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2014, a crazy year: In words and pictures

I hope Christmas was awesome and bookish!

It feels incredibly weird to be writing this post. Last December feels like it was only a month ago… But while this year has gone by so ridiculously quickly, so much has happened! This is a round up of some highlights of the year, blog wise and personal.

In January I did some experimental posts: I started playing around with creative online tools and decided to start making infographics, to present blog posts differently. Admittedly, my first ones looked pretty weird! However, I’ve grown to really like making them and I think they’ve livened up my blog (and definitely let me enjoy writing some posts even more), so I hope readers feel the same!tumblr_inline_nf1nrwEOHF1qzxlbn

In February I decided to make a huuuuge blogging leap, which I had been thinking about doing for months and months. Up until ten months ago, this blog was called Books and Writers JNR, because my dad’s blog was Books and Writers… Though it didn’t make sense any more because my dad’s blog stopped running. For a couple of weeks, I went back and forth, debating how a complete blogging change might affect the blog. In the end, I changed my title to The Bibliomaniac Book Blog, and completely redesigned the look of the blog. I got some really positive feedback about it and I’ve gotten used to it the way it is now: It feels more personal to me.tumblr_inline_nf1nrwEOHF1qzxlbn

I feel very honoured to have been able to take part in multiple blog events and blog tours this year. Some of my favourites include the Blue Peter Blog Tour, and the Indie Bookshop Crawl! As well as taking part in online events, I’m really thankful for being invited to a few publisher’s events too, such as the Random YA Crime event. Thanks to publishers, I was able to meet many fantastic authors. A particular highlight was meeting Emily Murdoch when she flew over for the Waterstones Book Prize. It was the most amazing thing to meet Emily IRL after being touched by If You Find Me, and talking with her on Twitter so much!

[link to event recap: meeting Emily Murdoch, plus some other bookish events]

Speaking of meeting authors: Through lots of events this year, I was able to meet so many amazing bloggers, and bookish people, too! Some awesome events took place this year, like YALC: The first YA Book-dedicated convention ever in the UK. It was so lovely to meet up with so many like-minded people – and, YALC was a slightly chaotic but pretty brilliant convention that I’d love to see come back again many more times in the future.

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Over the Summer, I took on two voluntary jobs-of-sorts. For the last week of July, I worked on a school project, at a summer camp for the new incoming year sevens; making a mosaic from scratch for the playground. Along with a local artist, a teacher, and some friends, I spent around six days getting covered in cement, smashing tiles, designing patterns for segments of the mosaic and teaching workshops. It was crazy but fun!

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Over August and the start of September, I volunteered at my local library, too, for the Summer Reading Challenge 2014. It was a really unique opportunity to get working with kids, though handing out stickers and printing certificates for excited little readers was crazy hectic at points. But it was so great to see kids so excited about reading, and I found it really rewarding to be a part of that. I’ll definitely be re-applying to volunteer next year!

…Year Ten started. September marked the start of my homework/revision levels starting to rise, and the start of proper GCSE prep, and the warning about upcoming real GCSEs… and it’s been a lot busier than I thought it would be. I’ve had lots of mock exams for science and… ah… I just realised I was supposed to be revising over these holidays for a GCSE in a few months. And that my science textbook is lying neglected in my satchel. Ah.

I got into a new hobby this year! I started dabbling in photography and though my attempts aren’t that great, I’ve really enjoyed doing it. I’m currently taking a photography course online, with the Institute of Photography – and you can have a look at my Flickr here if you want to see my experimentations.

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As well as trying out new hobbies, I’ve tried out new blogging endeavours on new platforms. I started using Tumblr properly at the beginning of this year and I’m helplessly obsessed I love it. I’m tumblring on multiple accounts but my biggest one is The Bookishness, which I was surprised to get a few hundred followers on, in a few months!

A very recent highlight of the year: I woke up to a tweet by the Guardian Children’s Books Twitter account, mentioning me. I clicked on the article, titled Top 10 Best Books Bloggers, and was very shocked and surprised to see a mention of The Bibliomaniac on there, along with many blogs I know and love! Thank you so much to Megan / The Guardian for the mention. (I really recommend checking out the other blogs on the article, too –  they’re all awesome.)

And last but not least, I want to say…

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… to everyone! Everyone who reads this nonsensical blog, and everyone who retweets and reblogs and comments on my blog posts, and everyone who fangirls with me online and IRL; other bloggers, authors, and readers. (Also, of course, a highlight of this year is watching other friend’s blogs develop!) Last but definitely not least; a huge thank you to the many lovely publicists and authors I have worked with, who have sent me books, and who have organised interviews and unforgettable events. Love you all ❤

This blog isn’t a very big blog (or a very organised blog…) but running it and doing awesome things because of it this year has made 2014 awesome. So… I hope 2015 is even awesomer. And I hope I stop myself from over-using “awesome” next year too.

(N.B.There has been a lack of reviews this month, right?? D: New year’s resolution: Write more. Reviews and generally more frequent posts soon… Have an great new year’s. I’ll be back in 2015 – ha, that’s sounds far away, instead of a couple of days away – with some sort of a schedule! x)

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3 thoughts on “2014, a crazy year: In words and pictures

  1. Seems like you had a great year! When I lived in England I remember participating in the summer reading challenge – it was always so much fun! It must be great to have volunteered to help out with it. 🙂 Your photography is also really good, by the way! Also, congratulations on being on the Guardian’s Best Book Bloggers list – that’s fantastic! 😀

    Hope you have a great 2015! x

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