BBAW 2011: Community

by Kim on September 12, 2011 · 22 comments

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A Note from Kim: This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, an amazing event that celebrates book blogging. My posts this week are going to be related to the daily discussion topic for BBAW. I’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming next week.

Today’s Topic: While the awards are a fun part of BBAW, they can never accurately represent the depth and breadth of diversity in the book blogging community. Today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you. They can be your mentors, a blogger that encouraged you to try a different kind of book, opened your eyes to a new issue, made you laugh when you needed it, or left the first comment you ever got on your blog. Stay positive and give back to the people who make the community work for you!

When I went to BEA this year, one of the things that struck me about the trip was how much blogging has brought me great friends that I would never have gotten to meet otherwise.

Some of these friendships seem a little more obvious than others, in the sense that if I met these bloggers randomly in real life it would be less strange to imagine us as friends.

My first night in New York for BEA, Jenny (Jenny’s Books) let me crash at her apartment because I’m inept at making travel plans — how generous, for someone who you’ve never met in person before. I shared a room at a hostel with with Anastasia (BirdBrain(ed) Book Blog) and Ash (English Major’s Junk Food), both twenty-something students (or recent graduates), much like me. I also spent a lot of time with Cass (Bonjour, Cass!) and Amy (Amy Reads), hatching plans to dominate the blogging world through a love of nonfiction. But we also talked about so many other things, I like to imagine that if we’d met some other way we’d still have become friends,

Edited to add: And of course there is Lu (Regular Rumination) — she’s also a young, hybrid student/blogger that I adore!

We’re all on the younger end of book blogging and have some different tastes in books, but we’ve connected.  My point isn’t that we’re all exactly the same, more that if strangers saw any of those bloggers with me on the street, it wouldn’t seem like an odd match.

On the other hand, blogging has also brought me great friends from people that may not otherwise have come my way, of, if they did, might have missed my radar completely because they’re just different than me.

The first person who comes to mind in this case is Florinda (The 3 R’s Blog). At BEA this year I found myself constantly hooking back up with her to go out to eat, stand in line together, or just hang out between other events. We have entirely different lives outside of blogging — she’s a married mother (and step-mother) from California with a son about my age — yet I think of her as a great friend both online and offline.

The list of bloggers that I think of in this respect is almost endless. Care (Care’s Online Book Club) is one of the most genuine and generous bloggers I know. Melissa (The Betty and Book Chronicles) writes the most articulate and inspiring posts about her kids and the world around us. Shelia (Book Journey) has more energy than I can even imagine. Esme (Chocolate and Croissants) talks so lovingly of food, I want to immediately eat everything she posts about. Joy (Joy’s Book Blog) makes me excited to talk books after each of her posts. And Jeanne (Necromancy Never Pays) writes so thoughtfully about poetry, it makes me want to read more of it.

I could go on about all the other bloggers I’ve met that seem like unlikely friends, but that list would be endless. I guess the point is that one of the things I love about book blogging is that having a blog has helped me reach out and find friends across the country (and around the world) that I would have never met before. While many of these friends are “like me” in some fundamental ways, others are decidedly not, and it’s so amazing that we’ve been able to find each other.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

bermudaonion (Kathy) September 12, 2011 at 7:23 am

Isn’t it amazing that you can find someone to meet up with just about everywhere you go now? I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with Amy of Amy Reads when she was near my town on business recently.

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Jeanne September 12, 2011 at 7:56 am

It is funny how we have things in common, intellectually, but might never have gotten around to discovering that in real life. Ah, the wonders of the internet! I am deeply gratified to hear you say that you read more poems because of what I say about them. That makes my day.

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Trisha September 12, 2011 at 9:05 am

Narrowing down is so amazingly difficult when there are so many great blogs out there. Great list!

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Meg September 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

Meeting so many friends — people I truly consider good friends, in an invite-you-to-a-future-wedding way — has been one of the greatest gifts of book blogging. Some fine folks you have here!

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Ash September 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

Many of the people you mentioned would be on my list as well, and I completely agree that blogging has helped me find people like me and people who are a little less like me–and that’s what makes it so great!

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Kailana September 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

My list could have went on and on, too. There are so many great bloggers out there!

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Amy September 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I can’t believe I forgot to talk about BAND today! LOVED our conversations and meeting up with all of you at BEA :)

I think the best thing about blogging is some of the people I chat with the most are like me and some are very not in terms of regular life, but even in terms of blogging, some of those I talk to the most read completely different books from me, but yet they are great blogging friends. So even looking at blogs it’s hard to tell that we’d be friends. Odd right? But good! I love the diversity.

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Laurel-Rain Snow September 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I like how you’ve mentioned some blogs that I have visited and others I have not…which just makes me even more eager to get out there and visit new blogs. Thanks for sharing!

Here’s MY BBAW 2011 POST and
MY WEBSITE

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Man of la Book September 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Excellent list Kim, great blogs by all.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

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Parrish September 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm

a great selection of blogs here, some i know others not.

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Florinda September 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Thanks so much, Kim – I would absolutely say the same about you (and will, when I get caught up on my BBAW posting on Wednesday)! BEA week wouldn’t have been the same without you, and I’m looking forward to a redux in 2012. And for the record, my son is just shy (by one day) of two years older than you :-D.

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Joy Weese Moll September 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Thanks! Me, too! It’s been so much fun to increase the age range and book selection range of my conversation partners through book blogs.

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Megan September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

One of the things I love most about the book blogging community is that we can all be different and from such different walks of life and still mesh so easily when we come together over books.

I still think the story of how Jenny took you in when you failed in your travel planning (and cooked for you, too!) is priceless. Too great!

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Kristen M. September 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I’ve just found your site today through another blogger but, since we both have the marvelous Jenny as the first person listed on our posts today, I’m sticking around! It’s good to meet you!

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Lu September 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I’m in such great company in this post! Seriously, thank you for mentioning me. <3

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Cass September 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

So glad we got to hang out at BEA! I <3 Midwesterners. ;)

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Erin September 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I’ve yet to meet any of my blogging acquaintances in person, but I love reading about people who have. I think there’s something cool about an online community that can form bonds so easy to transfer to real life. I know most of the bloggers on your list, but I’ll check out the new ones!

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Melissa September 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Mwah … you’re so sweet to mention me. Thank you so much, and right back ‘atcha (once I manage to get myself all caught up with BBAW, which probably won’t happen till Wednesday or thereabouts.) Happy BBAW week!

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Mel u September 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Hi, I am stopping by to visit your blog via the list of posts for Day one

Please Stop by My Blog if you Like

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Rebecca Reid September 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

I agree, it was so wonderful to meet people at BEA (like you!) and feel like we were friends because we’ve been blogging together for so long.

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Trish September 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I love reading all the fabulous things about the bloggers I already love (could anyone be more enthuiastic than Care? Love her!), but it’s also neat to see some names that aren’t familiar. One day I’d love to travel to BEA to meet everyone.

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Jenny September 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Aw, thank you! It was lovely to have you! :) *hug*

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