Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Question of the Day.....

After days of controversy in the blog world, I'm posting a question to all of you out there: Why do you blog? Should be a simple question, right? Are you in for the glory?? For seeing your thoughts out in the world? Are you in it for the freebies?? Are you in it for the community??

The discussion that started over at My Friend Amy's a couple of days ago got me thinking. But I don't really want to dredge up the controversy again. I think it's time to put that one to bed. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions (they are only right if they agree with me, though!) Just a little recap for the uninitiated: Amy started a conversation about community vs. connection. Do we, as book bloggers really share a community, or are we just connected to one another because of a common interest? Personally, I don't see a lot of distinction between the two...but we'll let that slide. A commenter made a point of saying that a lot of small "wannabe" book blogs were dirtying the waters for other "top-tier" REAL bloggers.

OK. We are done with that. I know in my heart that I'll never be a "top-tier" blogger. Sheesh. At the moment, I'm struggling to maintain my little blog as it is. But keep it up, I will. Why, you ask?? Why do I blog? I think the reasons have changed over the past 2 and a half years that I have been doing this.

When I made my first post, I did it with a little arm twisting. My wonderful friends, Kailana and Marg, both of whom I knew from some book related message boards were bloggers. Many times they told me how much fun blogging was, and I thought to myself....."Self, you like fun. Give it a try". So I took the initiative and made the plunge. Ultimately, I figured it would be a place where I could actually keep track of the books I read (instead of my little hand-written journal) and where I could post some reviews. It gave me an outlet to see if I could actually write anything coherent (and I guess that still remains to be seen!) But it also gave me a place where I could vent my frustrations and NOT take them out on my family. I didn't even know that I would be barraged with requests from real-life authors and publishers....people wanting ME to review books for them.

What did that fateful day of December 22, 2006, do for me?? It got me CONNECTED to people I would never ever meet, but who would become my friends. I met others that were like ME. Growing up in a family of non-readers, married to a non-reader, I thought I was strange. The euphoria I felt when I walked into a book store was surely some kind of mental defect. My biggest thrill when I moved out on my own?? Getting a library card!! God, I KNOW I'm a geek. While all the librarians loved me, no one else "got" me. And then I started blogging. And guess what?? I may be a geek, but now I am not a lonely geek!! There are other people out there that share the same feelings I do! I take great comfort in that.

When people actually started reading my blog, I admit it: I got excited. I take great satisfaction in the fact that there are a few people out there that actually listen to my opinions, agree or disagree. And to know that I might have just influenced one person to try a book that I loved....well that's just an awesome feeling. I'm all about sharing the love.

The "community" concept came up later. Do I think we, as a book blogging group of people, form a "community"? You bet I do. I think there is a lot more than connection now. When our beloved dog, Ninja died last summer after 13 wonderful years, I was heartbroken. When I vented my pain, all of you answered with words of sympathy and prayers. Now, losing a pet isn't the worst thing that has ever happened, but it was painful TO ME. And I received much comfort from all of YOU. That is community. When I struggle with my day-to-day life of endless bills and even more endless work shifts, all of you are there to boost my spirits and keep me going, even when I feel I can't possibly go on. That is community. And when a member of this beloved community passed away, the outpouring of love, sadness, and grief was felt across the entire world. If that isn't "community", then I need someone to give me a definition.

What started out as a little fun, has turned into something completely different for me. This....my blog...has turned into a little island of sanity in my very insane life. And I cherish it. If someone out there thinks that my little corner of the world is sullying theirs, so be it. Quit reading. I REALLY DON'T CARE! Do you know why? Because I have friends here that don't agree with you. (I hope I'm not making too many assumptions with that statement!)

