Okay, so “Time to Ponder Books” is a misnomer because I’m actually avoiding talking about books today, but that’s what my discuss series is called, so hush.
You love books; of course you do. You’ve got a book blog. Why? Goodreads already exists, so why make all the extra hassle of formatting, inventing your own ratings system, and following a post schedule? There are even friends on Goodreads, so you can’t say it’s just us fellow book bloggers who make you so happy. So what is it?
Here are some important reasons I love book blogging that have nothing to do with books:
#1 The Colorful Vocabulary
Thanks to the internet, my blog friends come from near and far and the other side of the globe, which is currently on fire (Bill, are you okay??). Your idioms creep into your writing, which have infested me. See my post title? Really, that should say “Reasons I love book blogging that actually have fuck all to do with books.”
And how much do I love books? It’s no longer “lots” or “a lot,” it’s loads. While I used to think it was merely a breakfast food that is both round and square, I’ve learned waffle is also a verb. Though Wisconsin is not that far away, I did learn the phrase “stabity stab” to describe swordplay in a book, and now everything at my house is getting the “ity” treatment, e.g. sobbity sob, flippity flop, etc. And Canada contributed when one blogger referred to an audio book narrator as a “read alouder.”
If you follow a certain tea fanatic, you’ll know she also loves tea puns. I cannot heart the sound “T” without replacing it with “tea” — crafTEA, nutTEA, shifTEA, etc. My brain actually pictures this “tea” spelling when I say words that make the “T” sound.
#2 Crafting a Talkative Introvert
In the past year, I’ve done buddy reads with three bloggers. I don’t like to organize and over-tax myself, so instead we read the same book roughly around the same time and then post our reviews — roughly around the same time. But it’s that part after reading and before posting that I love. After exchanging phone numbers, the other blogger and I text like crazy, safe away from our blogs where spoilers and long-windedness can be an issue. It turns out, that via text I’m in extrovert! Is that a thing? It’s my thing. And before you know it, we’re text about non-book things and sharing our lives with each other in a meaningful way.
#3 Ya’ll Are Some Goal-oriented Powerhouses
Although the start of the new year is associated with goals in book blogger world, many of us like to shift what we’re doing throughout the year, too. And your goals aren’t always book oriented! Some of you want to clean or redecorate your houses. Others plan to eat chocolate every day. Many of us admit to wanting to catch up on the latest Netflix series (Anne with an E? Grace and Frankie? Zumbo’s Just Desserts?). Several bloggers have decided they will do more photography, and not just for the purpose of Bookstagramming. You’ve got goals of learning to drive! Or learning an instrument. And spending more time cooking with the ingredients you grew in your beautiful garden. Perhaps you wish to meet more book bloggers in real life and share a coffee. Many of us are into reading because we love writing, and thus have creative goals that end in publication.
#4 The Captivating Avatars and Banners
Cupcakes & Machetes always gives me a giggle when I see that cute, pink cupcake with blood on its mouth. Although kitties Pearl and Smokey are gone, Anne’s black cat avatar still connects readers to her origins. Sarah’s banners change with each post, but are always the most wondrous fantasy images. Jaclyn has a sweet, colorful image of a girl eating books! Many of you, including Karissa and Laila, have a stack of books as your banner, which I love — simple, yet informs me of what kind of reader I’m meeting.
#5 I’m Better at My Job
One of the best things about reading so many book reviews is that I can then make recommendations to patrons at the library at which I work, even if I haven’t read the book. I trust you all! I tend to remember some of the positives you mention and store away in my brain key words that I often hear patrons ask about, such as if a book has too much graphic language, violence, or sexual content. Some of you focus on new releases, which keeps me up-to-date, and others share their thoughts about classics, meaning I have an idea in my pocket for patrons who aren’t into contemporary fiction. In the end, I’m more prepared at work.
#6 Watching People Grow
Some of you had one baby when I met you, and now you have two. One of you had zero people and you brewed up your first! You’ve changed jobs or moved from city to farm, or one side of Australia to the other. Some of you have gone on to be published authors, and here I am cheering you on. You’ve suffered losses — of beloved cats or homes or spouses. More than one of you live in a place on fire. You turned 40, you turned 30, you graduated from college, became a yoga instructor, have an internship and write for magazines. You code. You passed your dissertation and now Adult with a Degree. We exchange holiday cards and even have shared meals! A few of you disappeared off the face of the internet (Sarah? Are you alive??). I’m so invested in your life that when you vanish, I worry — for years. You got married. You bought a new car. You dragged your crusty corpse through another Christmas and survived your family. You’ve traveled the world and returned with photos. You lived — and I got to witness it.