Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BBAW 3: What Does Book Blogging MEAN!?

I'm a little late getting started today. I did a wee bit of oversleeping this morning only to leave my house in a huff. Traffic sucked. Work has been busy. BUT, amidst all the kerfuffle, I've been itching to write this post.

Click HERE for image. 
Most of you have been reading this blog for a while now. You know that it's been active for 7 years, that it started with grad school snark and morphed into a place to express my passion for reading. You know that my life has changed a lot -- new jobs, a son, relationships come and gone. While it's mostly about books, this blog is quite simply, my home on the web. I am the me'est of me right here on these virtual pages. I let it all hang out, as it were.

And the changes this blog has undergone, and the me'ness of it get at what book blogging means to me. For me, book blogging is an excuse to hang out with my friends!!! I share with you all the same things I'd share with a group of great girl (and boy) friends.

I want to hear your opinions and go places with you and do fun stuff together. And that gets at the second item in "what blogging means to me...": community. I've said it a gazillion times, and I'll say it scads more...book blogging is only as good as the community around us. That said, we have our ups and downs. We have our dramas and our spats, our scandals, and our great, cohesive events. With this rollercoaster ride in mind, book blogging is also about helping make the community its best and a most enjoyable place to be.

Third, book blogging means a platform. Now, read carefully here because it may not be what you think. I've become quite the outspoken monkey over the years about blogging on one's own terms. I'm not a champion  of authors or publishers. I'm a champion of bloggers using their creativity and expressing their joy! Book blogging means a chance to speak to other book bloggers about the hows, the whys, and the why nots.

Seven years ago (closer to 8 maybe?) there was a migration--a creation--of book bloggers. Many of us met in Yahoo! Groups as part of BookCrazy, The Book Spot, OnThePorchSwing, BookiesToo, Banned_Books, and others. Pretty soon we heard of this crazy new thing called blogging and we began to make our way. 8+ years later we're a huge community of book lovers. Readers. Writers. While I'm not saying we were the Adams and Eves of book blogging, there were groups of us that made the switch. I had a core of friends even then. We were a community that grew into a new community.

There are a lot of pieces here. A lot of facets of what "book blogging means to me". To me, it means an opportunity to talk to you. To share myself. To share our love of books. To share my opinions after 7 years of this. To try to bring us together in the pursuit of  fun stuff. To give you a pat on the back or a kind word when you're stressed by too many ARCs.

Book blogging means friendship, camaraderie, and sharing. 




45 comments:

  1. I remember those days . . . I still belong to a handful of book groups, but it's not quite the same. For me anyway. Book blogging has taken their place in more ways than one. I often blame my husband for getting me started blogging, but it had a lot to do with those book groups and those of you who started book blogging back then too.

    I love what you say here: "I'm a champion of bloggers using their creativity and expressing their joy!" I 100% agree. Somewhere along the way, I think that message got muddled for me and it took having a baby and getting so overwhelmed I could barely breath to help me see my way clearly again.

    I will always be grateful to you, Andi, for leading the way. Thank you for everything you do for the book blogging community.

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    1. Oh Wendy...I tried staying in some of the groups, too, but it just didn't work for me. The convo was still good and I still love the people, but the format of blogging fits my life better. And I know exactly what you mean about having a baby and getting SO OVERWHELMED. In large part, that was the wake up call that made me STOP STRESSING and start blogging, truly, for me.

      Three cheers for the community!

      I'm so glad I am still in contact with you and so many others from those early days.

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  2. Here, here! I've been thinking about those old Yahoo groups quite a bit the last couple days. I'm so glad some of us managed to stay in contact with each other.

    Ditto Lit Feline up there. Thanks for all you do! :)

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    1. Heatheroo, they were a great start, weren't they??? Our old stomping grounds!

      Hugs!

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  3. That last paragraph and the final line? That's it. Amen.

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  4. I am glad to meet so many book crazy people like me and book blogging has made my reading more intense!

    BBAW: Meaning of Book Blogging

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  5. I LOVED this post! I feel the same way, and way back when I started blogging, I knew so little about the community that I was entering. But it's a lovely place, and a place to share what I am passionate about with people I truly care about. Book blogging has become such a major part of my life, and I can't imagine my life without it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Zibilee! It's a huge part of my life too. I do have to take breaks occasionally from all the multi-faceted hustle but I miss it sooo much while I'm away.

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  6. Aw, you pretty much said everything I was feeling about the topic but said it much better. :)

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    1. Aww, thanks Chris. I have my moments. I haven't been witty this week, but I've been weepy!

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  7. This is such a great post and I couldn't agree with you more! I love the blogger friends I'm starting to make on here. Everyone is so supporting of doing this and it's nice to connect with people who feel the same way I do. It's not just a "blogging community" it's like a friendship community as well :)

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    1. Amen!!! Well put. We do have "issues" pop up occasionally but overall everyone here is great and really values the friendship aspect of blogging.

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  8. Wonderful post, Andiloo! I totally agree with you on all counts, even though I admittedly suck at joining in on community events in the blogger world. Blogging is a little more time-consuming than those old yahoo groups. But, it's definitely the friendships and the ability to talk books with like-minded souls that make blogging so wonderful.