So....to Kailana and Marg, THANK YOU for twisting my arm and getting me started. Nymeth, you have created endless piles of books for me to read, and I thank you for all your wonderful reviews. Without you, there are so many wonderful books I never would have known about. Debi, in you I have found a person that is like a mirror image of me!! With similar likes and dislikes, I take comfort in reading your posts about family, books, and yes...all those damned challenges!! When you read my Christmas post about not receiving one book, you sent me one yourself, and that moment will be treasured always. Chris, you are like a little brother that shares such similar tastes, I really think we might be related. Thank you for being one of the first people in the blogosphere to read my blog and become my friend. Christina, Michelle, Tammy, Kristi, Teddy.....you are my friends from The Classics Club, and I treasure that friendship. Because of my schedule, I haven't been able to participate in the discussions for quite a while now, but through blogging, I am still able to keep up with all of you. I know there will always be a place for me in 'the club', when the time is right for me to participate again. Carl...your love of the arts and literature INSPIRE me. A community-builder at it's finest, your challenges are something, I look forward to and enjoy so much. So thank you. Michelle, Wendy, Nicola, Wendy, Amy, Teddy, Raidergirl and all the other ladies at Novels Now, thank you for giving me a chance and one more creative outlet to for my opinions.

Damn. This post just morphed into something I wasn't expecting when I started it. But I just felt that the Cum-bya moment couldn't pass without a few thanks! (and Wendy, a special thanks to you for the pep-talk on Monday, when I was smarting from hurt feelings. Talk about putting things in perspective. You, my dear, did that for me!) I wish I could list a thanks to everyone who has touched my life through blogging, but frankly there isn't time or space for all of that. If you are reading this right now, THANK YOU!

Back to the original question though, I really want to know, WHY DO YOU BLOG?? Please feel free to comment, if you are so inclined!!

42 comments:

Debi said...

Oh my, Stephanie, what an emotion-packed post! I went from wanting to yell, "Amen, Sister!" (because no, you definitely were NOT being presumptuous) to near tears at all your kind words (not only for me but for all those wonderful people) to literally laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants (I've no idea why your "Cum-bya moment" line struck me as so funny, but I swear I still can't quit giggling). Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that this is a wonderful post. And I am ever so grateful that Kailana and Marg got you blogging, because I can't imagine being here without you!

Stephanie said...

Debi - Thank you! I honestly didn't start this post to try to validate my little blog's existence. But thank you for doing just that. I really am curious, with all the talk out there right now, why people are blogging. I starting typing why I was blogging....and it morphed into this.

Nymeth said...

Stephanie, you made me teary-eyed. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for being my friend. And thank you for simply rocking as much as you do.

My reasons for blogging are very similar to yours. In my daily life, I am mostly surrounded by non-readers. Before I discovered this community, I didn't know anyone whose obsession with reading matched the level of my own. I too was a lonely geek. Proud to be one, sure, but lonely. But not anymore.

So yeah..it's about belonging, about sharing the love, about being giddy about a new book in the mail/new release by a favourite author/new bargain find along with all of you. It's about expanding my horizons in all sorts of ways. It's about celebrating our love of books.

And it's also about friendship. I've been sharing bits and pieces of my life with some of you for two years now. We've been through a lot together. We share joys and sadnesses. I too was immensely grateful and moved by all the love and support when I lost my dog last year. And we were here for one another when we lost our beloved Dewey. There's always someone to listen if we need to vent. If that's not real friendship, then I need a new definition too.

Thank you for this, Stephanie. You're the best.

Stephanie said...

Nymeth - A sense of belonging. That's what I was trying to allude to, but you put it better than I did. That's really what it's all about, isn't it?? Being a part of something and fitting in. And yes, I am a proud geek!! You have added more than I can tell you to my little corner of the world. A simple thanks is all I can give you back.

Amy@The Sleepy Reader said...

Stephanie- What a wonderful post!

I haven't been involved in the blog controversy because, like you, my life offline has been really busy. However, I started blogging to keep track of my own reading. Then, miraculously, I found that people were actually reading and responding.

I continue to participate because I love discussing my love of books with people who are like me. No one close to me is as nuts about books as I am. Plus, my blogging friends have turned me on to books I may never have given a second glance and I am grateful for that.

I'm not out for notoriety, or freebies and I may dirty the waters for big-time bloggers. That's not my intention but I will continue to blog until I don't enjoy it any more. Then I will quit. For now, I still love it so I'm not going anywhere.

Keep reading and sharing because I LOVE your book recommendations.

wordlily said...

