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All My Friends Are Still Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John
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Mind the gap (between reading and reviewing): 08/13/16

The last of my 2016 reading goal is to "shorten the average length between reading and reviewing a book." There's a romantic (or masochistic) notion that a book blogger will close the cover on a book (or scroll past the last page) and set to writing the review immediately. The post about a finished book goes up within minutes or at worst case, hours, after finishing a book.

That has never been the case here. It's not possible. It would be too stressful for me and, frankly for you, the reader.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012 I read a total of 1578 books. Were I to have posted a review of every book immediately after finishing, I would have to post three reviews every two days (on average). I did briefly experiment with posting two reviews on some days but two reviews plus my occasional article ended up being too much for my core readership and they let me know through comments and emails.

So I settled on "a book review a day" with the caveat that sometimes I would also post an article. I Would not, though, post an article and a review each and every day, resulting in 720 posts or so a year.

In that time when I was also still very active with BookCrossing and I was using my reviews as a way to reassure book ring participants down the line from me that I was reading the books sent to me and not hoarding them, I had to focus on reviewing those books first. Then there were the review copies which I promised one a week, for a total of 52 in a year. Those took the second priority. That left all my fun reading, books I was often genuinely excited about, out of the blogging queue.

Really, though, the backlog goes back even further. I mentioned ending 2009 with a backlog of 166 reviews to post. But it wasn't until 2012 that I realized I was swimming up stream against the continuing flood of books read. I was a year or more behind in the reviews I posted, meaning that a review going onto my blog in 2012 was probably one I had read in 2011 or 2012.

So after four years or actively trying to get a handle on the gaps between reading, reviewing, and posting, how am I doing? I have 204 reviews written and waiting to post. If I stopped reading today I could continue posting a review a day until March 5, 2017. That's not likely to happen.

Bar graph showing the number of reviews remaining to post from 2012-2016 by month In looking at the reviews I have to post, the majority of reviews needing posting are clustered around November 2015-June 2016. That's a two to eight month lag. But I do have some long tail stragglers from as early as 2012 (a single picture book).

Pie chart showing the percentages of reviews to post by year

Looking at the percentage of books left to review, 93% of the reviews I plan to post are from books I've read in 2015 and 2016. Of those, more than half, or 60%, are ones I've read this year. I would like to get the lag down to under six months, but I'm encouraged by the progress.

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