You know, I never would have imagined I could find a group of people — strangers, initially — with whom I could talk about books and life and cupcakes and form these lasting friendships that have already sustained me through challenging times.
Here’s the thing about book blogging: we’re not just reviewing books. We bring to our environment a shared passion for the written word — whether that’s fantasy, romance, science fiction — and never let it go. We connect with each other over novels but come together with so much more. In fact, when I imagine the major milestones in my life — marriage, children, a new job — I often fantasize about how I’ll share the news with my book blogger buddies.
Is that weird? Maybe. But I love you guys.
Today, the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, we’re asked to recognize the people who have made book blogging a unique experience for us. I long consider Rebecca of The Book Lady’s Blog to be a mentor of sorts — mostly because she’s awesome, and she’s one of the first book blogs I discovered. We got our sites up and running around the same time and both worked for corporate booksellers back in 2008. A friendship blossomed and I’ve been overjoyed as her range of influence has only widened, and she’s a darn hilarious and fine person. So rock on, my friend.
Over time, you may have noticed that the quality of my photos is slowing improving . . . and I’ve worked harder to make write meg! visually pleasing. I’ve always been interested in graphic design and enjoy the coding aspects of blogging, but it’s Kay from The Infinite Shelf who really inspired me to step up my game. Her blog is both interesting and beautiful, and her photos are incredible achievements. She inspires me with her cute comics and awesome book thoughts, and I feel motivated to make changes here every time I visit.
And who do I credit with turning me onto my favorite book series of all time? Natalie of Book, Line, and Sinker, who is also a stellar friend. A few years back she encouraged me to read Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, and it wasn’t long before I rejoiced in my new book crush. I’ve remained devoted to Marcus ever since. Sloppy Firsts was probably not a book I would have picked up on my own, so I’m eternally grateful to Nat for contributing to Marcus’ and my blossoming romance.
The first person to get me to crack open a graphic novel? Credit goes to Lu from Regular Rumination, a blogger I adore. Her recommendation that I read Craig Thompson’s Blankets was perfect, and I fell in love with Thompson’s tale of first love and the way it affects the rest of our lives. His illustrations paired perfectly with the book’s emotional content, and I never thought a graphic novel could make me cry. But it did.
In January, I read several awesome works of literary fiction for the Indie Lit Awards — including Safe From The Sea, which is one of my favorite reads this year. It was a novel that surprised and moved me, and another book I wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t gotten involved in the awards process.
My friendships with book bloggers have impacted my life in countless ways, and I’m grateful for the way they’ve inspired me to try new books and branch outside my vanilla reading life. My bookshelves are heaving beneath the weight of their recommendations — and I wouldn’t want it any other way.