Thursday 25 April 2019

ReadItDaddy passes one million clicks - HUGE HUGE massive thanks to you lovely folk! Today's ReadItTorial

Oh my, what a thing to come back from our holiday to...

While we were away, it seems our humble book blog passed an important milestone, and one that I (once semi seriously) said would signal the end of our blogging efforts.

We passed the one million hits mark early in April. I'd been measuring hits with a really shonky piece of counter code, but also backed that up with Google's own stats (amusingly the counter code broke spectacularly, seemingly unable to cope with a 6 digit number).

So what does this actually mean? Well it means over the course of the last 9 years a million folk have fetched up at our door to read about children's books, or read random musings about all sorts of esoteric subjects from the political to the paranormal, from the goofy to the downright weird but amidst all of this, to read reviews of the truly amazing books we've been fortunate enough to read during our blogging career.

We've seen so many things change during that time. We've seen arguments over E-books 'killing off print' fizzle and die - in fact it'd be interesting to revisit the sales figures for E-Books back when we started, vs the sales figures for them now (not necessarily talking about Kindle type e-books but those app-driven stories that were once the darlings of parents who trusted a tablet to nanny their kids for them while they went off and did other things). Looking at the way children's books have become a mighty force in most publisher sales during the period we've been blogging, and seeing how packed the children's departments have been when we've ever dropped into high street chain bookstores, that's definitely made us very happy - that not all kids were lured away from print books by the promise of more whistles, bells and bleeps from their iPads.

We've seen children's authors rightfully become superstars in their own right, household names, and yet we still feel that mainstream media largely ignores children's books, still seeing them as a somewhat whimsical and fleeting thing (again, laughable when you consider sales of kidlit vs book sales in general). Authors express their frustration about this on Twitter almost on a daily basis, and though there are a few folk who could do with a kick in the pants for claiming that there's no 'quality' coverage of children's literature to guide parents (ahem, book blogs anyone? Remember those? Run by extremely passionate and knowledgable book-loving folk who commit hours and hours of their time every week to writing them? No?) TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers could do so much more and do it so much better than just supplying a glib quote for a back cover now and again (we always laugh when we see the sheer effort that some places go to for their one line of endorsement that appears in the press releases of books we recieve for review - you can always spot the blogger ones, they're always better, just sayin')

We've also seen the rise and rise of celebrity authors muscling in on the market, to the point where authors long-established and newly minted really get fed up to the back teeth of the huge effort publishers go to in order to nurture and market sleb kidlit, quietly scuttling any notion that the person didn't actually write the durned books themselves (you know who we're talking about though, right?)

But of course the main thing we've seen is the rise, and rise, and rise of the quality of children's fiction and non fiction, comics and magazines, to the point where no one can really deny that kidlit is enjoying a golden age, making our jobs as bloggers both wonderfully blissful and extremely hard (particularly when it comes to nominating books of the week or books of the year).

Alongside the amazing world of books, for C, her mum and I it's been 9 years of our lives. During those years, just like any family, we've had ups an downs, we've seen our daughter's original tiny seed of interest in books grow into a complete obsession, and we've seen the payoff from her love of books in her school work, her imagination, her creativity and her character too and if there's ever a reason to share a love of books with your kids, dang, that's got to be a good one surely?

We wouldn't be here without you though, our readers. Whether you're a fellow book lover, a parent, a guardian. Whether you're a book-obsessed hard working PR working for a publisher producing dazzing titles. Whether you're an author, an illustrator, translator, book designer, or the person who loads the books onto pallets to ship 'em off to a bookshop, or the big chief at a publisher, we owe you a massive and huge thank you, particularly to you kind folk who week after week send us parcels filled with wondrous books to cast our eyes over, making every week feel like Christmas.

Will we quit, as I jokingly suggested when we started out all those years ago? Will we heck! We still love doing this, we still love books and we absolutely adore talking about them - particularly with you lovely folk, so why on earth would we? If anything, knowing that a million folk came here to read about books just makes us want to redouble our efforts, do things better, mix things up a bit, try new things, evolve with the reading material that C now favours (middle grade and comics, eventually morphing into YA and perhaps one day even adult books - the sky really is the limit!)

So 1 million down, here's to the next!