Farm Lane Books is 1 today!

birthday-cupcake A year ago today I posted my first introductory post on this blog, quickly followed by several reviews I’d previously written for The Complete Booker Blog.

So much has happened in my first year of blogging. I never imagined the wonderful experiences that I’d find in this amazing community.

I have always loved reading, but 18 months ago I was completely unaware that the wonderful book blogging community existed. One day I decided to search for reviews of Booker Prize winners, as I’d decided that I wanted to try to read them all. I discovered The Complete Booker Blog and was really excited to discover a group of people who had already decided to take on this challenge. I started to add reviews to this site and then became aware of Musings, the blog belonging to Laura,  the founder of The Complete Booker. I became fascinated by her blog. I loved the idea of writing reviews for each book I read, and as I had similar taste to Laura I became a little bit obsessed with her. I used to log in every day and became really excited whenever she wrote a new post.

After a few weeks I decided to look in to starting my own blog. I became very excited about the idea and did a lot of research into the best platform and templates to use. Finally, with the techincal support of my husband, I launched Farm Lane Books Blog on 28th September 2008.

It wasn’t an easy start for me, although I wrote my first post in September, it wasn’t until November 8th that I received my first comment, from Rose City Reader. Michelle from 1MoreChapter and Teddy Rose from So Many Precious Books, So Little Time were next to find me on 9th and 16th November respectively. Thank you! I still follow all three blogs to this day and each will always hold a special place in my heart for being the ones to start it all off.

I then discovered Weekly Geeks, but for several weeks I was too scared to join in, as everyone seemed to know what they were doing and had such wonderful blogs. I felt so intimidated by them, but then on 24th November I finally plucked up the courage to write my first weekly geek post. I was so excited to have finally taken the plunge and was anxiously waiting for Dewey to welcome me into the blogging community, as I knew she was amazingly good at encouraging new bloggers. Tragically that never happened, as Dewey died on 25th November. I was devastated when I heard the news. She was one of the only bloggers I had discovered at that point. Weekly Geeks was the only community event I had heard of and the whole blogging community seemed to freeze with grief. I didn’t know what to do and my blog continued with me continuing to feel like an outsider in the community I so desperately wanted to join.

Slowly, I began to find my feet. I started to develop relationships with other bloggers.  The first person I connected with was Beth, and she then led me to Sandy. Since then my blog has grown exponentially. I have discovered an amazing range of blogs, found lots of people who understand my passion for books and increased my TBR pile by about 500 books!

Thank you so much for following my blog!

I couldn’t do it without you!

To celebrate I am going to write a series of posts about what I have learned during my first year of blogging. I am also going to reveal my favourite books of all time. I hope you’ll continue to follow my blog and share your passion for reading with me.

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  1. Sarah says:

    Congratulations! This must be an auspicious day to leave a first comment at Farm Lane Books. I was around here about a week ago, and assumed it was a blog of greater longevity. It’s so well established. Congratulations, again, on your achievement.

    Great post; I’m sure it will provide a lot of encouragement to many book bloggers. I’ve been blogging for nearly a year, but still find it reassuring to learn that others too have been hopeful but nervous of joining the book blogging community.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sarah, Welcome to my blog! Thank you for leaving your first comment! Starting a blog is a very easy thing to do, but finding your place in the community is much harder. I just wanted people to know that it doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of hard work and time for these things to happen.

      Hopefully my posts later in the week will help others to find their feet more quickly.

  2. Rob says:

    Congratulations Jackie. You achieved a lot in your first year. I hit my first back in July, so I’m well in Year No. 2.

    Congratulations again and may your 2nd year be as successful as the first (although I’m thinking it will be even more so)

    1. Jackie says:

      Rob, Thank you! I struggle to imagine how year two could be better, but I look forward to finding out!

  3. booklogged says:

    Happy birthday, Jackie! Those first comments mean so much don’t they. When I started blogging, I thought I was just recording my books onto an internet server instead of by longhand in a notebook. Who knew that somebody might comment? It was thrilling to get comments and then start building those friendships. The blogosphere has grown by leaps and bounds and now there are so many bloggers I can’t keep up with, but it’s still fun to run across new one. Hope you have many happy years of blogging ahead of you.

    1. Jackie says:

      booklogged, I am amazed at the number of book bloggers there are. I can’t believe it took me so long to find them!

  4. Verity says:

    Congratulations! I love reading your blog and look forward to another year of blogging. You have built up such a great following in the last year.

    1. Jackie says:

      Verity, Thank you! I hope that I can keep it all going for the next year. I hate to think what my TBR pile will look like in 12 months time!

  5. JoAnn says:

    Happy Blog-birthday, Jackie! I thought you were much older than 1 – you’ve accomplished so much in one short year. Congratulations!

