I started paper reader two years ago come 1 February. My first post consists of a simple greeting, a statement (of my love for books) and a list of some books that I had currently checked out from the library. My lifelong passion for words had come to a head and it was no longer something that I wanted to keep to myself, and with the advent of blogs everywhere I no longer had to. I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought that my blog would take me to where I am today. I never thought it would be an affirmation of everything I hold dear.
I started my blog the winter before I started university in autumn 2011. Though I was working part-time, I was not yet in school, and so I was afforded the liberty of being able to devote large amounts of time and effort into reading. And the more I read, the more I wanted to talk about it, share it with people who felt the same. The more I researched, the more I understood how things generally worked, and began to formulate how I wanted to structure my blog. I wanted to read books, I wanted to share what I found in them in an impactful way with the internet and thought that a review would be the best way to do it.
A review, for me, generally takes me about an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, mainly because I like to write in-depth, spoiler-free reviews. I want the words that I'm sharing with the world to be helpful, but also able to express how I feel about what I read. And the more I read, the more I wrote. The more I wrote, the more books I bought. (...and I bought a lot of books.) I grew the number of blogs I read, the comments I wrote. I created a Twitter account and spent hours replying and perusing to see what was new in the literary and publishing world. I met incredible people. With Tawni's help, I redesigned my blog. (And I'm in the process of doing it again.)
And then school began. I became nervous, stressed. I very much wanted to continue the amazing thing that I had started, but I needed to be able to balance it in a way where my education remained (and still remains) my first priority. It was - and is - incredibly difficult. I barely had any time and felt at times that I was falling behind in reviews. Books I wanted to read, thoughts I wanted to share, but couldn't. Sometimes there just isn't enough time and energy in the day.
I realised that I had to cut back on what I was doing. Less review books, posts in general, but the ones that I wrote, I promised myself, would be the best they could be. I never once thought that I would stop, but instead make it function in a way that suited both university and the amount I was able to read. This semester is my thesis semester, and I'm planning on having one review per week and one discussion post per week, if not every other week.
The summation of what I'm saying, or trying to say, is that though I love what I do - and I would not trade it for anything - it takes effort, money, persistence, and time time time.
I write this because Wendy has created a poll that ends tomorrow on the cost and value of book blogging. The results will be both surprising and anticipated. My stress, my nerves are not everyone's, and there will be different ways in which people maneuver their time and energy and this will affect their overall response in ways I could not have thought of. I just want to say, however, that every one of you is important. You devote your time and love and it shows. Your input is also necessary, and if you have fifteen minutes to spare, your thoughts would be appreciated and helpful to show how blogging affects us.
A book blog, just like the person behind it, doesn't look like any one thing. There are types and varieties and personality that make them unique. Thanks for doing what you do.