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    1. Nancy, it is more time consuming for sure!!! I'm just so glad of my Yahoo Groups buddies are still around blogging. You were my first book friends.

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  9. You're one of the few bloggers that makes me feel like a youngster these days--I've only been at it for 5.5 years :-). I'm glad you've stuck around. Your do-it-your-own-way approach inspires me.

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    1. THANK YOU, Florinda! I figure we have to make blogging work for us -- not always work for blogging. lol

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  10. Community is the best part of blogging and you're an important part of my community.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kathy! Hugs!

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  11. Love this post! I haven't been around nearly as long as you, but love some of the very same things about this community.

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    1. Carrie, I don't think it takes long for people to catch on to the awesome community aspects. Even new bloggers are really invested in it which always makes me happy. I can't imagine a more friendly, welcoming community in general.

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  12. I'm glad I've discovered this community. Great post!

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  13. Wonderful post, Andi! I grinned from beginning to end and then remembered all the ridiculous Yahoo groups I used to belong to and laughed out loud!

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    1. Thank you, Brooke!!!! I love a grinworthy post, so I'm glad it made you happy. There was a YAHOO group for EVERYTHING!!!! lol

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  14. Guuurrl seriously? You've been around for nearly 8 years and I've only found you THIS year?! Ha. I'm totally having a moment here!

    Also, why is it that all of the book bloggers that I like the mostest come from Texas or the west coast?? #travelproblems

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    1. YES! How crazy is that? And Texas and the west coast are very boisterous, outlandish places to be. We're all quite fun (if a little nuts).

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  15. It's been so fun to watch this kind of grassroots movement in the blogosphere (or at least our corner of it) the past couple of months--letting go of some of the have tos and getting back to the want tos. I'm trying to figure out why I spent so much time letting myself get so stressed about blogging!

    It's been a fun a wild ride! Thank you for leading us on much of this journey.

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    1. Isn't it??! I'm all about the want to as opposed to the have to. It should be FUN. And I know I've been having more fun here lately than ever before (readalongs, challenges).

      Thanks for all YOU do to make blogging such a good time!

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  16. I agree with you that 'community' is the glue; when I cease to participate in that community (and here I mean by leaving comments, visiting others as I should) I am only cutting my own self off. Then, I miss the interaction, I feel left out, I wonder why I'm blogging at all and not just reading in my own living room. There's no sense blogging if one doesn't put oneself out there, visit one's friends, chat about what's essential (which may, or may not, be related to literature). You are very good at being honest on your blog, Andi, and that is one of the things that I love most about you.

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    1. So true, Bellezza. It'd be a very lonely proposition without the interaction! And I can't think of any communities more welcoming and inclusive. And thank you! More honesty!

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  17. The interaction, the camaraderie, the love! Thinking about this topic and reading all of the wonderful answers today has me feeling all gooey inside. :D

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    1. Same here, Jennifer!!! It's been such a great week!

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  18. I'm so not a book blogger (maybe one day . . . I'm working on it in my own way), but I've recently started reading more book blogs, and there are so many cool people around this corner of the Internet. :)

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    1. Angela, bloggers are great whether it's all books or not! I'm glad you've come along and looking forward to more of your blog!

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  19. Wonderful post! And couldn't agree more about how important community is, as they're the reason I stick around! And love your last line about how book blogging means friendship, camaraderie, and sharing. So true!

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  20. Awww, BookCrazy. Fun times!

    This is why I didn't want to write this post - because I knew someone else would, more eloquently. Thanks for this. You rock.

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  21. Ah, memories. I was on the boards of a site called Romance Novel TV. That's where I heard about my first book blog, Smart Bitches Trashy Books. I still follow a lot of the people who were on those boards and who became book bloggers!

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  22. Love the book blogging community for sure... and you've been a longtime inspiration with your veteran blogger status :)

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  23. Thanks for inspiring me to have fun with blogging again and get back to the things I loved about it in the beginning!

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  24. what a wonderful post! book blogging is about books and friends - the rest is just window dressing.

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  25. Excellent post, Andi. I think it means being a part of the reading community, and it also means promoting good citizenship among readers: supporting book culture by shopping at independent book stores, supporting writers by attending their local and online events, and supporting the publication of good literature by alerting one's audience to new books and providing a forum for discussion of them. As a full-time writer, I depend on book bloggers to get the word out about my books. As a book blogger, I try to showcase books that have moved me in some way.

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  26. So much love for this post. Even though I feel like such a newbie compared to all of you bloggers who started all those years ago (this makes you infinitely cool in my eyes), I couldn't agree more with what you've said about what blogging means to you.

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  27. Love this! I took a break from blogging most of this year, but I felt compelled to come back because I miss the other bloggers. It really is the community of individual bloggers that makes it what it is. I love that I can be a part of it and that some of the more experienced bloggers are so great at making all of us not so experienced ones feel welcome. Thanks for being you!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I respond to comments individually by e-mail and/or here on the site. I value community above all else in blogging, and talking with you all is the highlight of my blogging day!