In Which Courtney Talks About BBAW and Her Blog
So, I haven’t really been active in BBAW at all. I’ve been observing, but that’s about it.
I’m on the outskirts of the book blogging community. I know my blog doesn’t have a huge readership, and that’s not something that bothers me. Yes, I wonder how others get their large following, but not enough to investigate and change my blog in order to get that readership as well. I’m happy with my blog not being one of the hugely popular ones because it means that I can avoid (most) of the drama that’s been appearing in the book blogging community lately.
I know part of it is because I don’t comment on others blogs and I don’t respond to comments as much as I should. I don’t participate in giveaways. I don’t (normally) participate in blog tours – I’ll go into more depth about that later. I have a select few blogs that I read regularly and just skim a number of others – that’s all I have a lot of time for. And that works for me.
I’ve been blogging in one way or another for about a decade. I started Once Upon a Bookshelf in August of 2005, and it’s served me well for what it was started for. At that point in time, I didn’t even know there was a book blogging community. I had a few blogs and a LiveJournal going at the same time that was updated fairly frequently. (Those others languished greatly and disappeared, except the LJ which is now only used to crosspost posts from here.) This blog was started solely for myself, to keep track of what I had read and to help me remember what books I loved or hated, what they were about, etc. That is still the main purpose of my blog – I blog to keep a record of books.
Over the past four years, my blog has evolved. I’ve branched out and started reading other genres. I’ve been challenged to read books that I normally shy away from. And my posts about books have also evolved over the years, more into a general review for a broader audience, but the main purpose is still there – I’m blogging for me.
In Which Courtney Talks About Community
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the community aspect, but that part is just a bonus. What I do love about the community is how I’ve met some really awesome people – not just through the book blogging community, but the blogging community in general – and how I’ve reconnected with other people I knew back in the day.
Take Rachel for example. We lived on the same floor in residence at university for a semester, before she up and changed schools. (Not that I stuck around for too much longer after that.) We had a lot of shared interests when we met – a love for White Christmas, RENT, and L.M. Montgomery (she, after all, introduced me to the wonder that is The Blue Castle) – but we lost contact with each other for a period of time until we started communicating through blogs.
Blogging is also how I met the lovely Sabrina and Megan (both of whom I completely adore), how I got back in touch with Erin (a friend from back in the UCC days), and part of how I stayed in touch with Shannon (who is quite possibly one of the awesome people I know). I’ve met (“met?”) a bunch of others, some of whom I can’t link to as they no longer have blogs. And then there are those strictly from the book blogging community itself.
And this community has a lot of awesome people. People I’ve obsessed about Harry Potter with. People who get the whole staying-up-until-4am-because-this-book-is-so-good thing. Other people my age who understand that YA books aren’t just for teens. So many awesome people, and they’ve made this all a lot of fun.
But at the same time, I’m not the best with replying to comments, or posts on my Facebook wall, or e-mails, so I don’t always build those relationships that other book bloggers seem to have. And I don’t have as many non-review posts that other book bloggers have, so this blog doesn’t have the same amount of personalization that others do.
Okay, that went on a tangent and I don’t know how to segue into the next thing I wanted to talk about, so I’ll just randomly change topics now!
In Which Courtney Talks About Her Fear of Commitment
There’s been a lot of debate about blog tours – whether they are beneficial, whether they are morally right and good, whether bloggers should actually participate in them or not. And you know what? If someone wants to participate in a blog tour, that’s great. Good for them. It’s their blog. Not all of the blogs I read participate in all of the same blog tours, and I can tell you right away that if I read too many blogs that are all blogging about the same book around the same time (whether through a blog tour or not), I get annoyed with the book and have no desire to read it (hence why I’m avoiding The Hunger Games and Catching Fire). But it does build up publicity for the book, and it seems to work for the publishers, which is awesome for the publishers. It gets people buying books – yay!
As stated, I’ve avoided blog tours partially because of that annoyance factor, but I’ve actually agreed to participate in one this month. Hypocrite, I know. But this book would’ve been something that I would’ve went out and purchased anyway. (Joy Preble’s Dreaming Anastasia.)
And the other reason I’ve been avoiding blog tours? The commitment factor. Oh gods, the commitment! I have a phobia of commitment. It’s the reason I am 28 and still very happily single after never being in a serious relationship ever. So, the fact that I have to be committed to posting about a book on a certain date has always terrified me – what if I wasn’t able to finish it by that date? Oh, the pressure!!
In Which Courtney Sums It Up In A Short List
Right. So, in a nutshell:
- I still blog for me
- Though, community is awesome, even if you’re on the outskirts
- I don’t participate in blog tours normally because I’m terrified of commitment
- This could quite possibly be the longest blog post I have ever written