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Another Blogging Anniversary Rolls Around — Will There Be Many More?

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My attention was clearly on other things on February 14 this year because I forgot it was the day I should have celebrated my 11th blogging birthday.

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for so long! If you’d asked me on the day I clicked the “publish” button for the first time, whether I’d still be blogging 11 years later I’d have likely said no.

Starting a book blog was just a spur of the moment decision.

I didn’t have a clear plan for content beyond reading the Booker Prize winning books and writing about my reactions. I didn’t have a plan for how I was going to fit this into a job that at times took every ounce of energy. I didn’t even know how to blog.

But 1545 posts and more than one million words later, I’m somehow still here.

Will I still be here eleven years from now? Or even one year from now? Maybe blogs will no longer be a thing in a world that is moving ever more towards bite-sized chunks of information. Or maybe there will still be people left unsatisfied by beautifully staged photos of book jackets or 20 second video clips and longing for places that allow for more substantive content.

I really hope so. Not just because blogging gives me motivation to write about the books I’m reading but because book bloggers are my primary source of information about the world of fiction.

I used to rely on the mainstream media for news about upcoming books. But the national newspapers in the UK (with the notable exception of The Guardian) have pretty much given up on book reviews. They’ve disappeared from The Daily Telegraph and and The Times apart from a few paltry pages in their weekend review sections — mostly reviews of heavyweight non fiction. Open Book and A Good Read on BBC Radio 4 are good but I forget when they are broadcast. My experiment with the Times Literary Review wasn’t a success — the articles were so dry and quasi academic.

If it were not for book bloggers, I’d be adrift. So this is a thank you to all of you who devote hours of unpaid effort to generating top notch content. Long may you continue.

While we’re the subject of appreciation, thanks also for sticking with me over the years, I know you’re all busy with your own lives so it’s doubly appreciated whenever you like my post, leave a comment or share the content via social media.

I hope all of us will still be around this time next year.

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

60 thoughts on “Another Blogging Anniversary Rolls Around — Will There Be Many More?

    • The cost of postage in the UK has gone up so much in the last few years that it seems we need to take out a loan just to pay for a stamp!

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  • Happy Blogoversary!
    Blogs are my primary source for information about books. I enjoy taking part in reading challenges along with other bloggers. I enjoy reading the form or style of how bloggers write reviews. I enjoy other information about books through bloggers. For example: reading statistics, authors, and new books to be published.

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    • I also like the posts highlighting what’s about to be published even though they give too much temptation to buy 🙂

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  • Happy bloggiversary! I love finding out about new books and old but also the connections I have with people around the country and the world – they really helped me feel connected during lockdown, for example. Please carry on for a long time more!

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    • The connections are important to me also – even though there are some people I am unlikely to meet in real life, I still feel we’ve bonded over our love of books

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  • I fear that we may have all missed your point, that WP may give up hosting us. I hope they feel some responsibility for the enormous archive they hold on our behalf (yes, I could see how ridiculous that sentence was even as I wrote it).

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  • This sums up “why bookblogging?” for me as well, Karen: “Not just because blogging gives me motivation to write about the books I’m reading but because book bloggers are my primary source of information about the world of fiction.” Increasingly so, for all the reasons you give. Vivat liber! And congratulations on your long stint at the interface between reader and reader, long may it continue!

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    • Thanks Chris. There are so many authors I would never have heard of without book bloggers to champion them. Of course the down side is that my TBR is always far bigger than I can possibly hope to get through….

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  • Happy Blogoversary! Please keep on blogging. I, too, am indebted to book bloggers for news and reviews. Yours was one of the first Book Blogs I discovered, and thanks for your efforts.

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  • Happy blogiversary ! Congratulations ! Indeed, blogs are no longer hype, but it seems to me that book lovers don’t choose their books based on hype only, so there’s hope!

