My First Year of Blogging: A Contest with a Giveaway

Last May 1, I officially started Rebecca Reads. I had been tinkering with a site for a few days and I post-dated some pseudo-reviews that I’d written for a personal site, but it wasn’t until May 1 that I opened the site to Google and started linking to it when I commented on your sites.  I hoped to have a few books reviewed a month, and some meme answers. I hoped someone would read it.

Sentimental Thoughts on Blogging

The first site I found in the book blogging world was Maw Books, followed by Dewey’s Hidden Side of a Leaf. I copied Dewey’s blogroll so I had a place to start, and from there I’ve branched out into hundreds of blogs. (I am subscribed to more than 200 book blogs now.)  When I first started blogging, I joined the memes (especially Booking through Thursday and Weekly Geeks) on a regular basis.

Then I found myself reading at least three times more than I did prior to blogging. I began struggling to keep up with the reviews from the books I’ve been reading, and I am still struggling. Maybe this is a phase of blogging that will pass: I am usually about three to six books behind in my reviewing! I personally think this means I need to stop reading quite so much.

At any rate, that first month, I had an average of 10 visitors a day. (Trish was my very first visitor.) Now I average between 200 and 300, with more than 130 subscribed to my feed. And I keep writing and posting my posts because I want to hear your thoughts: I love discussing books.

But I also write my posts for me. I want a record of my feelings when I read this book this month. Each time I read a book the experience is different. I want to remember the impression each book left with me. I want to learn from my reading. Rebecca Reads is helping me do that; thank you for your encouragement with each comment.

A Contest with a Giveaway

Would you like any one of the books I’ve reviewed in the past year?

I’d like to giveaway any one of the books I’ve reviewed – a new copy from Amazon shipped to anyone in the world.

Here’s the riddle:

There is a post on Rebecca Reads that is viewed over all other posts. It is about a book that is searched for more than any other book. In the keyword searches, this book shows up in nine of the top ten slots in various different keyword combinations. The post about this book has had the top number of views every single month since the day I posted it.

What book is it?

You can search my Reviews by Title database or the general archive. Please submit your first guess in the comments. If more than one person gets it, I’ll select a winner using random.org. If no one guesses it, I’ll select a random winner using random.org.

I will send the winner a new copy of any one of the books I’ve reviewed on Rebecca Reads. If you want, you can mention in the comments which book you’d like to get if you win. But you don’t have to choose now: you can simply be thinking about it as you browse the archives!

The deadline to enter your guess is May 22.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. Great competition question!

    There was no obvious title that stood out for me. I would have thought it was a classic that people study in school, but one that isn’t reviewed that much else where…..tricky….
    Pilgrims Progress?

  2. Forgot to say – Congratulations on your first year!! Dewey’s was one of the first sites I found too. It is great that we do so much in her memory.
    Best wishes on your next year of blogging!

  3. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! It’s really an accomplishment to have created such a wonderful blog in that time. You reviews are always so thoughtful and always so thought-provoking!

    I have no idea what the book you allude to is. If you had ever reviewed Twilight, I would have guessed that! 😉 But I guess I’ll go with The Iliad. (Talk about polar opposite!)

  4. I had no idea mine was one of the first blogs you had read. You’ve done an AWESOME job this past year and I’ve always enjoyed your blog. Congrats!

    I am going to go with The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

  5. Congrats! I thought it was more than a year. I feel like I’ve been reading your blog forever.

    I’m guessing To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s on the top of my own keyword search every month.

  6. Congrats on the anniversary! My last blog didn’t make it past half a year, so kudos for this accomplishment.

    I’m also going to guess The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. It just feels … right.

  7. Thanks for all the nice comments and guesses.

    Natasha, you might remember that I signed two different blog urls when I visited your site — that’s why for a long time you were subscribed to my personal website! Once I started this blog, I made that blog private to Google and what-not. I have no idea how I found yours first.

  8. I’m not guessing to enter the giveaway – just wanted to wish you a happy blogiversary and congratulate you on your first year! I always appreciate your thoughtful reviews, as well as the fact you’re not always reading what everyone else is.

  9. Happy blogoversary! I’ll guess Three Cups of Tea. I’m not sure if that’s right, but I do know there were a lot of people who commented on it before comments were taken down. 😉

  10. Happy first year! Tuesday was one of the first book bloggers I found, where I found you. 😀

    I’m guessing The Student by Chekhov?

  11. Happy blogiversary :-)! Great question. I’m probably wrong, but I’ll guess “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck.

  12. Rebecca, congratulations on your blogiversary. I really enjoy reading your blog – and have from the beginning.

    My guess is your Harry Potter Giveaway post.

  13. I’m going to guess “On Writing,” although I doubt that is it!

    When I first found your blog, I was so impressed with it. I thought you had been blogging for a very long time, so I was a little intimidated, actually, to leave a comment about your How to Read and Why challenge. It’s funny that you only started blogging about nine days before I did (my blogoversary is on Sunday).

  14. Congrats on your blog’s first birthday! I’ve really enjoyed your blog, Rebecca, and had no idea that my blog is actually older than ours. Yours seems so much more mature — like you have a better idea of what you’re doing, like you’ve been around longer.

    I like we all go through a stage where we read more because we’re worried about not having enough content for our sites. Or, at least, that’s how I feel occasionally. I hope you’re able to find a happy medium soon, although I don’t think you can ever read too much.

    I’m going to pass on the giveaway; I’ve won and received a bunch of books this month and will have to move my mountains to another house soon. Great question, though!

  15. Congratulations on a year well spent! My guess is To Kill a Mockingbird. One of my favorites!

  16. Florinda, I’m glad that’s a good thing!

    Kim, I’m glad I deceived you! 🙂

    Christina, Wow, not so sure about the maturity level of my blog, but I did read book blogs for a few months before I started one. I was writing thoughts on books on a personal page and then I decided I wanted to actually join the community. Being an observer for a while helped me know what I wanted mine to be — although even this has evolved!

    As for the reading too much, well, I do have a house and a son to take care of so in some respects I could cross the too-much threshold….

  17. If I were to guess I would have to say it’s The Book Thief. I hope I’m right!
    Happy anniversary, it’s a great blog and you have some wonderful things on here!

  18. Nice timing–launching it on International Labor Day! Warmest greetings of international solidarity from the Philippines, comrade bookreader! Long live Rebecca Reads! Long live books! Long live reading!

    As for my guess, I’ll try one of the more quirky titles: “Pat the Bunny and Other Interactive Books for Kids”.

  19. Congrats on the first year of blogging! I’m in the same boat you were a year ago, I’ve just started blogging and am trying to get myself out there. Good luck on the next year to come. 🙂

  20. Congrats on your blogoversary! And just for the record, I think you were one of the first blogs I visited! (Okay, it was either you or JKaye, but stilll…)

    My guess is the Harry Potter blog and giveaway you did.

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