A year ago, on July 29, 2009 I signed into blogger and created my own book blog, inspired by Kristen my friend from goodreads, also owner of Bookworming in the 21st Century. From there, I crossposted back reviews from goodreads, and did a whole lot of memes. I commented like crazy and eventually created a twitter handle, later changing to reflect my blog, because too many IRL people had my original twitter. I’ve met some bloggers in person. I’ve made friends I hold very dear to my heart. I’ve had my perceptions and ideas challenged. I have faced my white privilege, although that is something I do still struggle with. I’ve learned to look at books a bit more deeper, I am still learning how to examine books in social context, and through a gendered perspective. I am not as good at it as Nymeth, not even close, but I still enjoy engaging with books a bit more deeper. One practice I had never heard of prior to blogging but now care deeply about is whitewashing, or when ethnic minorities are misrepresented on the covers of books. Totes not cool, friends.
I thought I would maybe share some pros and cons of blogging I have come to discover over the past year.
Meeting people who are just like me! – I am an awesome person who likes books a whole lot, so it’s so awesome to meet others who are also like this.
I’ve learned about so many awesome books I would not have touched prior to blogging – Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, etc.
My book event attendance has expanded exponentially. Before book blogging, I’d never been to a signing or a book related conference. Now, I’ve been to two local-ish signings and BEA.
I have a place to gush about books I love, and moan about books I hate. It’s nice to have a place that is just mine, to be creative.
I’ve won a few contests, and not gonna lie, winning books and book related clothing is so awesome.
I’ve received books for review. This is a two-edged sword, which I will explain under cons. On the pro side, it’s very awesome that my opinion is respected enough that I get to check out new books before the general public. I’ve worked very hard to get to this point.
Vlogging. What better way for me to put all of my zany self out there by sitting in front of a camera and talking bout the books I got during the week. I love making vlogs and have a blast doing it every week.
Heightened Awareness. I am aware of bad relationships/rape culture in Y.A. books. I am aware of a lack of color and gay perspectives in publishing. I think it’s so important to know about the issues. On the plus side, I am also aware of upcoming awesome looking books, and cool sales held by book stores. I am aware of how great indies actually are.
I am somewhat of a recluse now. Guys, I used to be very social and hang out with my friends all of the time. We’d go places like the movies, clubs, mini-golfing, you get the picture. Not so much any more, I am not sure if this is because I spend so much time blogging, because my friends live far away, or what. But I do miss that social aspect of my life. I actually am working pretty hard to get this back, so if you see less posts from me, don’t hate me, I’m just trying to get my social life back on track.
The drama. Anyone who says there is no dramz in book blogging is a liar. It’s so easy to get caught up in this drama and irrationally dislike someone because of it. I am guilty of this. I am also guilty of being unable to ignore the drama. It’s like a train wreck and I can’t look away.
Mail. I have never ever been super anxious about the mail, but if I don’t get a package, I feel a little pang inside.
Weight gain. I’ve gained like five pounds because of blogging. Instead of working out, I check my google reader. I know, five pounds sounds like nothing, but my bones are very small, so to me, it’s a lot more than what I want.
ARCs. I love them. I hate them. I have shelf after shelf after shelf of gorgeous, wonderful books that I have purchased, but have not read. Instead, I choose the review book, because I am a magpie. If it’s shiny, I want it.
Anxiety. I get anxious if I read a book longer than 350 pages. Heaven forbid I read a 1000 page adult historical fiction or Stephen King novel. I am anxious if I don’t post for three days. I am anxious when I lose a follower. I am anxious if my follower gain is slow. I am anxious if I get zero comments. I am anxious I look ugly in my vlogs. I get anxious that other bloggers don’t like me and I don’t fit into the blogosphere.
My bank account. I have spent thousands on books this past year. I do not exaggerate. If I had just used the library or read books I already own, I would probably be half way to paying off my car. However, on the plus side, I’ve helped support debut authors and PoC authors. Plus, my book collection is really bangin’.
Overall, though, I look forward to another year of blogging. I hope this year I find myself able to strike a better balance of my real life and my online life. I am so glad to have come in contact with all of you, via comments, twitter, email, or your own blog.