It was just after three this afternoon when I realized that today was July 7th. And I thought to myself, "Oh, wow. I have been blogging for four years today, and I almost missed it." Can you believe I almost missed my four year blogiversary! Unacceptable. After that big realization I spent the rest of the afternoon reflecting on the last four years. Mostly, I thought about how blogging has influenced me as a reader and the people I have met in the last four years.
In the very first post, I claim that I was not a young adult (I was 23 years old... I was a young adult), and that I didn't particularly read YA all that often, and I expressed surprise that a YA novel had the ability to captivate me so much. Ha, how things have changed. Today, YA is a huge part of what I read- like 90%, and I have read some absolutely stunning YA novels. Stories that left me heartbroken and sobbing for hours, stories that had thinking about life and what was really important, I have read amazing adventure novels, that were so fun and SO well written I have recommended them to my friends and insisted they read them. Don't let me fool you, I have read some pretty questionable books in the last few years, but those are few and far between.
Prior to Just Another Story actually becoming a thing, I mostly read romance novels. I was a romance junkie. Nora Roberts, Diana Palmer, Rachel Gibson, Anne Stuart, and the list goes on. I could easily have read two or three books a week. This was pretty expensive, because I bought 95% of the books I read. I would be at the book store at least once a week, sometimes more. They knew me by name at my local store. I never shopped online for the book. Never, Amazon wasn't really a thing for me back then. It wasn't until the blog took off that I started ordering my books. And at first, I would order them from the local book store's website. I can't pinpoint when I switched over to Amazon, but somewhere along the way I did. I no longer support Amazon- but that's a story for another time.
Also, I never used the library back then! I had a library card and would occasionally go with my housemate, but I never reserved book, I never went just to browse. It wasn't a place I frequented. Now, the library is my best friend. I am always requesting books from the library, whether it be from the elibrary so I can fill my Kobo, or from the actual library where I have to go pick up the books! I absolutely love the library.
I have met some absolutely incredible people while blogging, and I think I can say, they've become pretty great friends! The book blogging community is so much fun to be part of. People who love books and reading just as much as you do. What more could a girl ask for? I have been introduced to so many different novels and authors based on the recommendations of fellow bloggers and readers. I have had some intense conversations and debates. I truly feel blessed by the people in this community.
There are a few dudes I want to mention. Bloggers who I call friends and have been SO supportive to me during my time as a blogger.
Katherine from The Lady Critics Library is a freaking hoot. Another lady I've had the pleasure of talking books with for a a few years now. This one cracks me up. She's got a killer sense of humour and had read everything under the sun. She mostly does Youtube videos now, you should check her out, if you haven't already.
Carrie, who was once upon a time part of Stalking the Bookshelves (which she co-ran with her sister). I now interact mostly with Carrie on Twitter (@OneBookishMom). 99.9% of the books Carrie recommends to me are fantastic! She has never let me down. She always replies when I tweet her (and I tweet her a lot- she'll get tired of me someday). I absolutely love talking books and TV with her.
I also need to shout out to my local ladies. The blogging community where I live isn't very big- at least I don't think so. But in the last couple of months, I've been able to connect with a few fantastic bloggers. Joy from Joyous Reads, Maryann and Gabby from Chapter by Chapter and also Kristie from Lost in Ever After. We've been able to get together a couple of times and talk books and it's been great every time. #lovedit #fivestars.
It's funny that this day comes as I contemplate my future as a blogger. It's a good thing actually. I think I have been feeling burnt out and have been feeling the pressure to blog all the time. Was it time to shut er down, was a big question on my mind. I love reading and I love sharing my thoughts on the things that I am reading, but I was seeing a lot of negativity and ugliness in the last couple months and it was jading me towards this whole experience. However, I took a couple week's off, and I looked back on my blog and was reminded that I really do love and appreciate what I have built up these last four years, and I don't want to abandon it. It means to much to me. I'm here for the long haul, and I hope you are to!
~Happy Reading Everyone!