I've just discovered your blog this week. I think I must be an odd duck for sure, though — I still, in two years of blogging, haven't found anyone who reads/enjoys the same books I do. I envy you in that you have that.

Chris said...

Awwww, you're awesome! The reason I started blogging is all your fault, btw. You were the one who said, "I started a blog." Then I said, "What's a blog?" and the rest is history.

I had no idea I could post my thoughts on the books I read until you got your blog. I've enjoyed it from the beginning. Of course there are days it seems like a lot of effort but then the community (hem-hem) and comments give me a boost. Someone is reading and joining in the discussion. That's what I wanted.

The books have been a bonus but even without the freebies I'd be reviewing and blogging. It satisfies my inner writer.

Thanks for the positive post! Keep on blogging! I think you're 'top tier'.

Kylee's 2009 said...

My short answer is this: I started blogging just as a way to keep track of the books that I was reading. It evolved into recording my thoughts, which in turn lead to reviewing when I was offered a reviewer position on another blog.

In the beginning I didn't realize that so many others were blogging about books.

Stephanie said...

Amy - I'm glad I'm not the only one that is busy! Not that I would wish pressure on anyone, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels it. And you are right, when blogging is no longer fun, it will be time to move on!

Wordlily - Thank you for stopping by!! I'm sorry that you haven't found anyone that shares the same unique books you do, but it will come!!

Chris - Hee Hee. Glad to know I helped start you off. As far as I'm concerned, you have created a "top-tier" blog, and even if I don't comment daily, I still read it every chance I get. And I WILL be back to the Classics as soon as I have a spare minute or two!

Kylee - It's amazing what a little page out in the world wide web can accomplish, isn't it?

Suey said...

I don't think you should think for an instant that you are one of the "smaller" blogs. You ARE a top tier blog! Just so you know. :)

I started blogging to have an outlet for my book enthusiasm. A place where I didn't need to hold back, because IRL, I held back. Like you, I thought that people around me would think I was crazy.

Now, after making the connections and being part of the community, in the very small way that I am, I yearn to keep those connections alive. So, now, it's not only about the outlet, but about the friends.

Getting free books? For sure, cool, but not something I go after because I have too many "other" books I "want" to read, and I don't want to make my reading life be about "have" to read. So I actually try to stay away from that end of the experience.

Sometimes I get frustrated because I do feel like such a small fish in a huge pond, but I know if I quit, I would be miserable. So, blog on, I will!

Chris said...

Hey Steph...you got me near tears with this post! And I'm so glad you posted this. I almost want to copy this post and put a thumbnail with it in my sidebar saying "why I blog". Seriously, I couldn't say it any better! You've summed up all the reasons that I blog too...the community, the support, the love of books, the friendships. Thank you my book blogging sister!

Kristy said...

Steph, Thanks for the shout out. Of course, you know it's all your and Christina's fault I blog at all. I do it for fun when I have time. What's wrong with that? As far as the "amateur" blogs, do the professionals have any idea how many books I've bought because of those amateur blogs? They don't mind cashing my checks, so they?

Kristy said...

Thats - do they? ;-)

Kailana said...

Yay! I'm a arm-twister. lol Really, I think I could be worse things, so I am going to enjoy my little moment in the sun. :) I am very glad that you started blogging! Marg was who got me blogging, so it is a little circle. I really enjoy your blog, and yes, whenever I see how many people read and comment on your blog I have to smile thinking that I 'twisted' your arm into blogging and now you love it so much!

As to why I blog. In the beginning it was just a place to record what I read. Then, it because a place to talk about books. I have yet to date a reader and hardly anyone in my family reads, so I need a place to talk about my obsession. A few of my friends read, but it isn't anything like I do! Especially fantasy. I don't know a single person 'in real life' that reads fantasy novels. I always felt alone! Now, I know, lots of people read fantasy novels... :)

Anyway, I am glad you are a blogger. Keep it up!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Stephanie, What a wonderful post and very heartfelt. I love your blog and I lurk mostly, but appreciate everything you said. The reason I blog has changed over the past two years. Just celebrated my 2nd blogoversary and said it all

http://www.mytwoblessings.com/2009/03/blogoversary.html

In a nutshell though, I started blogging to keep family up to date on doings, and it morphed into so much more than that. I discovered a wonderful group of people who are like me. Love books and talking about them.

