This week (September 10-14, 2011) is Book Blogger Appreciation Week! BBAW is a week long festival celebrating the community of book bloggers and their contribution to preserving a culture of literacy through book reviews and recommendations, reading reflections, and general bookish chat. Events include daily blogging topics, blogger interview swaps, special guest posts, and so much more!
Today’s posts for BBAW are centered on answering the question,
“What does book blogging mean to you?”
That’s both a simple and a complicated question. In the literal sense of things, “book blogging” means that I have a blog where I post about things that are book-related. For me, most of the time this means that I post reviews/discussions of books that I’ve read. There are months where I read (and review) more books, and months where I barely read and/or review any books at all. Sometimes I participate in events like this one, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes my reviews are in-depth and detailed, and sometimes they’re not so much. But generally, it’s the focus on books that makes what I do here “book blogging”.
Book blogging is also a way to focus my reading. Before I started blogging, I was barely reading anymore. Reading for leisure had pretty much stopped when I started university, and had only begun to trickle back again before I started Reading Through Life. And as I’ve written about before, reading, blogging, and life have become intertwined for me in a lot of ways. If the only thing I had to “take away” with me from book blogging was the drastic increase in my reading, I’d be happy.
To be honest, though, that’s not the only thing I’ve been able to take away from blogging. I’ve also managed to find, in book blogging, a community of people who share some of the same interests as I do. Even if we don’t read the same kind of books, we all find value in reading, storytelling, and literacy. We all find some connection or another with people we’ve never “really” met, all over the world, who share these core values, and that fascinates and delights me. I love that I can go online at any point in the day, open up my twitter feed, and see people talking about what they’re reading, or just finished reading, or are about to read. I love seeing people’s reflections on the process of reading, and of writing, and of just generally living a life filled with books. And I think that it makes me a better, happier, and more well-rounded person than I was before blogging.
And it doesn’t hurt that once in a while, we get to form “real-life”, face-to-face relationships with these people that we’ve met and gotten close to on The Big Bad Internet. That just adds to the positive impact that book blogging has on our lives. Even though I’ve never made it to a large event like BEA, I’ve still managed to meet at least three book bloggers in person, and all of these experiences were fantastic. Book bloggers, on the whole, are friendly people, and I’ve almost never experienced something negative in our community. And that just makes book blogging more of a positive part of my life.
Now that I’ve rambled off on a tangent, let’s bring things back full circle. What does book blogging mean to me? It means that I participate in a community of like-minded people talking about something that we all love, and that enriches our lives both individually and collectively. It means that my mind is exposed to a broader depth of information, opinions, and literary experiences than ever before. And it means, most importantly, that none of us are alone in our desire to share our love of books with the world.