place!

    • THANK YOU. 🙂 I’m already excited about some post ideas I’ve had, and some potential collaboration posts! 😉
      I love your reviews, so I’m very glad you still love writing them, I think it shows too.
      Wishing you a fab 2019 full or adventure and great books!

  8. GOSH THIS POST WAS GREAT. Like you said, seeing stats IS SO SATISFYING. I love learning more about other bloggers and their blogs, so thanks for sharing so much about your website! I especially like the little graphic you made for the number of pages/books/whatnot that you read this year. ALSO I HOPE YOU ARE ABLE TO ACHIEVE ALL YOUR GOALS – esp that 500 followers on Instagram 🙂

    • I’M SO GLAD YOU ENJOYED IT EVEN THOUGH IT WAS REALLY LONG. 🙂 The stats were way more fun than I was expecting, and this is the first year I’ve dared to do the pie chart thing! Thank you, I was pretty impressed with myself re my graphics, I must admit. 😉
      I think it’s important to be transparent about stats, I have no idea where my stand with other bloggers but I’m proud of them and I’m sure I’ll really enjoy looking back at them a year from now!
      Thank you, I need all the luck I can get 😀

  9. YOU ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH THIS YEAR!!! thats amazing, im so proud!! i seriously love your stat breakdown and your pie charts.
    tower of dawn and kingdom of ash truly slayed my existence, i cried so much in both of them, i just love them so much and im so happy to see them on your favourites list.
    i’ve never heard of ‘only love can break your heart’ but if it was the BEST book of the year for you, you best believe im adding it to my immediate tbr!! congrats on having such an amazing year and i hope 2019 is even better for you 💖💖

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH. I feel like somehow I did achieve a lot? This may mean I’m doomed to FAlL ALL THE THINGS in 2019 but we’ll see, teehee! Thank you so much I spent forever on the stats and pie charts but it was fun. 😀

      THEY SLAYED MY EXISTANCE TOO. I don’t think an author has ever made me ship so many different characters at once before, my brain just couldn’t handle the emotion!

      Please, please do put Only Love Can Break Your Heart on your TBR, YOU WON’T REGRET IT. It’s super duper awesome!

      I hope you have a lovely 2019 too, and that it is full of BOOKS. 😀

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