I have an award for you on my blog. It can be found at the link above. Thank you.

J.C. Montgomery said...

I have to admit, I initially began as I wanted to keep a journal of sorts. Not until after joining did I discovery the community aspect of it - and am so happy that I have.

I have only been doing it since Nov 2007, and my two blogs have gone through a couple of transformations formatting wise.

However my intent has bascially remained the same and will most likely never change.

On my book blog, I simply wish to read and share about that experience. I used to do memes, but it started to take too much time away from what I really wanted to do.

With my writing, again, I just want a place to put down my thoughts and get some feedback as I have begun to take it a bit more seriously. That is why I called it Loose Leafs From a Commonplace, as it is my online commonplace book.

I have learned over this last year and half (about, that the KISS principle works best for me: simple blogs, easy to read, not much clutter on the side bar, and at least 90% of the content is directly related to what the blog is about: reading and books on one, the process of writing and expression on the other.

I have to admit, I do get ARC's - but I am fairly selective about what I ask for. I am not one to simply read a book because its free or because everyone is raving over it. My TBR is overwhelming enough! LOL

This is a great question. It has made me look closely at what I do and my motives for doing them. I truly believe we should stop every once and a while and do a re-evaluation. This has been a positive one. Thanks!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

We all have very different reasons for blogging. When I started my blog I had never even read a blog, seen a blog, knew what a blog was. My sister got me started to help me promote a at home based business. Well, the business went bye-bye but the blog stayed because I was having a blast. I got to talk about books and people responded! It was like having my own book club but I got to stay home in my pajamas. I would really, really miss it if I stopped.

raidergirl3 said...

I started blogging when I joined the Classics challenge hosted by booklogged. I was bouncing around to see other people's reading choices and I needed a way to comment through blogspot, where most of the blogs were. I already had a livejournal account, like my sister. She had meet a community on lj through their shared love of The OC, creating challenges and sharing their interest the show, so I knew a bit of how a community forms around a shared interest.
I started writing a few book reviews and lo, people commented and I was amazed. And got to meet other people that I liked how they thought and the books they read. And I met people who read books I didn't, which made me want to try them. (Who's Neil Gaiman? Never heard of him before blogging)

Great post today, sweetie. Mwah!

S. Krishna said...

First of all, I think you're a wonderful blogger and as you know, your blog is on my regular list of ones to visit!

I blog because I want to talk about books I like - that's pretty much it! I started because I didn't really know anyone else who read and I wanted to discuss books.

Melody said...

Stephanie, you're one amazing blogger! I like who you are. Period.

Like you, I started blogging because I want to jot down my feelings after reading a book. I don't write on journals so blogging seems to be the other option for me. And my family and friends are non-readers so I feel pretty lonely but that has changed after knowing you all wonderful bloggers, who share the same passion as I! After a few exchanging of comments here and there, I became friends with you ladies even though we live so far apart from one another! And to me, that's an amazing thing! To me, it's definitely a community because I wouldn't know what else to describe it!

Thanks for being you, Stephanie! And thanks for being my friend! :)

Michelle said...

Mwah!! I happened to read your post today at work, and it made my day. I'll admit that being relatively new to the whole blogging experience, I'm not certain people read what I have to say. Because of that, I don't do it for others, but I blog purely for myself. It's given me an outlet to put down my thoughts before I explode. If I amuse or entertain others, then that's an added bonus. I'm hoping that I can experience that sense of community as I get more into it.

Carl V. said...

Great post Stephanie. I started a blog in the first place just to comment on another person's blog, mistakingly thinking I had to have a blogspot blog to do so. Once I got started I stumbled around for a year trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it before I stumbled my way into the book blogging world and things became much more focused. What keeps me blogging is the community. Those who think or claim that it is somehow a false or, at best, tenous connection simply haven't had the good fortune to form great relationships through this medium. I recently received a ton of support from this community and I don't know what I would have done without that support. It is ridiculous to think that we don't form a tight-knit strong community. Sure, it is often over shared interests, but it becomes much more than that over time. Relationships develop and that is a really good and cool thing. I'm thrilled to be a part of this community and feel honored to be able to give something back to it with challenges and exposure to artists, etc. Plus I am forever inspired by the people I "meet" in the blogging community.

