Warning: you may need some wine to complement the cheese that is to follow.
|you guys make me smile like this|
Okay, so I'll be the first to admit that I fall prey to all the insecurities/thoughts that many bloggers endure, including (but not limited to):
"Why does x publisher hate me?"
"I WOULD CUT A BISH FOR THAT ARC"
"No one even reads my blog anyway."
"Why do I do this again?"
"I don't even want to blog anymore."
"I have no idea what to write about that's worth reading."
And those pesky feelings of exclusion, inferiority, competition, self-blog-loathing, etc. It can be all-consuming at times.
It's so easy to lose sight of why we do this, with these feelings running rampant. Seriously, there are days I don't even log into Blogger because I don't want to see others' brilliant ideas, when I can't even come up with enough words to put together a decent review. (Which is why I haven't written one in over a week.)
I hate the times where there's conflict and negativity swirling around. But you know what? That's human nature. We are in a big bubble of bookish people. Despite the fact that we all have one very similar interest, the community is still jam-packed with a variety of people with a variety of opinions. And that's okay. But conflict is unavoidable. It just is.
But, more frequently, there are the times when the book blogging community is the greatest place to be: bountiful bookish discussions, excitement over an upcoming release, author events, movie news (VAMPIRE ACADEMY. HELL TO THE YES.) Not to mention it is ever-growing. I can't tell you how many new faces I see pop up from a retweet or a "hey! Check out New Blogger's blog. It's fantastic!" from a trusted bookish friend.
And so I present to you the reasons that the book blogging community makes me smile so wide that I feel like my face might fall off:
My TBR is now monstrous.
Honestly, I've been stalking so many blogs for years now. Back in 2008, I would scour the Amazon discussions for "If I Liked Twilight, What's Next?" Because I simply had to read more. That was my only source back then. I knew diddly-squat of GoodReads or what a book blog was. I kept track of all the books I wanted to read in a physical notebook. I even had a nifty little highlighting system of the books I'd read and the series I'd conquer. TOTALLY gratifying, by the way, but I digress. Fast forward 5 years and BAM. My GoodReads to-read shelf is over 1000. Unrealistic? Sure. But I wouldn't know about half of these books without the recommendations of fellow readers and Twitter-stalking all of you.
24/7 Reader Support.
I'll tell you what: I am never at a loss of people with whom to discuss my most recent enthralling read. SOMEONE out there has read and loved a book that I love and is more than willing to drop everything they're doing to discuss it with me. I can't do that with just anyone. Thanks to blogging, I've got thousands of fellow readers at my fingertips, just waiting to delve into the ins and outs of hypothesizing what the author will put us through with the next book, why I ship these characters and not others, OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT TAHEREH MAFI WROTE? (I lost count of the conversations I've had about Unravel Me.) Any time, any place, any hour of the day, the book blogging community has 24/7 bookish emotional meltdown support.
We get to talk to/meet our own personal Justin Biebers.
Let's face it: authors are our superstars. And Twitter and blogging provides us the opportunity to actually interact with them. UNFATHOMABLE. I can't tell you how much I almost peed my pants when Melissa Marr tweeted me back the first time? And when I met Richelle Mead? Let's just say I was reduced to a rambling imbecile. But you know what? These authors are sweet as pie and receptive to all our incessant fangirling. In what other community does this happen?!
Avatars turned IRLBFFs.
I can't think of a better feeling than meeting a bookish friend for the first time in person. Don't you love the fact that it's not even awkward? Because you've talked to them so much about favorite books, favorite characters, most anticipated reads, etc. that it's like you have known them all your life? Yeah, book blogging did that. My daily life wouldn't be what it is now without my bookish friends.
The Total Generosity of Other Bloggers.
Didn't get that ARC that you wanted? I GUARANTEE that there's a blogger who did get it and is willing to share it with you, wanting nothing in return.
Innovation and Humor.
Book Bloggers are some of the wittiest people I know. Most of us love cats, coffee, Internet memes, and sarcasm. I can always count on my book blogger friends to bring the LOLs. I can't tell you how many times I've laughed at A Reader of Fictions' Cover Snark or Forever Young Adults' Vampire Diaries posts or Cuddlebuggery's In 10 Lines. Not to mention I've loved participating in In My Mailbox and Top Ten Tuesday over the years. And I'll forever love Anna's multitudes of stick figure videos.
Guys, I don't mean to sound like a dating service. Truly, I don't. But in this community, there is a bookish BFF for everyone. And there is a place for everyone. Variety is, for real, the spice of life. And there are thousands of readers out there that are just a click away, waiting to discuss any and everything. The best part? The feeling of community. Sometimes the collective passion books is just so massive and ginormous that I can't even articulate my heart-explody love for all the books and all the bloggers and all the authors.
I don't regret joining this community, because so much joy has resulted from it. And I'd do well to remember that when I get down and out about blogging.