Huzzah! May 20th marks the 3-year anniversary of my first ever post on Rose Read! Today also happens to be the last day of teaching in my 2-year English teacher career. It’s kinda crazy.
I want to take a look back on how my blog has developed over the years, because at times like these, it’s good to reflect.
I definitely started out very slow and didn’t know that there was a whole community of book bloggers out there. But despite the fact that no one read my posts (except some of my supportive Facebook pals), I kept at it because I had finally created a blog space I was committed to. A quick look back at my first post ever will tell you that my previous blogging history was all over the map. Needless to say, I’m glad I decided to make Rose Read.
(Aside: May of 2013 was also when I wrote my most-viewed post to-date: Throwing a 1920s speakeasy party. This was the year of the Gatsby frenzy, and this post apparently shows up on search engines when people look up how to throw a speakeasy, so it has the most views by far on Rose Read, and it’s not even exactly book-related!)
I discovered tags a month later, but that was from watching BookTubers rather than tagging on the blogosphere, so I failed at the actual tagging people part of the tag. Oops. One month in, still failing to realize that there may have been other bloggers blogging about books, too…
In July I wrote my first book review on The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (the quality of which is what you would expect for a first review) and my first (and only) book battle on Jane Austen (books battles are something I definitely want to get back into doing!). I also wrote my first bookshop post and my first “Thoughts from Literary Places” post, both from my study abroad in Bath.
Then I did my first haul in August (still inspired by booktubers and not realizing this was a thing on book blogs), as well as one of my favorite ever discussion posts, “Why I buy books faster than I can ever read them.”
By January of 2014, it became clear that reading and blogging was very hard to do while being a full-time student/English major. I failed to win my Goodreads challenge in 2013, and the first half of 2014 was no better. Between student teaching and choreographing musicals for U of I, there wasn’t a lot of time for reading or blogging. I posted inconsistently during that time until June 2014, when I graduated.
Then all went dark. Commence the dreaded first year of teaching. I don’t think I have to explain why I didn’t blog again until January of 2015…the first semester as a teacher was the hardest and craziest time of my life. All seemed lost.
I made a brief comeback with one of the most important posts of my blog, my 2014 year in books, in which I explained how much my life had changed and how the books I read marked my journey from college and into the “real world.” It wasn’t until April that I blogged again, towards the end of that first year of teaching.
Then June 2015 happened, the summer was here, and I blogged like I had never blogged before! This marked the dawn of a new age for Rose Read, and I haven’t slowed since. In November, I participated in NaBloPoMo and blogged every single day, and I finally won my Goodreads challenge in 2015. This was about the same time I really started to get involved in the book blogging community, and that makes me happier than anything else. I’m not sure what took me so long to realize there were other people out there book blogging, but I’m oh so glad I did! This month was even the first time I met up with a book blogger IRL, at BookCon!
I admire the bloggers out there who establish themselves only within a few months and jump right into the community. I was definitely slow. But I am proud of my little corner of the internet, and I’m excited to continue to grow. I’m not sure what is in store for this blog as I move ahead in my new chapter of life – quitting teaching to pursue my LIS master’s – but I’m excited to see what happens.
Thank you to all of you who read and follow and like and comment; this is truly an amazing community. Here’s to many more years of blogging!