Thanks for your kinds words and thanks for a wonderful blog post.

Amy said...

This post and the resulting comments are just fantastic! I have to admit to being a bit bummed that the people that took anon's comments to heart were some of the most fantastic bloggers I know.

I blog for a lot of reasons...I blogged for two and a half years in the Christian faith blog community (and while I made friends, I never found a place to belong there) before I discovered book blogging. I just absolutely fell in love with the warmth of the book blogging community which was why I organized BBAW last year...I was so delighted by it all.

So I blog to share my thoughts on books, but also because now I am keeping in touch with friends.

Marg said...

I am so far behind on my blog reading (yep...busy at work!) that I am only just reading about all this now!

Firstly, I want to say thanks for the lovely sentiments expressed in your post! I was so glad that I was able to inspire a couple of people to start doing something I enjoy so much myself.

I do believe that there is a definite sense of community, and I think nothing demonstrated that more ably than the shock that went through the book blogging world when we found at that Dewey had died.

When people haven't posted for a while, I find myself wondering if everything is okay or not, and I hate it when people just disappear.

Having said that, sometimes it seems that there are so many places that we need to hang out in order to be fully part of the community - Twitter being the latest, and then various different groups etc. It can take up a lot of time, and there are days when I need to take a step back and spend some time away from the computer!

Nicola said...

Wow, Stephanie! I got up very early this morning 4:45 am and am popping out from my self induced "no commenting/blog reading" for Lent to catch up on some blogs. I didn't even know this controversy was going on!

I read the original thread you linked to and have to admit I felt a bit stunned by anonymous' comment. I wondered whether I was a "parasite". I'm certainly not a top-tier blog. I recieve (what I think) is decent amount of traffic but of course realize that it's no where near what the "famous" blogs get.

I get free books and review a lot of arcs and at the moment almost exclusively (big pile) but I didn't even know that world existed when I started and I hardly thought I'd be sent books. I joined LT's Early Reviewer program and HarperCollins First Look program and ended up winning a few books here and there to review. It wasn't until I contacted by a major Canadian Publishing House to review there books that arcs became a focus for me. I've lived pretty much my whole life (40yrs) only reading books from thrift shops and libraries (mostly older books at tht) and arcs have opened up a whole new world of current fiction for me that I would otherwise never have read.

But to answer your question, I started blogging for myself. I've kept a list of books that I've read since 2000, but as I get older I can't remember what books I've read are about and I though blogging was a fabulous way to have a place I could go to remind myself what a book was about and how much I liked it (or didn't).

As I began to have commenters I realized the community out there and loved reading and commenting on their blogs. I try to keep posts coming as near daily as I can but bottom line is I do it for fun. If it starts *not* being fun anymore I would not continue to blog.

And really I don't care what people think of my blog. It's there for me and I now also write for the readers I know I have because they're friends. That's all there is to it.

Blog for fun and don't worry about being in the "pick of the cream" club. I wasn't "in" with the cool kids at school and I don't presume to be now.

Thanks for including my name in with all those others, whom I highly respect. We're an interesting crowd of people and I'm happy to have my small part in the community.

PS - It's still early and I've only had one cup of coffee so please excuse any typos in this as I can't be bothered to proof it :-)

Serena said...

I have been so far behind in goggle reader that I had no idea that there was a controversy. LOL Ah well. I'm not worried.

I think this was a great post and shed light on why you blog. Thanks for sharing this.

Grad said...

