Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell, 2013!

The end of a really good book provokes nostalgia in many readers. As we turn the final page, we look back on the paper-and-ink road that led us there, remembering the adventures we have had. We wave goodbye to characters who have grown dear to us. The hypnotic cadence of the author's voice falls abruptly silent, and we return to ourselves with a jolt.

We heave a sigh of mingled contentment and regret. Then we pick up the next book.

You can see where I'm going with this, dear readers. (And a happy new year to you, too.)

To be entirely honest, The Year Of Our Lord 2013 had very little in common with a good book, insofar as I experienced it. It was not a good year for me. It was a really terrible year. If it were a book, I'd recommend it to no one. I'd give it one out of five stars, perhaps 1.5 for certain artistic ironies. Dorothy Parker would tell us not to set it aside lightly, but to throw it with great force.

And yet, at the close of the year, Book Grumps is approaching its three-month birthday. There are seventeen full book reviews posted here and more waiting in the wings. Blogger reports almost 1k pageviews--not counting my own. For a baby book blog, that's pretty good. I'm very proud of it.

And then there's you, dear readers. Without you I wouldn't be grumpy. Hold on, that's neither true nor complimentary...

Thank you all for reading my sourpuss book reviews. Those of you on Facebook, thank you for all the times you have reshared or commented on the link, and thank you for every single "like." Those of you who hang out with me in meatspace, thank you for arguing with me face to face about ratings. Thank you for listening to me yell about spoilers from books you haven't yet read.

Thank you for the books you have recommended or loaned to me. Thanks for being so forgiving when I turn around and trash your favorite tale. Thanks for laughing at my bad jokes.  Thank you for your brave attempts to save books from merciless dog-earing on my part. (Mouschka, whenever you see this, the bookmark was very well chosen.)

Turning my grumpiness about books into "Book Grumps, The Blog" was one of the best parts of 2013. I count it among the few qualities that made the "book" of this year not an utter waste of time. I could never regret the experience of sharing my thoughts, and my love of stories, with all of you.

Fortunately for all of us, a year is not a book.  The chiming of the clock isn't a closing cover, cutting us off from the story of what has already been done. When we crack open the brand-new spine of 2014, we find that we have not said goodbye after all. This is not an ending. This is only the beginning of the next chapter.

There we go--I've fulfilled my yearly hackneyed metaphor quota, right on schedule. Here's to 2014 and the books ahead!

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