    1. Jackie says:

      JoAnn, Thank you!

  6. Meghan says:

    Yay, happy blog anniversary! I didn’t find my feet in the blogging community for a year, not having even realizing that there was one. I’d been using my blog to store LibraryThing reviews instead; once I linked up with a few other bloggers it made all the difference. I’m looking forward to learning your favorite books!

    1. Jackie says:

      Meghan, It is amazing how little the outside world knows about the blogging community. Hopefully more people will learn about us soon – it would be great if everyone had TBR piles as big as mine (well maybe not quite that big!)

  7. ms ulat buku says:

    Happy Blog Anniversary. We’re almost the same age… LOL. I started my blog in early September last year. How time flies… :)

    1. Jackie says:

      ms ulat buku, I agree – time flies when you’re having fun!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Simon!

  8. Rebecca Reid says:

    Congrats on your blog birthday! I’m sorry I hadn’t found your blog sooner, if you were writing for a month with out any comments! All those great posts I was missing!

    I found you through the Weekly Geeks mini-challenge, and I’m so glad I joined in on that!

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, I’m not sure they were that great anyway! I’m so pleased that you found me. Weekly geeks is a great connector.

  9. Lezlie says:

    Happy Birthday!!


    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Lezlie!

  10. Beth F says:

    Ooooh. I can’t wait to see this week’s posts! I was so surprised to learn that Farm Lane Books is only a year old, I figured you had been around longer than I had. And without getting mushy, I’m so happy we hooked up — you’ve really expanded my reading horizons.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, Thank you! We started at similar times – it has been great to share my blogging experiences with you. Hopefully we can share the ups and downs of our second year together too!

  11. Claire says:

    Happy blog birthday, Jackie! I am amazed that you have only been posting for a year as your blog seems so well established.

    I love the personal nostalgic moments and look forward to a week of the same. I didn’t realise that Laura of Musings was the one who inspired you in a way to start your blog; I’ve known Laura for a while through the Virago group on LibraryThing and follow her blog.

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, I’m pleased to hear that you’ve discovered Laura too. I’m afraid I haven’t discovered a passion for those green viragos yet – perhaps that will be a development for year two!

  12. Amanda says:

    I have just discovered your blog during BBAW this week, but I really enjoy coming here. Happy anniversary, Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      Amanda, BBAW week was great! I hope we can get to know each other a little better in the coming year.

  13. Violet says:

    Congratulations Jackie!!!

    I remember my first comments too :)

    I like your idea of celebrating the anniversary, I will look forward to your posts. I’m so glad I found you :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Violet, I’m pleased I found you too! I discovered your blog very early on too. I was just blog hopping and saw that you wanted a copy of Middlesex – you became the first person I sent a book to!

  14. Laza says:

    Yay! Happy blogday! Looking forward to your posts.

    1. Jackie says:

      Laza, Thank you!

  15. Happy Blogiversary! I always enjoy reading the Weekly Geeks posts; I’ll look for your first year re-cap posts.

    1. Jackie says:

      Dawn, Weekly Geeks is a wonderful thing. I love it!

  16. Aimee says:


    1. Jackie says:

      Aimee, Thank you!

  17. Steph says:

    Happy blog birthday, Jackie! I do so enjoy your site and am always excited to hear your thoughts on whatever you’ve been reading! Our blog birthday is coming up in just over a month, so I’ll have to start thinking of ways to celebrate.

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, Thanks! I look forward to your blogging celebrations too!

  18. Congrats Jackie, it’s huge to make it to a full year of blogging! My first comment was from one of my professors — I can’t remember how long it took for my first real comment :) I’m looking forward to your year of blogging posts this week.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, It took me about 6 months before I got a comment from someone I actually know! Those are still the hardest comments for me to get!

  19. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations on turning 1!

    1. Jackie says:

      Stephanie, Thank you!

  20. Heidi says:

    Happy blog birthday. I am very glad to have found your blog and enjoy reading it as a treat during my workday. I am sure your second year will be even better– you are so dedicated to making your blog better. It is very impressive. Are you doing something to celebrate a year of wonderful blogging?

    1. Jackie says:

      Heidi, It is good to know that you can sneak me in to your work day! I’m not doing anything special to celebrate one year – just writing a few summary posts I’m afraid. I hope you enjoy my second year!

  21. Happy birthday! I’m looking forward to your posts. Enjoy this week! My blog will be three in January, but I’ve never once celebrated it’s birthday. You’re figuring that out way earlier than I did. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Literate Housewife, I hope you decide to celebrate in January! Three years is a massive acheivement – I hope I’m still around in two years time.

  22. Happy blog birthday, Jackie! I have vivid memories of my first comments and first community events too. I’m glad that you are part of this wonderful little book blogging community we have here. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Heather – I’m sure that I’ll remember those first blogging experiences for a very long time!

