We all get stressed every once in a while, right? The "To Do" list begins to resemble a short story (or maybe even a novel) and we start wishing for more hours in the day. There's household chores, work duties, family commitments and there never seems enough time to do it all... let alone write out a blog post, or two, or five. So why blog? Why spend time that could be devoted to other things in life writing out thoughts, feelings, and ideas to spin out into cyberspace never even knowing if anyone in the universe will read them? And better - or maybe worse - why a book blog? Now not only do we place upon ourselves the undue burden of writing, but now we must also read. And write reviews. And read enough that we have meaningful commentary to provide on a regular basis.
What level of insanity is that?!??
That question brings me to this week's Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things To Love About Book Blogging. Or as I have posted it, what is it about this craft that keeps me hooked despite the busyness of everyday life? It's a question I ask myself fairly often when I feel like this blog is just taking up my time. Why do I blog, and why a book blog? The lovely folks over at The Broke and The Bookish are celebrating their one year blogiversary - Happy One Year and Here's to Many Many More - and I'm pleased to join in their festivities by sharing with you my top ten reasons for being a book blogger.
1. Books. Stating the obvious, right? "I love book blogging because I love books." It doesn't get more basic than that, but it also doesn't get any more important. I love to read and it's often hard to find people around me that read as much and as diversely as I do. However, in the book blogging community bibliophiles abound and I've never had trouble finding people who share my expansive and eclectic tastes!
2. Writing about books. I love to write. I've dabbled in composing novels but all my writing has always been for the fun of writing. it's hard for me to describe the passion I possess for putting words on paper (..err.. computer screen?) I like reflecting on any number of thoughts but especially when it comes to sharing books, I really enjoy writing about what I read. I've never had any great talent in music or art, but writing is my outlet of expression. It's my means to create something new and original every time I approach a pen (...errr... keyboard) and I love it.
4. Discovering new (or old) works. Book blogging has expanded my reading horizons. I would venture that this item is going to appear on many, many lists today so I won't over-expand here, but I do want to say thank you to everyone who has recommended a book to me in the past. Whether it's an author or publicist seeing that my tastes match their current stock of ARCs or a fellow blogger chiming in with "if you like x, you have to read y", I love recommendations.
5. Discussing bookish topics. As much as I enjoy writing book reviews, some of my favorite blog-based conversations have developed when a book review turned into a thematic discussion of something literary that transcended the original work that brought it to my mind. Three such examples were books in the digital age (The Book by M. Clifford); alterations to classic literature (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain); and the stereotyping of genres for genders (A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin).
6. Connecting with other bloggers. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with number three, but if writing my own bookish posts is two scoops of ice cream, reading great posts by others is the hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherry on top!
7. Memes. Not all of them, mind you, but there are a few that have been so immeasurably fun to post that I can't help but join the pro-meme bandwagon. Along with Top Ten Tuesdays (from The Broke and The Bookish) and Fairy Tale Fridays (from Tif Talks Books), I've started a few features of my own including A Weekend to ReCOVER, Series in September, and Indie in Summer and it's been really fun to have others comment on and link up to them.
8. Authors. There would be no book blogs without books and there would be no books without authors. Another fabulous thing about becoming a book blogger is the platform it has given me to interact with authors. I've always felt that great books inspire dialog and conversation and I'm immensely grateful for the opportunities I have had to carry out those dialogs with authors and catch a glimpse of the people and personalities behind the pages. Here's a link to the ever-growing list of authors I've had the pleasure of interacting with on this blog.
9. Giveaways. Is it crazy-selfish of me to list this one? Seriously I like hosting them as much as I like entering them, but I'd be lying if I failed to mention FREE BOOKS as a reason why I really do love being a book blogger!! And for those new to Her Book Self, check back later this week for a giveaway of R.T. Kaelin's Progeny: The Children of the White Lions! (A few details were announced yesterday...)
10. YOU! Okay, strip away all the generic stuff about me loving comments and loving to connect with other bloggers - it's all true, but really, from the bottom of my heart, you are a reason I love being a book blogger. Now even if you're saying to yourself, "Self, I don't even know this lisa person." That's okay. You're reading this, and that's awesome! I do write for myself, but trust me when I say I'm very glad you're reading.
"I speak to these people, and I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there... How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with our words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to God. I will tell stories to people who listen and to people who don't want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run."Once again, Happy Blogiversary to The Broke and The Bookish! I think I speak for many bloggers when I thank you for your wonderful blog and the way you infuse community into the book blogging world. I have found many a wonderful blog through your site and I am always cheered when I hear of people stumbling onto Her Book Self through you! Looking forward to reading all the other great entries in this fun edition of Top Ten Tuesday!
-Dave Eggers, What is the What