A New Day

I’ve been lax on here in recent weeks. But there’s really no excuse. I try my best to get my posts written the night before they go up, but lately I’ve been getting sleepy really early on in the evening. Which doesn’t allow me to write my posts since I typically wake up and go to work.

But I’m off the next two days! So I’ll try to get all my posts written early and I already know I’ll have two videos up. So I’ll be better than I have been.

Still friends?

What to Expect From me on Johnny Reads

Guys, I know that most of you all have almost no interest in my YouTube channel, and that’s okay. But I’ve decided to get serious about it. Two years ago I decided to get serious about blogging and my blog has grown at a nice pace ever since. It’s become a part of my day-to-day routine and has remained so ever since. Now I want to do the same with my YouTube channel.

Y’all have come to expect seven posts a week from me on here, and I want you to have similar expectations for me on YouTube (not seven a week). We’re going to be talking about the SAME things we have been, but now you’ll get more than 100-250 words from me, which will give you more to comment on and think about. I know some of you will think I’m just asking for you to give me even more of your valuable time, and I can’t argue with that. I am. But I’m telling you right now that views and subscribers don’t matter to me. Right now I just want to release quality content that you can enjoy and relate to. That’s it.

Honestly, it’d be wonderful if you read this and decide that you’re willing to put my little YouTube thumbnail in your subscriptions, but I understand if you don’t want to. I’m just some regular guy who enjoys standing in front of my bookshelves talking to my camera a whole lot more than I ever thought I would. But I’m not really just talking to my camera. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you about things we both enjoy and love. Books. Just like the tagline, “All things books, all the time”.

I’ll leave you with the video announcing what to expect from me on Johnny Reads. I’d love for you to take two minutes to watch.

January: A Review

January was okay on the blog. It was nothing compared to last January, but eh. I guess I’ll have to take the blame for that. The first month of the year has come and gone, and now it’s time for some numbers.

Posts: 31

Likes: 632

Comments: 431

Followers: 3353

Books Read: 2

Poems: 1

YouTube Videos: 2

I lied. January actually turned out to be better than expected. I know two books is nothing to cheer about, but at least I did get started on my 2016 Reading Challenge, right? AND I posted a poem on here for the first time in a million years. AND I’m getting a little more consistent on my channel. All positives. The other numbers are pretty average.

Now let’s look at some posts.

Top Post

On Alan Rickman

Favorite Post

Guess Who Officially Has a Custom YouTube Url?!

Post you may Have Missed

2016 Reading Challenge Book #$2: The Thomas Berryman Number

The top post of the month was pretty predictable, although I hadn’t checked before writing this. But Alan Rickman was beloved actor, and his death brought about the appropriate response from his fans. I finally got my own YouTube URL, which of course is exciting. AND I’m really planning on expanding my channel to greater heights in the coming months. Which I hope you’ll join me for.

All in all, January was pretty nice. I know I enjoyed it. How was your opening month of 2016?

 

A Reversal

Have you ever believed in one thing for so long and then suddenly had a change of heart? I think this is what politicians might call “evolving”. Well I’ve recently realized that I’ve also done it.

For the longest time I refused to write book reviews. I still don’t. I don’t write them. But I do review the books I read. And in 2016 I plan on reviewing just about every book I read for my challenge and the Amazon list. So I may not actually write reviews, but I do review what I read.

Which of course started back in 2014 when I’d discuss the books I read from Amazon’s list. Then I started my channel in June and expanded the practice. And now I have my reading challenge. I could end up reviewing ten books this year or 75. I don’t see anything wrong with changing my stance on reviews. I think every blogger should be open to a change in content over time. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

Have you changed your stance on anything during the course of your blogging?

My Year: 2015

I’d initially wanted to write a series of posts this week discussing my favorite things from different categories, but now I’m just going to write one review for everything. Even though I know everyone else already has. But eh. Let’s get started.

Blogging

At the start of 2015 I set some pretty ridiculous goals for the blog that I thought were attainable. They were, but I missed the mark. Here are some side-by-side stats comparing 2014 to 2015.

Posts

282 (2014) – 363 (2015)

Views

30,102 (2014) – 33,469 (2015)

Visitors

12,195 (2014) – 17,097 (2015)

Likes

5,302 (2014) – 8,386 (2015)

Comments

10,159 (2014) – 9,685 (2015)

I’m sure some might look at the numbers and think of how great the year was. It wasn’t. It was okay. About a thousand new followers and it didn’t translate into anything meaningful. No surge in views, comments, or much of anything. But it’s fine. Maybe my content was to blame. I don’t know.

But my original goals for the year were to reach 40,000 site views, to reach 5,000 followers, and to post 25 poems. I didn’t achieve any of those goals. So I won’t set any goals for the blog in 2016. Because it can only be as good as I can make it. And that’s it.

The top three posts published in 2015 were:

Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

On False Claims From Bloggers

Social Media

I’ve all but stopped using other social media. My Facebook app has been deleted but there’s something wrong with my phone and it randomly restarts and re-downloads the app. Not even kidding. I rarely use Twitter. My blog posts go there automatically, but I just don’t tweet hardly at all. I’ve only recently really started using my Instagram account a bit more. But I see people posting multiple terrible photos a day and I’m just baffled. Eh.