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    • So true. In fact there are some occasions when the more hype a book gets, the less likely I am to read it

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  • Congratulations on 11 years of blogging. As for if we’ll be around much longer, I think that’s up to us. As long as we continue to enjoy writing these posts, we’ll be here, even if no one is reading them. At least, that’s how I feel about it.

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    • One of my concerns is whether there will be sufficient interest to support the technology that we rely on for our blogs. WordPress seems more interested in websites than blogs now

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  • Congrats! You’re a little ahead of me (I’m 11 in June!), and like you I so depend on other bloggers for bookish input and recommendations. Here’s to all of us and long may we continue!

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    • I have this vision of a bunch of silver/grey haired people in various care homes beavering away at our blog sites – much more appealing to me than seated aerobics or craft afternoons !

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  • Happy Blogversary Karen! I hope there will be many more as yours is one of my favourite blogs x

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    • Congratulations on 11 years, Karen! I agree with everything you’ve said, and it looks like many of us feel similarly about book blogs. Here’s to another 11 years! 🙂

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    • Ah that’s so sweet of you, especially considering I have been such a lazy bones lately in writing my reviews and visiting other blogs

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  • I got into blogging because I wanted to write about books and I didn’t want the hassle of going through intermediaries to get published. And then I found that blogging is about recipriocity – if you want discussion you have to engage in other people’s discussions. And then I found discussion leads to friendship. How good is that!

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    • Exactly Bill – I never expected to find the level of camaraderie that stretches across the oceans. I love the fact that I can chat with people who I many never see in person and get an insight into their world ( I have a much greater appreciation of a trucker’s life thanks to you!)

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  • Congratulations, Karen. I must admit I will never be as dedicated as you. So, thank you, I’ve found so many books to read through your posts.

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  • Congratulations, Karen! I certainly hope you’ll still be blogging for the next eleven years, and more. So much talk of the death of the blog but lots of us much prefer a review plus a bit of chat in the form of comments to follow.

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    • I get more insight into what’s coming up in the world of publishing from your blog than I think I ever did from reading the so called literary sections of the newspapers.

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  • 11 years a million words, that’s good going. Like you, I get most of my recommendations via other bloggers. I used to rely on the Irish times weekend book review section for my picks and some via my bookclub friends, but bloggers have become my primary source. Congrats and best wishes for another 11 years.

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    • Does the Irish Times still do a weekend review section? i’m wondering whether what I’m seeing is typical of what’s happening around the world

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  • Happy blogiversary from another old timer. I look forward to many more years of blogging from you and the other hold outs over here.

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    • So many of the bloggers i followed when I first started are no longer blogging so it’s wonderful to hear of other long timers still plugging away

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    • Thanks for the support and endorsement of the important role bloggers perform.

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    • You rock even more than I do – you’re such a powerhouse of content, I wouldn’t like to think how many words you publish every year.

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  • You just reminded me that my anniversary was in February! And it’s twelve years for me. I like to *look* at things like book twitter, bookstagram, booktube, even booktok, but a blog is the only place I want to create. And for actual reviews? Well you don’t find much of that on those other channels anyway, but nothing beats a written review! I’m glad you’re sticking with it, that “will there be many more” worried me!

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    • Sorry to have caused you a moment of worry! February certainly seems to have been a popular month for people starting book blogs… I wonder why! I’ve looked at booktube but have yet to find any channel that appeals to me. Haven’t got as far as Booktok yet – may have a peek just to see what its all about

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  • Happy blogiversary! And YES, to many more!
    I realize there’s actually a good bunch of us “old” book blogers – I’ll be celebrating 13 years in September

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  • Happy blog anniversary! I hope there will be many more here. I just passed my fifteenth blog anniversary and agree that if it weren’t for book bloggers, I’d be adrift, without good recommendations for what to read next.