  23. lilly says:

    Congratulations on the anniversary! I think it has to give you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I am still a couple of months away from mine but that first one is always very special. I have discovered your blog only a month or so ago and I am glad I did and I only hope it will be here for many more years to come. Cheers!!!

    1. Jackie says:

      Lilly, I hope you have a great anniversary and thank you for the kind words!

    1. Jackie says:

      WordLily, Thank you!

  24. Trevor says:

    Congratulations! Your beginnings sound much like mine. I also started on The Complete Booker and branched off from there.

    1. Jackie says:

      Trevor, The complete Booker is a wonderful project – I really should add a few more posts to it – I keep forgetting!

  25. Happy Blogiversary! I’m so happy to have you in this community and look forward to reading your “what I’ve learned” posts.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, I hope you enjoy my summary posts!

  26. kimbofo says:

    Congrats, Jackie.

    You only had to wait a very short time for your first comment. I wrote a blog for about four years before anyone left me a comment!!

    1. Jackie says:

      kimbofo, 4 years? Wow! I don’t think I’d have managed to keep going for 4 years without any comments.

  27. claire says:

    Happy blog birthday Jackie!! I didn’t know you were only blogging for a year. Wow!

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, Thanks!

  28. Litlove says:

    Happy birthday and congratulations! Dewey was a good blogging friend of mine and I miss her still. That’s the thing about blogging – I never expected to gain so many ‘virtual’ friends, and to feel as close to them as real life ones.

    1. Jackie says:

      Litlove, I never thought I’d develop such a strong relationship with people I’d never met, but sometimes I even get upset when they go on holiday for a few weeks. I’m sad that I didn’t get to know Dewey better.

  29. Lu says:

    Happy blogiversary! I can’t believe Farm Lane Books is only a year old. I totally thought you were a long-time veteran!

    1. Jackie says:

      Lu, Thank you for the compliment!

  30. Diane says:

    Gezz Jackie , what a great blog you’ve put together in just a year. I thought you were an old timer…LOL Congrats!

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, Hopefully I’ll be an old timer one day! How old do you have to be to be a blogging old timer?

  31. Laura says:

    My goodness, I had no idea about your obsession! That paragraph almost made me laugh out loud (not a good thing given where I’m sitting right now)!

    Your blog has really grown and I just love what you’re doing with it. You’re in my Google Reader and I make a point of reading what you have to say. We don’t always agree, but I learn something every time!

    1. Jackie says:

      Laura, I’m so pleased that I didn’t embarrass myself with my little obsession. It is nice to be able to have the anonymity of the Internet and I’m pleased you didn’t notice I was stalking you! You’ll be pleased to know that I don’t have time to obsess over you now, but I still enjoy reading your blog!

  32. Happy Blogiversary! I’m so very glad you joined the book blogosphere! :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Amy!

  33. Jenny says:

    Happy blogiversary! I so enjoy reading your blog posts – particularly on book award nominees, as many of those are books I wouldn’t normally decide to read. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I’m pleased that you enjoy them – I’ll try to keep up with more book awards in the next year.

  34. She says:

    Happy Bloggy-Birthday!!!

    1. Jackie says:

      She, Thank you!

  35. Dorte H says:

    Congratulations! I would never have guessed your blog was only four months older than mine. I think my start was easier as another Danish blogger helped me a lot the first weeks, but you have certainly learnt the ropes since then :D

    I wish you many happy blog years!

    1. Jackie says:

      Dorte, The help of another blogger would have been an enormous advantage. I’ll do my best to help new bloggers in the future.

  36. Happy birthday :)

    Hope there are loads more years to come. Love your blog, and intend to keep coming back day after day!!

    Hope you’ve had as much fun blogging, as we (or, at least I) have had reading and commenting.

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, It is great to hear that you enjoy commenting on my blog. I love blogging – I am addicted to it! I look forward to sharing book thoughts with you over the coming years!

  37. Annabel says:

    Happy Blog Birthday! This blogging business sure is fun. Your blog has been a great find for me and long may it continue.
    I raise my virtual glass of vino to you.

    1. Jackie says:

      Cheers Annabel!

  38. FleurFisher says:

    Congratulations! you were one of my first commentors last December and even back then I thought you were an old hand. Good liuck for year 2!

    1. Jackie says:

      FleurFisher, I didn’t realise I was one of your first commenters – I thought you’d been around for ages too!

  39. EL Fay says:

    We’re the same age! My first post was on 9/19/08. My story is similar to yours: I didn’t know what book blogging was when I first started out either. My blog was more generalized.

    1. Jackie says:

      El Fay, Congratulations on your first year! I hope you enjoy your second!

