(I think this was my 3rd birthday. Love those red plaid pants.)
On this day three years ago, I wrote my first post. I had no idea what I was doing. At the time, I was living in my mother-in-law's basement with a brand new laptop and time on my hands. Stephanie had started her blog and it sounded like a great way for me to escape from reality; the reality of a living in a tiny space underground with two other people.
Things have changed a great deal since then, both personally and within blogging. Over the past three years, I've built a brand new house in a new town. Moved out of the basement. (The light! She burns!) My daughter started school, that's an adventure in itself. Gained new pets and lost a beloved cat.
I've learned a great deal about blogging too. I remember losing all my blog photos because of something stupid I did early on. I couldn't change my blog template or add a widget. I made a few boo-boos along the way but it wasn't the end of the world. Blogging has been a hands on learning experience. If you want to blog, you got to just go for it.
It might sound cliche but in three years book blogging has changed a lot. I sound like some old timer, "Back in my blogging day..." but it's true. Things change so fast. I think life on the internet is more like dog years: one year in real life= seven years on the 'net. So my blog is legally allowed to drink in the US! Party on!
When I started blogging, nobody Twittered and Facebook wasn't a household name yet. Book Blog Tours hadn't become wildly popular and the number of ARCs (Advance Readers Copies) available out there was a lot smaller. Now there's Google Wave, Blog Talk Radio, Skyping and Book Blogging Nings. The technology has changed too. The number of devices you can read books on has grown, from iphones to Kindles you can read on anything.
The number of book bloggers was smaller too. It was a lot easier to visit everyone I 'met on the net'. Now with hundreds of book bloggers in my Google Reader I barely get around to read everyone's latest posts in a week. I've made friends though. The people I've met at the beginning of blogging are still the ones I look forward to reading everyday.
Because of blogging, I've become a much more adventurous reader. I discovered new authors and new genres. Just this year, I started reading graphic novels and young adult fiction. I tried more audiobooks as well. Now with my new e-reader, I hope to read more ebooks.
In 2007, I didn't know what an ARC was (it seems like everyone in starting a book blog knows what it is now). I just reviewed the books I had at home or borrowed from the library. It took me nearly a year before someone offered me an ARC to review (thanks Karen!). Now I'm offered books quite often. This has a positive and a negative side. On the positive, free books (!), I read the latest releases and I've discovered new authors and new genres. On the negative, I have very little time for the books I'd like to read that I already own and I end up blogging about the same books everyone else is. Lately, I've put off reading books I see on others' blogs because I don't want to be just like everyone else!
Thinking of this makes me want to join the "Reading Deliberately" movement which I read about on Literate Housewife's blog. For me this means:
- thinking carefully about book requests before I accept them
- thinking carefully about the challenges I join
- read the books I really want to read
- read more of my favorite kind of books (classics for example)
- read the books on my bookshelf
- be a better member of the online book club (read the books!)
- read 100 books in 2010
- exercise more
- eat better
- stop neglecting my other hobbies (scrapbooking, crocheting)
- be a better mom and wife
- stop sweating the small stuff
Martini Photo credit: imelenchon from morguefile.com