#LetsDiscuss2021 #14 – Aspects of 2021 – #DiscussionSunday.

#LetsDiscuss2021 Landscape

As this year comes to an end, the question is…

How was 2021?

Discussion Sunday 2021

Disclaimer:

These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

When you begin to see all of the best of lists and memes for the year popping up, you start to take stock of the year in general, and I’m sure many (if not all) of us are thinking about overviews of 2021 as the year draws to a close.

My Thoughts…

It has been a very strange year for me, both personally and as far as my blogging and reading is concerned.

On the Personal Level:

Obviously, this second year of this virus has been disheartening for us all, but then we started getting vaccinated (I’m fully triple jabbed, and willing to get a fourth booster, or more), so that was good. But then, this new omicron variant came in and we can only hope that it will be less deadly than delta (see how quickly we learn the Greek Alphabet).

Last December, I moved into a new apartment (flat, for my British friends), which was absolutely wonderful. For the first time in my life, I finally have a kitchen big enough to work in properly, and although I didn’t design all of it, it is pretty close to what I’ve always wanted. Plus, the place came with a dedicated parking space (city dwellers will get how great that is), and is in an elevator building (people of a “certain age” will understand the importance of this). So that’s a good thing (and more about this later).

Unfortunately, there were some really terrible things that happened as well, but I’d prefer not to detail them here (just know that I’m getting help to cope with these upheavals in my life. I’ll be fine… I take it one day at a time. Plus, for the most part, I am healthy, and trying to stay that way).

Public Service Announcement: PLEASE get Vaccinated and Boosted!

As a Blogger:

At the outset of this year, I decided to stop following so many book blogs. I was getting close to 800, and getting hundreds of emails about new posts every day. Well, that was untenable, so I stopped following a bunch of bloggers. These were mostly people who focused only on books in genres I absolutely NEVER read, or bloggers who weren’t reviewing so much as just giving us a summary of the story and something about the author. Mind you, there were quite a few exceptions to that rule (for bloggers who I’ve come to like through contact with them, even if our tastes vastly differ), so I still get nearly 100 emails a day. That’s mostly manageable (but beware… I’m still culling my subscription list).

In addition, it seems to me that there have been a whole lot of changes happening that were beyond my control. When I first started blogging, NetGalley was great about giving me ARCs, and I had to struggle to get to an 80% read/reviewing level. Then NetGalley realized I’m not in the US/Canada, the UK, or any of the other “normal” countries, and they started making most of the books on their site unavailable for me to request, and only able to wish for them (that’s how I got to 97%). Well, their wishes never seemed to come true. So, I became more involved with Edelweiss, and lo and behold, the approvals started to come back.

However, both of these sites have changed (again) recently. On NetGalley all of the “wish for it” buttons seem to have disappeared, but at the same time, I saw that I could request all the books on their site again. However, now if a book isn’t for an international reviewer like myself, the book just doesn’t appear on the site for me at ALL. With Edelweiss, I’m now noticing that I’m not getting as many approvals as I used to, but I’m also not getting denials, either. Books that were open on my requests list lose their “pending” status, and/or just disappear from my open list altogether! This happens mostly when the publication date has passed, so I’m guessing that they passively denied me the ARC (not nice. If you don’t want me to read your book, just say so). This also impacts me…

As a Reader:

Now I’m fully retired, totally unpacked, and settled into my new place, with bookshelves that have been carefully curated. So this year, I put my Goodreads reading goal at my age (64). Well, I’ve surpassed that goal, and I’m pretty proud of this. Sure, I did read some shorter books, but I also read some HUGE ones as well. Considering that before I retired I struggled to fit in 30 books a year, I think I have something to be proud of, don’t you? Remember, I have mild dyslexia, which makes me a slower than average reader.

In addition, financially, I’m doing okay, and I’m seeing that I can afford to spend money on new print books (I try to reserve my Kindle for ARCs, unless there’s a great deal on for a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while). Mind you, that means that I’m going to have to do more curating of books on my brand new shelves, since already I’m finding the (small to begin with) empty spaces beginning to fill up! Ah, the troubles of readers, right?

Let’s hope for a bit more stability for 2022, because all told, this year has been a real…

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There you have it!

So… what about you?

How was your 2021, as a person, as a reader, and as a blogger?

This post is my 14th entry in the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

https://itstartsatmidnight.com/2021/01/jan-2021-discussion-challenge-link-giveaway/

30 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2021 #14 – Aspects of 2021 – #DiscussionSunday.

