Today is my sixth blogiversary! I launched this blog on May 10, 2008, just a few days before my college graduation. I was trying to leave the world of angsty, college girl blogging behind and because I was an English major, I figured a blog about books was the best fit for me.
Six years later I know that book people are my people and that writing about books is my passion. To mark this blog’s entry into first grade, here are six things I’m grateful for after six years of book blogging.
1. I’ve made amazing friends.
Before I started blogging, I was, I think, skeptical about the idea that you could make real, true friends online. Six years later some of the strongest friendships I have are with people I would never have met without this blog. Whenever I get to meet fellow bloggers in person, it amazes me how easily we can just jump into a conversation because we’ve already been talking for years.
2. I’ve traveled to cities I’d be too nervous to visit myself.
Deep down, I’m pretty shy and I’m terrified of traveling. But because of this blog, I’ve been to New York and Los Angeles — two cities I would never have gone otherwise. I traveled to those cities by myself and I survived. That’s huge.
3. I’ve read hundreds of great books.
I love to read and I love to be a reader, but I know that I’ve read more books – and better books – because of this blog. I read more because of other readers and, to be honest, because of the pressure to have content for this blog. While sometimes that is draining, most of the time I love it.
4. I’ve learned the ins and outs of owning a small business and working as a freelance writer.
Since I switched to a self-hosted blog in, I think, 2009, I’ve had to quickly learn all sorts of skills I didn’t know I needed. This blog has become a (very) small business, and I’ve learned how to run it. If I ever jump ship from this newspaper thing and decide to go freelance, this blog will have helped me get there.
5. I’ve stretched my reading and personal horizons.
I used to be a pretty big book snob (just as my sister, she can attest to that). Thanks to the support and push from other readers, I’ve coming more accepting of other genres and the books that other people love. I’ve also tried all sorts of new forms of books, audio books and graphic novels in particular, that I’m not sure I would have tried otherwise.
6. I’ve found my voice.
Thanks to this blog, I’m a contributor to a couple of different websites and do some freelance book reviews for a newspaper. I have a voice in my reviews and a voice as a critic that this blog has helped me develop. The fact that I continue to have readers here who value my opinion enough to read my posts surprises me a little bit every day.
This blog has evolved since I put up my first post, and I’m glad for that. Blogs have to grow with you, and this blog has seen me through an amazingly varied and challenging and wonderful section of my life. I’m so thankful and grateful to all of you who continue to read and make this space something special. Now go read a book!