  40. Congrats on your first year!! Isn’t is amazing how blogging time flies by…Can’t wait to join you on your next year.

    1. Jackie says:

      Melissa, Thank you!

  41. mee says:

    Hip hip horray! Can’t wait for your celebratory posts and more!

    1. Jackie says:

      mee, I hope you’re enjoying them!

  42. Eva says:

    Happy 1st!!!! With many more to come!!!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you Eva!

  43. Wendy says:

    Well I for one am VERY glad you discovered this community, Jackie! I love your blog and your reviews…and I guess I hadn’t realized you were just a year old blogger…for some reason (maybe your professionalism???) it feels like you have been around for ages :) Congratulations on a great year of blogging…looking forward to your next one!

    1. Jackie says:

      Wendy, Thank you for your kind words – I love your blog too and hope that we share many blogging years together.

  44. raidergirl3 says:

    Happy blogiversary! Really? Only one year? You have done very well. I enjoyed hearing your beginnings, and people like Michelle and Laura are so welcoming. They were some of the first people I ‘met’ as well.

    Her’s to many more.

    1. Jackie says:

      raidergirl3, It is interesting how many people start blogging in a similar way. I hope we have many more blogging years together.

  45. Sandy says:

    Good Lord woman! 56 comments? I am glad to announce that the infernal Book Fair was over today! So hopefully, I will be on the front end of the comments from here out. Happy happy anniversary to you! I’m about a month behind you, so I guess I’d better start thinking about mine. So we were just a couple of little newbies when we discovered each other! It has been an amazing year, hasn’t it? You really would never know you are one year old. You have such a professional, well-written blog, plus you have an enviable amount of technical expertise that I wish would rub off on me. Way to go Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I blame my husband for the technical expertise – he teaches me all sorts of things I didn’t even know were possible. If you ever need to know anything – just ask!

      I look forward to your 1st birthday celebrations and hope we are able to share many more happy blogging years together.

  46. softdrink says:

    Happy blogiversary! You’re very mature for your age. :-D

    1. Jackie says:

      softdrink, Thank you!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thanks Alice!

  47. Kathleen says:

    Congratulations on your one year blogiversary! I have enjoyed reading your blog for several months now…wish I could remember which blogger turned me on to it, but I’m glad they did!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, I’m really bad a remembering where I discovered most blogs. I’m just pleased you’re here now!

  48. Sylwia says:

    Congratulations! Happy First Anniversary :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Slywia, Thank you!

    1. Jackie says:

      Novel Insights, Thank you!

  49. Mel U says:

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary. I just became a book blogger 3 months ago-a year ago I did not know there was such a thing. I am in awe of the awesome community of bloggers. I subscribe to your blog on bloglines and am always happy to see you have a new post.

    1. Jackie says:

      Mel U, Thank you for your kind words.

  50. Karoline says:

    Congratulations on your first year of blogging

    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you Karoline!

  51. Sherry says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for including the Saturday Review in your tips for book blogging post. You’ve made a valuable contribution to book bloggers just with that post, and your blog itself is another gift.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sherry, I hope that more people use the Saturday review of books now – it is a great way to connect with new people.

  52. Happy bloggiversary!!!!!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you JT!

  53. iliana says:

    Happy Bloggiversary! Wishing you many more years of book talk :)

    1. Jackie says:

      iliana, I hope there will be many more years too!

  54. Elizabeth says:

    Happy first anniversary! I just read your post full of advice on how to become more involved in the book blogging community, and I have to say Amen! I wish I had known all those things when I first started. What a great resource for new bloggers. Also, I’m so glad I found you! =)

    1. Jackie says:

      Elizabeth, I’m pleased that you found that post useful! Thank you!

  55. Kim says:

    Happy Birthday! Has it really been only a year, you blog is great and you have written so much. Thank you!

    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you Kim!

  56. Carrie K. says:

    You are so good at this – it’s hard to believe you’ve only been doing it a year! Congratulations. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, Thank you for your kind words!

  57. Jenners says:

    Happy Blogiversary! And I love that you are writing about your blogging experiences! I find it so fascinating. And I’m not surprised you ended up with WordPress…I made the mistake of choosing in the beginning and I wish I hadn’t!

  58. Melody says:

    Congrats and Happy Blogiversary, Jackie!! :)

  59. Happy Belated Blogiversary! :)

  60. Michelle says:

    Well done and happy blogiversary! First of many, I hope :)

  61. Megan says:

    This is super belated, but I’m catching up with my feed reader (really! at last!), and I wanted to wish you a Happy Blogiversary! Congratulations on one great year, and here’s to another (and many more after that)! :)

  62. Teddy says:

    Congratulations! Happy First Anniversary! You rock, Jackie!

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