I just learned of the big controversy over the Anonymous post at My Friend Amy's (in a very round about way, since I had not seen that particular blog before). Actually, Stefanie, I signed into to your blog to say I loved your response on that site. I certainly do not blog for "Freebies" since this is the first I learned there were such things (by the way, how DOES one get Freebies???? - just kidding). I'm sure Anonymous would think my blog is very "lower tier," Happily, I'm too old to care. I blog for many reasons: I love to read, I love to listen to what people have to say, I love to communicate, and I want to stay connected with other readers. However, my primary reason for starting my blog a few months ago was enjoyment. I am not a literature scholar - never pretended to be one. I am a small part of a very large community who keep writers and booksellers in business by buying books. Some blogs I read are written by professional writers and literature professors. I enjoy them. Others are written by teachers, students, firefighters, nurses, moms, dads...even a few kids, etc. I enjoy them, as well. The Internet is a pretty big place. Can only those with Phd's in literature, or who are editors or writers have a worthwhile opinion about a particular book, or reading in general? Should I discount a friend's book recommendation because he or she works as...say...an insurance agent rather than a college professor or book editor? Or because he or she has less eloquence than a "top tier" blogger. (By the way, who determines what is top tier? Is there a magic punch list somewhere?) Of course not. That would be preposterous. Finally, although I do read some blogs that tend to be very analytical and socratic, I usually get more useful information from everyday readers' blogs. Finally, if one has the courage of one's convictions, one should not have to hide behind an Anonymous moniker. One should be prepared to argue one's logic. Okay, I'll shut up now.

Grad said...

Oh, I know I said I'd shut up, but one more thing: one of my fave bloggers is an ex-systems analyst turned Red Cross tech. She shall remain un-named - but you know who you are!

Trish said...

I've had this on my mind a lot this week as well and plan on joining my first Sunday Salon this weekend to voice some things I've been thinking about. You are not alone in your thoughts, and I am so glad that through all the life stresses and the kids and the two jobs, etc etc that you've stuck with us. I know you're not giving up blogging--like you blogging is a piece of sanity for me--but I do want you to know how loved you are here (LOL--you know that already--just look at all these comments!).

What I think is that these types of things get us all riled up and we unite and get stronger. To hell with those snobs--whoever they are. Ok--need to stop thinking about it before I get all angry and pissy again. :P

Bookfool said...

Well stated, Steph. And, I don't consider you a substandard blogger. I think you write intelligently, coherently, but also from the heart. That's what I love most in a blogger.

samantha.1020 said...

This turned out to be such a nice post Stephanie! I couldn't agree more and really love your blog and your reviews so keep them coming :P

Ladytink_534 said...

I blog for one very simple reason: it helps me remember what I think of the book months or years later. I originally did it in notebooks but I wanted to post pictures to help jog my memory and videos (book trailers, interviews, etc.). I've certainly enjoyed meeting all of these bloggers once I got addicted to comments and commenting though!

It is comforting and fun too. I grew up in a family of mostly non-readers (my grandma read and for the past five years, my mom does) and I'm married to a mostly non-reader (he's read King's Darktower series) as well so I know what you're talking about.

I'll repeat what I told Sam (Sam's Book Blog), the anonymous comment is probably some lonely person who isn't a part of our community. They don't know what they're missing!

Vasilly said...

What a great post!

I blog for the same reason: to be around people who have the same passion as you do.

This is my first time visiting your blog but I can tell you're a great person. Keep up the good work!

Joanne said...

Awesome post! I don't really know why I started blogging. A few things were part of it - first of all I'd been reading/lurking around for ages and thought wow these book bloggers are fantabulous, also I wanted to keep track of my reading, I wanted to maybe improve my abysmal writing skills, I also liked how writing about books made me think more/analyze what I read. And you know it has helped me break my shyness a bit - although I'm still more of a lurker at times.

Once I started blogging though, I realized it would be hard to stop for one reason only - the people - the feeling of connection, not being the only book geek anymore :)

As for the "freebies" I didn't really know that book bloggers were getting free books until I began getting emails from people asking me if I wanted to review their books - shock, gasp, I was astounded, amazed and giddy with disbelief. But the most important thing to remember is that even if I never got another free book again, I would still blog about my reading!

And really, I was so disgusted to hear talk of tiers of quality within the community - pffftt. If we all start judging one another and worrying about where we fall on the quality scale aren't we just reverting to some high school clique mentality? Pathetic really, people should just read the blogs they enjoy, ignore the others and run their own blogs in whatever way makes them happy.

Okay end of rant :P Loved the post, love your blog, you rock Stephanie!

