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.

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