The Sunday Salon.com Happy Sunday, Saloners! It’s the end of the year, and it’s also the end of an era here at Reading and Ruminations. As I’ve mentioned several times recently, Reading and Ruminations is moving to WordPress. It’s basically already moved; my Sunday Salon posts are the only posts I’ve been making here in the last few weeks.

So I thought I would take today to kind of do a wrap-up of this phase of my book blogging life.

I started this blog in January 2005. My good friend had begun keeping a separate blog for the books she read (she has another blog, which I won’t name to protect her privacy), and it seemed like a good idea to me, too. So I came up with the wholly unoriginal username , which wasn’t much of a departure from my existing username, shootingstarr. My first post was a review of three different books: A Monarch Transformed by Mark Kishlansky (which to this day remains one of my favorite history books), Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and Hornblower and the Hotspur by C.S. Forester. As I was re-reading that first post, one thing became evident to me: my need for quality, full characters in a novel is not a new thing. My review of the Hornblower book discusses my love of the Hornblower character. It’s interesting to note, though, that I was looking forward to moving on to the next book in the series. I own the full series, and never got beyond that third book. I never even started the fourth book, much less completed the series. Hm. I should consider going back to them.

I’ve also fallen out of the habit of reading non-fiction for fun. I should try to read more of it.

Anyway. As 2005 went on, I began blogging about books less and less, and in 2006, I didn’t do it at all. 2006 was a pretty brutal year for me, though. I lost someone important to me to suicide early in the year, and it took me at least a full year to get over it, though I didn’t realize at the time what horrible shape I was in. At any rate, this blog was silent. I came back to it in early 2007, but I didn’t do too much with it. I did a few review posts, but almost nothing worth noting.

Something else happened in 2007: I discovered Library Thing. During the first few months, I didn’t do much with it, but by April and May of 2007, I began adding all my books, and playing around with the site. In late 2007, I discovered the talk boards. And in turn, I began to rediscover book blogging.

I didn’t start actively book blogging again until April 2008. I began to poke around people’s blogs and see some great reviews, and it made me want to start writing my own reviews on a blog again (because you just can’t respond the way you can to reviews on LT). And then I began to notice that some people were participating in this thing called the Sunday Salon. And the rest is kind of history. Posting to Sunday Salon forced me to remember to post every week, and I began to want to fill in the rest of the weeks with more posts. And I’m reading more now than I was a year ago. In 2007, I read 28 books, none of them particularly challenging. So far in 2008, I’ve read 48 books, with the hopes of finishing two more in the next few days so I can say I read 50 books in 2008. That’s a great step in the right direction.

Because the Sunday Salon made me a more active, better blogger, it’s really kind of fitting that my final post here at this incarnation of Reading and Ruminations be a Sunday Salon post.

2008 also saw some major changes to this blog. For starters, it got a name. Before I became part of the Sunday Salon, the title of this blog was “Reading Journal” or maybe “Shauna’s Reading Journal.” Not particularly interesting or inventive. I couldn’t really tell you where “Reading and Ruminations” came from. I wanted something a bit bookish, and “Reading and Thinking” doesn’t have much of a ring to it. Reading and Ruminations is a bit more polished.

I also tried to post a wider variety of content as well, though I don’t think I succeeded in that as well as I would like. Ah well. Something to look forward for 2009 perhaps?

I’d like to take a minute to thank everyone who has stopped by this year to leave me comments and encouragement. I’d also like to thank those of you who took part in my giveaways this year. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many new bloggers, and I look forward to continuing our acquaintance in the future.

I was going to do a bit more of a 2008-specific retrospective, but I think I will save that for next Sunday’s Salon post. So that’s what we can look forward to for next week. A 2008 retrospective, and a look ahead to 2009.

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday week this past week, and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Celebration this coming week.

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