Iliana said...

Awesome post Stephanie! I think you really touched upon a lot of the things that have brought us all into the book blog world - the simple love of books & reading.

I also consider this a wonderful community. Whether we love the same books or not, it's so great to talk about why a book mattered to us.

And, now I'm ready to sing kumbaya too :)

Tif said...

I really enjoyed reading this post!! As for me . . . I began blogging almost two years ago now simply to keep track of all the books I read. I had no idea that there was a whole community out there until I had been doing my blogging for a while. Since I have discovered it, however, I don't feel quite so alone!! I am getting ready to move once again and I am so glad to know that I have this constant in my life . . . to know that there are others out there that I can talk books with whenever I want, even if I don't have a soul close to me in reality! I'm not in it for the freebies (though it is a nice perk, especially to discover new authors!), I am in it for the books and now, the community. If there were no free books, I would still be around!! I can discover new authors from fellow bloggers like yourself!! And, most importantly, it's a great way for me to de-stress!! Talking books just does that for me and probably always will!!

Anyways, thanks again!! Your blog was one of the first that I discovered of this community and I love it!! You helped to get me hooked!! :)

Chris said...

Btw, I left you an award on my blog.

Kim L said...

I could have written something very similar. I don't have a top-tier blog (and I don't think I'll ever have the time to make it into one), but I blog because of the awesome bloggers and the connections I've made through blogging. The recommendations, sharing of opinions and community!

Thanks for sharing :-)

Teddy Rose said...

Awe Steph, what an amazing post! I have know you way before either of us started blogging. Once you and Chris started it was just a matter of time before I started! You enablers you!

First I decided that I wanted a better way to keep my thoughts on books that I read. I had a notebook but I was just writing a couple of thoughts, not reviews.

Then I decided I should really be reviewing books to keep them better etched in my mind. Once upon a time I loved to write, so why not reviews. I started posting on Amazon.

Then my dad died and I spent alomost a month looking after my mom out of town. To help keep my sanity I read even more then usual and I wrote reviews in my old notebook. I had very little access to a computer but I decided that as soon as I got home I would start a blog.

It's been a wonderful place for me to share my thoughts on books. I didn't think I really cared if anyone read it or not. It was for me. Then, to my amazement people did start reading it. I've made many friends and I love our community.

Would I stop blogging if you all went away and stopped reading my blog? NO WAY! It's still a place for me to record my book enjoyment. Would I be hurt and disappointed if you all stopped visiting my blog? YES, VERY!

CoversGirl said...

I feel in very good company here! I started blogging because I wanted to force myself to think about what I was reading, rather than just barrelling through one book after another. Having recently stumbled across the world of book blogs, starting my own was the first idea that occurred to me, and I jumped right in without any expectation of rising above the mediocre.

Since then I've added memes for fun and thought-provoking (and become hooked on challenges), but except for the odd flash of brilliance my blog is just the ordinary thoughts of an ordinary reader and drifts along at the edge of the book-blog galaxy. I'm not social by nature. I don't comment anywhere near as much as I ought, and I am far too private a person to post about my troubles or let too much of myself show. Ergo, I'm content with a little bit of connection.

I keep track of visitor statistics out of curiosity, but if that counter stopped ticking over I'd keep blogging. (Probably feel a bit lonely in the process, though!) What I love most about it is thinking like a reviewer - considering not only whether I liked a book, but precisely how much and why. With that and personal amusement as my purpose, what does it matter how popular, how "good" I am? The waters of cyberspace are more than large enough to accommodate us all.

And Steph - if I were such a snob as to arrange my blog reading list into tiers, you'd be up there at the top!

John Mutford said...

Awww. I haven't been around in a while, but glad I've made it back for the love-in. I blogged initially because I wanted to join a bookclub and there wasn't one in the small town I was currently living, nor could I find people with similar tastes to start one on my own. But, it's become much more than that, and yeah, I'd say there's been some real friendships formed. Who knew?

Sadako said...

I blog just b/c I like seeing what ppl have to say about...well, what I have to say. And if I have something to say, it's nice to have an outlet.

Just discovered your blog btw, and really am enjoying it so far!