  1. As a person, I had health issues; as a blogger, I am following the lead of the younger bloggers and doing BLOGMAS for the first time; as a reader, it was the best year yet. Your year was extremely interesting, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not totally sure what this Blogmas is, but I thought it had to do with Xmas. So, being Jewish, I didn’t pay attention. I’m glad you had a good year, and I hope your health issues improve (or at the very least, become more tolerable and/or manageable.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blogging is new to me too. I learned of it from some young, teenage blogging friends. One blogs something Christmassy each of the 31 days of December. Some of the girls are doing collaborations together. They have some really creative posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you’ve had a rough year – hope 2022 will be better! I’m finding the ongoing wave after wave of Covid utterly depressing now – we keep feeling as if we’re getting out of the shadows and then suddenly we’re plunged back in. And it’s been affecting my reading on and off for well over a year now. I seem to be existing on a diet of vintage crime novels – I’m sure it’s because the past seems more appealing than the present, even though lots of them are set in WW2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also getting back into vintage crime/mystery novels. But I’m starting to be on the looking for more “feel good” fun books, like the Judy Leigh novel I just reviewed “The Golden Girls’ Getaway.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve enjoyed your update Davida. I just got my booster last week and then got the flu shot the next day. I do NOT recommend getting 2 shots so close together! But, I survived and feel good that I’m protected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I wish I could get the flu shot, but I have an autoimmune problem that prevents me from getting it. However, I’ve never actually gotten the flu, and now with this virus, I’ve bought a whole slew of masks, and intend to use them (especially during flu season) even after this damned virus calms down enough for us to get back to mostly normal lives. (I don’t think we’ll ever be totally rid of it, to be honest.)

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  4. I’m glad you’re OK and being supported through the difficult things you’ve had to face. Of course that comes first.

    I’ve been jogging along through 2021, just about getting used to my husband working from home permanently (this was a big change as I’ve worked alone from home since 2012!). I have moved my office down to the back bedroom and am more comfortable here, and have made it into a nice sitting room / guest room since he has taken over downstairs.

    I’ve cut the blogs I read (but I use feedly so at least I have to go and look for them rather than emails coming at me!). I hope you don’t cull me, though, as I enjoy our interactions! I’ve been reading a lot and sharing diverse books where I can, seeing my audience for those grow a little after being disappointed those posts got less traction … And I’ve noticed the NetGalley thing, too – US people seeing books I just cannot see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I wouldn’t cull you from my list, simply because we’ve interacted. I’m culling blogs that I’ve not interacted with who usually are ones that only review books I’ll never give a second thought to reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I cull when people never reply to comments. I don’t mind if people do sometimes, or do late, or if someone I know is usually active drops off a bit, but some people just let the comments sit there for ages and ages and never reply.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear there have been some positives about this year too. You do sound as if you are in a relatively calm and contented place right now – long may it last! I should probably cull my blog reading list too, but I just seem to be discovering new ones, or podcasts etc. 🤯🤯

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad to hear that you have had some good parts to the year and I hope that some of the harder parts are now behind you. I’m glad that you are still posting reviews, I may not always comment on them, but I do read them.

    This year the number of books that I have read has fallen quite a lot, I have had other areas of my life which needed my attention. We have had a year of farming, brought on by an urgent operation for my brother-in-law, he farms alone and animals need feeding, crops need sowing and the harvest came around. This cycle of nature, daily chores and the beauty of a hay meadow in June were extremely calming to my soul.

    I came up close and personal with Covid in July when it knocked on our door and marched on in for my daughter and husband (she had only had one vaccination at the time, but he had both) we survived, it wasn’t pleasant, but for us is was manageable.

    While Covid has closed many doors for me, it has opened others, I am now a very keen gardener and I hope to introduce a beehive to my garden this year. I am currently slowly reading Dancing With Bees by Brigit Strawbridge Howard and I am eager to do all that I can for bees in my garden in 2022.

    I shall always love reading and books, especially when I come away from a book having learnt something or be inspired by it. I look forward to seeing what books wing their way to me in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hugs Davida! I know it’s been a year of changes for you. Not so much for me, tho I am a property owner again, which is nice ~ and I didn’t even have to move! I’ve read over 100 books this year and will probably end up around 115. I read ALL the time and love it. I don’t do many reviews so I’ll understand if I don’t see you around much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My 2021 was really good. I am also triple jabbed, so am actually going to go South for the winter. As a reader, I have more than surpassed my reading goal, but living alone and being retired, it is relatively easy. As a blogger, I had a lot of new followers, but probably less than 100 who actually comment on blogs. I also follow way to many blogs and have been culling my list as well. I am hoping for a wonderful 2022 with Covid finally settling down and more people getting vaccinated so things can go back to relative normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear. Retirement does help with our reading goals. While I’m not so optimistic about 2022, fingers crossed by July, when I hope to attend a writers’ retreat in Ireland, things will be better enough for me to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry about the parts of 2021 that have been difficult, terrible, and painful you. The pandemic is enough without piling on other stuff! I’m also sorry that you have difficulty getting arcs as an international blogger/reader. So frustrating. I hear you about the hundreds of emails generated from blog subscriptions!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s been a second successive year with no overseas travel, which has been really hard for me because I love to travel. Having said which, it gave me chance to see some parts of the UK which I hadn’t had chance to go to before, so that was a silver lining. I was feeling a lot more positive about things until a couple of weeks ago, but now we’ve been hit by Omicron. I had my booster earlier this week, and am just hoping that we can get over this latest hurdle. To mix sporting metaphors horribly, the virus keeps chucking curveballs at us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. We cancelled no less than FIVE trips abroad over the past (nearly) two years. I’m hoping things will be better by July since I’ve signed up for a week long writer’s retreat in Ireland (Galway area)!

      Liked by 1 person

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