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A short history of Jalyn Reads
I started this blog because (1) I read a lot of books, and (2) I had Thoughts about them. (And also because I had two other blogs that were not working very well. Both of which I’ve since deleted.) So in September of 2012, I started Jalyn Reads as a place to post my reviews of all the books I read.
Officially, my purpose was to help you find new great books (and confirm which “good books” are actually good), and let you know which books are overrated, not worth the read, or just plain boring. But really I just wanted somewhere to put my book thoughts.
2014 was an eventful year. I initiated the “Book Grading System,” which gave books an “appropriateness rating” based on swearing, character morality, violence, and other stuff. (Random fact: The report card design was based off one of my mother’s old elementary school report cards. I don’t even know why she still had that.)
I also went to college that fall and made some changes. Mainly beginning to review nonfiction (which I’d always read, just not reviewed) and focusing on quality over quantity.
Someone thought it would be a good idea to work 4 jobs and take 19 credit hours of classes. (Not my brightest moment.) Book reviewing – and book reading – got put on pause. And then on hold.
Two years later, I finally graduated college and discovered I actually had time to read again. So I decided it was a good time to revive Jalyn Reads. Of course, there were changes. I changed during my two-year unintentional hiatus, so naturally my reading tastes did, too. (You can read the entire changes post here.)
I got rid of the book grading system (it wasn’t anything I couldn’t put in the review anyway), got rid of any sort of posting schedule (too much pressure), and I updated the kind of books I’ll be reading. Namely, more nonfiction, more LGBT+ and feminist fiction, and being more picky about things like misogyny, sexism, sexual assault, racism, and ableism.
Now book reviewing is more of a hobby for me, and I’m treating it as such. There’s no strict schedule or anything like that. I’m just trying to rekindle interest in something I used to love. And reading good books while doing so.
By the time I was 16, I’d read my way through two libraries and was working on a third. Reading was a passion, and at my peak in 2012, I read almost 200 books.
Then college hit, severely limiting my time to read, and some mental health disasters caused me to lose interest in all of my old hobbies. In 2014 I read 89 books; by 2016, it was down to 9.
But I’m graduated now, and I’m trying to recover and rekindle some interest in old passions – like reading. One of the items on an old bucket list I found was “Review 1,000 books,” and that’s my new goal. I’m currently at 230, so I’ve got a ways to go. But I hope you’ll stick around for the journey!