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
remember the basic plot and characters (which I tend to forget after a
few months - or hours, who am I kidding?).
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