Reading

Y’all already know I only read 10 books in 2015. There’s nothing satisfying about that number. I did manage to read some good books, including the best book I’ve ever read. But this has got to stop. From 2010-2012 I read a total of 106 books. Which is nothing compared to some people on WordPress, but at least it’s something. From 2013-2015 I read a total of 32 books. It’s just stupid. What the hell am I even doing? *slaps myself*

BookTube

I know my channel has something like 16 subscribers, but this is probably what I’m most excited about in 2016. Because I’ll be making videos for two different things going on. I’ll still be reading from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read list, which means videos for each one of those. And I’ll also be making videos for every book I read from my challenge. The first will be coming tomorrow forย The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I finished last night. So if you’re still working on your first book of the year and you’re doing my challenge, you’re officially in the rear view mirror! I WILL set a goal for my channel in 2016. 25 videos. Easy enough. I released seven videos on my channel in 2015. My most viewed was my first video, An Intro to Johnny Reads!. It was also my shortest in length. Welp.

Hometown Teams

What a year for Houston sports. The Rockets had one of the most improbable playoff series wins in history by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to the LA Clippers and reaching the conference finals for the first time in almost 20 years. The Astros continued their improvement by snagging a playoff spot and having the eventual World Series champions within six outs of elimination. And the Texans just won their third division title in team history. Playoff game this Saturday! Everyone jokes at work that I don’t know anything except sports and books. Not that far from the truth.

Half Price Books

In August I started working at Half Price Books. It”s been great from day one. The people are great to work with and be around (even if they poke fun sometimes) and I’m literally paid to work in a bookstore. Heaven does exist! It’s already been five months and I’m still loving every single day there.

Trip of a Lifetime

My first. I’ve been saving as much of my little bit of money as I can. And I’m rewarding myself by taking the first trip of my life. I’ve been to Disney World. I’ve been to Michigan. But Disney World happened in the 90s and Michigan wasn’t a vacation type trip. But I’ll finally get to experience what it’s like to really travel. And I’ll be able to see the capital city of my country. I think during those four days I’ll be able to learn even more about what it means to be an American. Heck, I might even cry when I see some things. I can’t tell you how excited I am, and how glad I am to have made the decision to go. I’m hoping this becomes my first trip of many trips of a lifetime. Fingers crossed!

Reading Challenge

I said I’m most excited about my BookTube channel, but I’m also very excited about my reading challenge. Mostly because I’ve gotten tons of feedback and support since I first mentioned it a week ago. I have a feeling the post is going to be one of the top two or three posts of THIS year. It’s getting that much traffic. But I’m also excited to see what other people read and say about something I came up with fully on my own. I overhear my co-workers talking about it just about everyday. It’s great because I know others are also talking about it in various places on the Internet.

In a nutshell, I became more and less active on social media. I started working at a bookstore, My loyalty to my hometown teams finally paid off. And I saved up enough money to start my traveling. Sounds like an alright year to me.

Thanks for always coming back, guys. I know I write things you won’t always agree with and I’ll probably push your buttons without even knowing it, but it’s never too serious. And no one is aiming to be disrespectful. This is my little piece of cyberspace, and you’re always welcome.


On this day in 2015 I published Mark Zuckerberg’s “A Year of Books”.

Saturday Selects #23: The blogging community

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss something outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today’s topic is the blogging community.

I first thought of hosting my own reading challenge way back in January of LAST year. I saw how popular the PopSugar challenge had become and wanted to see what I could do with my own readers and followers. Maybe some would even want to participate, right? Well I completely forgot about the whole thing throughout most of 2015. I was more focused on building the blog up to its highest potential. I was quite a bit more successful in the first half of the year than in the second half. But eh, that’s how things go sometimes. But then just a few weeks ago I wrote down a list of 20 things and called it my 2016 challenge. But I didn’t tell a soul until I told my girlfriend about it less than a week ago. Then I wrote about it here. And THEN I told all of my coworkers about it. I mean, I do work in a bookstore.

And I’ve been overwhelmed with the response in just a few days. I honestly thought I could get anywhere from 5-50 people to participate. Sure I have over 3,000 followers, but a small number of them actually read my posts. Maybe it’s because I don’t follow their blogs or comment or I don’t even know. But it’s fine. This week I’ve seen a different side of the blogging community. I’ve had dozens of people tweet, post, or tell someone in some way about my 2016 challenge. Mostly bloggers. I’ve completely lost track of the number of people who’ve vowed to take part in my challenge. But I can tell you the number is in the hundreds.

Think about that. I’m just some guy who blogs about books. I don’t read as much as I should. I don’t write at all. But I’ve stayed true to my promise of posting everyday on here. Always something new. I’ll hit on topics multiple times, but I try my best to offer something new each and every day. But that’s everyone on here. Who isn’t trying to offer something new and different each time they post? But in the last week I’ve had people who have been reading my blog for many months do their part to get people to do my challenge, and I’ve had people I’ve never heard of do the same.

And you know what, I think that’s pretty awesome. So if you’re reading this and you’ve just recently started your blog or you’ve been blogging steadily for months now and haven’t seen much traffic, don’t worry. I’m certain there’s someone out there searching for the kind of posts YOU do. Just keep on posting. Because the blogging community will always find blogs with high quality content. And that’s all I’ve tried to produce in my nearly three years on WordPress.

All I can say is thank you. For reading. For reposting my challenge. For making blogging a nice part of my day-to-day routine. What’s your favorite aspect of the blogging community?

PS: You can find information about my 2016 reading challenge here.


On this day in 2015 I published 2014: What do I think of you?.