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    • 15 years is a tremendous achievement Jeanne. There have been so many changes in that time I imagine – not just on the platforms we use to post our content, but in the way social media has become so much more important for sharing the content

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  • tracybham

    Our blogging anniversary is in the same month and mine is at 11 years this year too. You expressed in this post all the things that I am grateful for about blogging. And you do it so eloquently.

    I am not a joiner or a mixer, and before blogging I did not have many friends or co-workers who shared the same interest in reading that I have. Blogging changed all that and it makes a big difference.

    I will enjoy your blog posts as long as you feel like blogging.

    TracyK @ Bitter Tea and Mystery

    Reply
    • That was my situation too Tracy. I was desperate for people to talk to about what I was reading but so few people I knew shared my taste in authors or genres.

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  • Happy blogging birthday and thank goodness you’re here and hopefully will continue to be! Fellow bloggers have certainly added untold numbers of books to my wishlist over the years. A reason I like blogging is it helps me work out how I feel about a book and remember more about them.

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    • The day I found your blog with its thoughtful reviews and articles was a good one. Yes, book bloggers like you are invaluable, so please keep it up!

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      • That’s such a kind thought Margaret. One day it would be lovely to meet in real life!

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  • 11 is a huge achievement! Congrats on your longevity and productivity! I’m thrilled we’ve connected in the virtual book world! Cheers to many more years of long form thoughtful book reviews! 🥂🎉🙌

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    • Thanks Beth, I feel like I am still learning how to blog even though I have been at it for so many years

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      • I think it’s a never-ending process

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        • So true – especially when WordPress keeps “improving” their platform

        • Yes, and improving is questionable)

  • Congratulations, and thank you for all the books I’ve found through your blog, the latest of which is A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe.
    I think you have expressed very clearly the reason why the litblogging fraternity matters, and I too hope that we can withstand the podcasts, the video reviews, and the shallowness of the social media alternatives.
    This may amuse you: I was *sigh* at a dinner with a bunch of old conservatives the other night and was trying to explain that I was much too busy writing book reviews to be a ‘joiner’, and the woman who clearly knew nothing about how vibrant our network is, sneered that I was just talking about books to myself. (Having lots of money doesn’t necessarily confer good manners, eh?) And The Spouse interjected, ‘Oh no, Lisa’s got an international audience of thousands.’ (And he has too, with his philosophy blog).
    And so do you; so do all of us. We may never know who all of them are, but we cherish our lurkers as much as we cherish the people who join the conversations.
    Here’s to the next decade!

    Reply
    • That’s a great anecdote – good on The Spouse for jumping in to support you. Did the woman look suitably impressed????
      I hadn’t really twigged about the lurkers but then someone I used to work with in the USA sent me a private message just last week about another colleague and added one of those “by the way” comments that she’s been following my blog for years but never left a comment….

      Reply
      • LOL No, #shrug she wasn’t really listening to replies.
        Yes, I very occasionally get one of those revelations about a lurker, or someone pops up with a comment after years of following … and you know, much as I love the chat, I respect those lurkers because they are people who don’t necessarily feel that they have to express or even to have an opinion. I’m like that on Twitter, although I do sometimes join convos, I also read stuff that I don’t comment on, sometimes because I want to keep my opinions to myself and other times because I don’t have an opinion about whatever it is.

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  • Hello BookerTalk; nice to know that you’ve been blogging for so long and will be at it until the end of times, I imagine. I have been blogging for decades but the world of bloggers doesn’t hoot my way at all; they simply can’t appreciate what I am doing, what I am sharing etc. etc. Last month, I decided to become a paid subscriber/blogger but now my blog may be muted since I can’t even preview my post…previewing is important since it allows you to view it one last time before posting; like checking yourself out in the mirror before heading out or to having company drop in. Again, I don’t make sense and I don’t understand why I can’t preview and how to fix what went wrong after paying for domaine and the wordpress site. Okay, congrats. None reads me at all. Invisible is I and not that author Ralph Ellison either. Thank you for reading.

    Reply

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