BBAW...you sneaky thing, you

How did it get to be Book Blogger Appreciation Week already?  Last year was the first year I participated, and it was good fun all around.  This year, it has slipped in the back door unnoticed, and I am woefully unprepared.  Today's topic was to focus on the book blogging community, wherein we can highlight some blogs that mean a lot to us.  Already, in reading these posts, I've added a few new and excellent blogs to my reader.  There is just so much good stuff out there!  And though there are several blogs that have meant and continue to mean a great deal to me (Evening All Afternoon and Nonsuch Book were my first bloggish loves and still inspire and stretch me regularly), I want to deviate slightly from the suggested path and open this topic up for discussion a bit. 

See, my blog was originally intended to be a personal reflection on and engagement with what I read more than a product for public consumption.  I use my blog to figure out what I think, to discipline my reading, to flesh out the book journal I used to keep just to remember the basic plot and characters (which I tend to forget after a few months - or hours, who am I kidding?). 

And then, somewhere along the way, I found this gigantic community of book bloggers who were doing something much more produced, much more active, much more engaged with the community than I was.   Lest I appear to be judging, let me be clear: I admire these blogs, I read them regularly, and I am envious of the audience they have cultivated.  At times, though, I am overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.  At times, I find myself flicking mindlessly through my reader, landing only on blogs that are talking about a book I've already read.  At times, I will comment on it; at others, not so much.  I do love to talk about books I've read, but I also love those occasions when a post will draw my attention to some previously unnoticed gem and send me trolling the library stacks for the next read.  But when I haven't read the book yet, I don't have much to add to the conversation (other than thanks for the suggestion, which I try to provide whenever a post has really made me think), so I don't comment. 

And therein lies my quandary: I'd like to be more involved in the book blogging community than I am, but I don't spend enough time commenting on other blogs.  Time is such a rare and beautiful commodity, and I wonder how you all do it?  How do you find/make such time - to read so extensively, to review so frequently, and to follow and comment on so many blogs?  Do you find you have to sacrifice *real* community to be engaged in this community?  Do you ever feel like you're in a closed loop, cycling through the book blog world without fully engaging, only to find yourself returned to the place where you started: just you and a book?


  1. Thanks for the love, Sara. :-)

    Finding balance in life is always so difficult, however cliched it may sound, and I REALLY understand where you're coming from. I've struggled with finding the right balance of time spent blogging versus reading, computer versus unplugged, social versus solitary. It's a tricky business, and not just because blogging can be such a time-suck. I'm naturally a solitary person but my partner is an extrovert, for example, so we're always trying to find the right middle ground of social versus quiet time that will give us both what we need.

    And it's also such an individual thing, isn't it - people are looking for different sorts of payoff from blogging, doing it in many different styles and for many different reasons. I've always needed to write and stretch my brain, and that is the reason I spend so much time writing for Evening All Afternoon, but sometimes I wonder about the opportunity cost & what I would be writing if I weren't blogging. Time! What a dilemma. :-)

  2. I understand exactly what you are so saying. Sometimes I feel like diving into the bigness, the messiness of it all but then it becomes an activity, pursuit in and of itself that is somehow divorced (or at least estranged) from the reading and criticism of books as it focuses its love upon the love of books and all things bookish. Like you, there is much I enjoy in the larger community but really began to change my approach quite a while back when I realized that I was writing a post to an audience and not to satisfy myself or share or to reach a little deeper inside my own head. Such a fine line. And thanks for the love. :)

  3. Oh, it is even more daunting for an older blogger because there are so many more book bloggers out there to read and get to know. I tend to take it in spurts, commenting a ton when I find I have the time and I don't want to watch tv or the movie my husband is interested in (this happens a lot during football season). But at other times, I'm reading more and reviewing more, rather than commenting. I have a few blogs I comment on every day or week, and those are the ones that get the love when I have scant time.

  4. Thanks, ladies, for all your insightful feedback. Hilariously - this is exactly TODAY's topic for BBAW posts, so lots of this talk is going around right now. That's either proof of how out of touch I am with the community or somehow pointing to an underlying connection! Either way, I thank you all for taking the TIME to comment here and for continuing to support this little venture.