BBAW, day one: Community

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.

Too many long-lusted-after novels


A fraction of my “to be read” stack, which is slowly — or very quickly — becoming out of control. I thought that after I joined Book Mooch and started to clear out some of my older books to make room for new ones, I’d actually be coming out ahead. More space, less clutter, and the hope of new books eventually meandering into my room to be enjoyed — someday?

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way. I went a little crazy. Got a little cocky. As I was sending out more and more books to Moochers all over the country and earning more and more points to get new books in return, I started . . . ordering more books. Book after book after book. As I added titles to my wishlist and watched it grow, as soon as a long-lusted-after novel became available I snatched it up like a wanderer coming across a cool drink of water in the Sahara. I couldn’t get enough.

And now I’m right back where I started — with a million books to read and a million more on their way into my house and office. Of course, I sort of love that, too . . . but the pressure is on to keep reading. I don’t know if anyone else ever gets that nagging feeling at the base of their skull that they’re just not reading fast enough . . . that there are way too many books sitting there, waiting to be discovered and discussed and digested, and far too little time to actually get through them all. There is a certain amount of stress associated with my TBR stack getting way too extensive. And I’m starting to feel like I’ve overextended myself a bit!

Though too many books is way better than the alternative.

I’m in the middle of Sandra Kring’s Thank You For All Things and know I should be much farther along than I am . . . I just need to buckle down.

Or simply succumb to the chaos!


Pained photo by Rick the Sportswriter 🙂

Musing Mondays: Women will kill the novel?

musing_mondaysI’m jumping into Musing Mondays over at Should Be Reading, and this week’s question is very interesting:

In an article on NPR, author Ian McEwan is quoted saying, “When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”

Do you believe this is true? Why, or why not?


Working in a bookstore for several years and just talking with people constantly, I do believe, in part, that this is true. While men are certainly reading, their points of interest usually lie in nonfiction, science fiction or fantasy. Of the male readers I know, all are almost exclusively fans of graphic novels, scifi or historical works.

If we’re talking novels in the traditional literature sense, I believe women are reading in far greater numbers than men. We have romance, chick lit, contemporary and mainstream literature, urban fiction, young adult . . . all sorts of fun genres to pour through. And while men can certainly join in on this excitement, it’s definitely seemed to me that more women are picking up stacks of paperbacks than men.

Will the novel be dead if women stop picking them up in droves? Of course not. People will write until we no longer have a language in which to do so — and even then, there were these crazy things called hieroglyphics we could call back onto the scene. Writers will always write and novels will always be written. Will anyone other than your friends, parents and lovers be reading them, though? That’s another dilemma!